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Monroe County's Only Hospice House Has Closed

Services moved to the hospital

EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - The only hospice house in Monroe County has closed. Residents whose loved ones spent their final days at the facility are devastated.

At 101 years old, Katherine Biggs' mind was sharp as a rock, but physically..

"It got to the point where her body was just leaving her," says Biggs' daughter, Jacqualyn James.

In 2011, she spent her last six months of life inside the Hospice House in East Stroudsburg.

Her daughter, Jacqualyn, says the facility was a godsend. Katherine got to snuggle in bed with her dog and her room resembled home. "The atmosphere is just marvelous," James adds.

On April 1st, the Hospice House shut down. "To take away that facility is just horrendous," James adds. 

According to Lehigh Valley Health Network, hospice services will now be offered down the road inside Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono. A representative says this was an extremely difficult decision and patients can expect the same level of care. LVHN took over the facility last year when it merged with Pocono Medical Center.

"I don't want to die in a hospital, do you? No way," James says.

About a dozen people attended a Monroe County Commissioners meeting Wednesday to voice their concerns. Commissioners are now trying to arrange a meeting between the community and hospital leaders.

"It's an emotional issue and I had a loved one who passed away in that facility, and it's tough to duplicate that service that they give," says John Christy, Monroe County Commissioner.

The facility got its start thanks to large donations from local residents and businesses.

James questions, "how can they close something the Monroe County community built?"

Jacqualyn says she's once again feeling a sense of loss. She adds, "it's just a tragedy."

If you've ever been touched by the Hospice House, Jacqualyn is asking you to email her a brief testimonial about your experience to jacqualyn.james@icloud.com


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