Our History and Where We Are Now
When Helen Zebarth, RN, visited a hospital facility in England in the early 1970’s she witnessed the hospice philosophy for the first time. Although the patients would soon die, many were alert, engaged, and comfortable. This looked quite different from her experiences with dying patients in the US.
A few years later when Helen’s friend Gail Rodgers faced the death of her father, hospice services did not exist in The Shenandoah Valley and were little recognized in The United States. Seeing the need, Helen and Gail decided to bring the hospice experience to the region. In 1981, their determination created the foundation for Blue Ridge Hospice. Starting with just a few volunteers, Blue Ridge Hospice began “brightening life’s journey” for those nearing the end of life.
Now, more than 35 years later, Blue Ridge Hospice is a thriving not-for-profit healthcare organization with a robust staff and years of experience providing excellent hospice care to patients in the Northern Shenandoah Valley region. Helen Zebarth still serves on the Board of Directors.
Blue Ridge Hospice now provides care to the City of Winchester and counties of Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, Fauquier, and Western Loudoun.
Blue Ridge Hospice sets the standard for quality hospice care and is accredited by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission inspects Blue Ridge Hospice for compliance with Medicare regulations, as well as other rigorous standards, at least every three years.