A new General Inpatient Hospice program is open at Memorial Hospital of Gardena, making it the only such program among Pipeline Health’s hospitals.

In development for some time, the hospital opened the new short-term care program last week, making it available to inpatients at the Gardena hospital who qualify. Patients are discharged from the acute care setting and then readmitted for hospice care.

The first patient was admitted from the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“This is a program for patients who no longer need care in an acute setting,” said hospital CEO Victor Carrasco. “They may be at end of life, or otherwise too weak for care, and unable to transfer to another facility for hospice care. Some patients may not have a home to return to.”

Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient’s pain and symptoms, with attention to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering.

According to Carrasco, the program provides qualified patients specialized care, delivered with compassion, without the trauma of moving to another facility.

The program is a partnership between the hospital and Bristol Hospice. “Bristol provides a hospice nurse, social worker and a chaplain, all with specialized expertise to care for the needs of their patients,” Carrasco said.