SECU Foundation pledges $1 million for new UNC Health Care hospice home in Chatham County

Pittsboro, NC – Last month the State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Foundation committed $1 million to the Medical Foundation of North Carolina for construction of the SECU Jim & Betsy Bryan Hospice Home of UNC Health Care in Chatham County.

UNC Health HospiceScheduled to open in 2016, the new home will serve area patients and their families, providing an end-of-life care option not previously available to local residents.

“We are excited about this project and pleased to be working in partnership with the Medical Foundation to help bring a new inpatient and residential hospice care facility to the local medical community and citizens in Chatham County,” remarked Jim Johnson, Chairman of SECU’s Board of Directors. “Through the challenge grant, SECU members are helping provide the highest level of care, compassion and support for patients and their families needing hospice services.”

SECU Foundation Hospice Check

Jim Johnson, Chairman of SECU’s Board of Directors and Gary Park, President of UNC Hospitals with $1 million donation for the Jim & Betsy Bryan Hospice Home of UNC Health Care in Chatham County.

The SECU Foundation’s gift aligns with the foundation’s missions of supporting high-impact projects in areas of housing, education, health care and human services and promoting local and community development in North Carolina.

“The UNC Hospice Home is the 14th SECU Foundation-supported hospice initiative in the state,” continued Johnson. “We are honored to be part of this project, one that reflects the basic principles and founding philosophy upon which the SECU Foundation and Hospice were established – ‘People Helping People.’”

Part of a challenge grant, the donation commits the Medical Foundation of North Carolina to raise $1 million in matching funds.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous contribution from the SECU Foundation,” said Ann Braun, President of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina. “It will help us reach the finish line and fully fund construction of the new UNC hospice home.”

William Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care and Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, explained that the gift makes possible an important public service that will help area residents navigate the most difficult of health challenges.

“It allows us to provide patients and their families coordinated, compassionate, end-of-life care in a peaceful setting,” said Dr. Roper. “We are so pleased that the SECU Foundation recognizes the importance of this public service to the people of Chatham County and has agreed to partner with us.”

Located on two acres of land on Russett Run Road in Pittsboro, the 11,000 square-foot facility will house a kitchen, dining room, meditation space, family visiting areas, and ten private rooms, each with an individual outdoor patio.

The inpatient and residential services provided will be built upon the UNC Hospice program’s existing expertise in hospice and palliative care services. Patients and their families will receive support from a team of nurses, social workers, pastoral and grief counselors, and trained UNC Health Care volunteers.

For recently retired UNC School of Medicine faculty member Dr. Jim Bryan and his wife, Betsy, after whom the hospice will be named, the construction of an area hospice is a dream fulfilled. The Bryans have been longtime advocates for hospice care in North Carolina.

“This new hospice will provide care to a community in which traveling long distances for end-of-life care options has always been the reality,” said Dr. Bryan, who spent 50 years on faculty at the UNC School of Medicine.

“Often times, families living in this community have faced financial and emotional hardships when coordinating the care of loved ones who are being cared for too far away from home,” continued Dr. Bryan. “This new hospice gives them an alternative and will mean so much to patients and their families here.”

Other donors to the hospice home include The Duke Endowment, the Volunteer Association of UNC Health Care, Carol Woods Retirement Community, Carolina Meadows, and Galloway Ridge at Fearrington. Preston Development donated the land for the future hospice where construction begins after the groundbreaking ceremony on July 14.