New inpatient hospice facility opens in Macon

lmorris@macon.comJuly 9, 2014 

A new inpatient hospice facility is opening in Macon.

Optum Palliative and Hospice Care doing business as Optum Hospice Care Suites will hold a grand opening ceremony of its 9,400-square-foot facility at 11 a.m. Thursday at 115 Arkwright Landing. The office officially opens Monday.

Optum operated an administrative office only at 4875 Riverside Drive for more than seven years, and it worked with Coliseum Medical Centers for patient care, said Optum Executive Director Jacquita Blount.

“The facility we are opening is a free-standing, inpatient hospice facility, and it has a second story which will serve as our administrative office,” Blount said. “It will be for crisis stabilization for people facing serious illness, terminal care. It’s an 11-bed facility. It’s for specialized care ... for patients who need around the clock, skilled care.”

Optum has already hired 10 people for the new facility, bringing its employment to nearly 40 people.

“We expect there will be upwards of 10 (additional) positions over the next five to six months,” she said.

Predominately, the positions that need to be filled are nurses and nursing assistants, but Optum is “always looking for other complementary professionals” such as licensed counselors, licensed ministers and social workers, she said. Anyone interested in a position should apply online at www.careers.unitedhealthgroup.com.

The hospice center also has about 25 volunteers “to support our mission and care for these patients,” Blount said.

Optum will continue to partner with Coliseum and its physicians to provide patient care, she said. Patients are usually referred by doctors, but Optum also gets referrals from other hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and ministers.

The building on Arkwright Landing was formerly used by Heartland Hospice Services. Blount said it had been vacant about five years.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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