Mercy Iowa City to open hospice unit


IOWA CITY — Mercy Iowa City invites the community to an open house Wednesday, April 22, from 4 to 7 p.m., in recognition of the opening of Mercy Hospice Care.

The hospice unit will open to patients on April 27. It will occupy the fifth floor of Mercy North, which served for many years as the Sisters of Mercy convent. Mercy Hospice Care will be the first facility dedicated to hospice care in Johnson County.

“We are making a new sacred space of the former convent,” said Jeanne Hein, Mercy’s director of nursing operations.

Mercy Hospice Care will serve up to six people who are in the care of any local hospice service. Each spacious, homelike patient room will accommodate family members who want to spend the night. Mercy Iowa City says the rooms are designed for comfort and family togetherness, and will make it easy to watch TV or movies, listen to music or use a computer.


While hospice care will be provided in the new six-bed unit, the two existing hospice rooms on 3 West and 4 Center will continue to be available.

In addition to the six patient rooms, the new unit will include a meditation chapel, complete kitchen, dining and lounge area, children’s play area, patient whirlpool, additional shower facilities for family members, laundry facilities and a rooftop solarium with access to the outdoors.

“No two patients will be alike in their needs,” said Kathy Rawlings, RN, who will head Mercy Hospice Care. “We will be ready to support them and their families in diverse ways.”

People receiving hospice care have a terminal diagnosis and typically six months or fewer to live. The most common diagnoses are cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and ALS.

Mercy Hospice Care is funded in part by a Mercy Hospital Foundation capital campaign.

Mercy Iowa City is located at 500 East Market St., Iowa City. Free parking during the open house will be available in Mercy Medical Plaza parking ramp, located at the corner of Market and Van Buren streets.

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