Shepherd’s Cove Hospice humble beginnings grew out of the vision of Gayle Roadruck from Guntersville who believed with all her heart that families nearing the end of life deserved more support than was being offered in Marshall County. The City of Guntersville showed their support of this effort in many ways.
The grassroots, all-volunteer, non-profit agency started in 1982 in what is now a closet in the Guntersville Recreation Center.
Bobby Curry, one of the original volunteers, remembers the small area had one window. She made a curtain for this “office” to give it a more home-like feel. The room was just large enough for a desk, a filing cabinet, a phone and two chairs.
The entire county pulled together to get Shepherd’s Cove Hospice started. Medical professionals and pharmacists donated hours of their time to train the volunteers. Volunteers in the early years did everything from medication administration to personal care.
There were no registered nurses in the very beginning and a census of 10 patients was considered very large. In 1988, Shepherd’s Cove Hospice became a Medicare certified agency and at that time offered services of professional nurses, social workers, and hospice care assistants in addition to volunteer and chaplain support. It was at this time that hospice care became a benefit of the Medicare program and Shepherd’s Cove Hospice began accepting Medicare, Medicaid and private insurances. Since then, we have become a partner the United Way of Marshall County, which assists us in serving those who have no insurance.
The cost of providing this un-reimbursed care is rising each year. As a non-profit agency, Shepherd’s Cove Hospice has never turned any one away that qualified for hospice services based on their inability to pay, therefore, we are dependent upon public support through donations, memorials, and fundraisers.
The physical location of the office changed over the years as the program grew, but remained in Guntersville until 1997 when the offices were relocated to Hwy 431 in Albertville, Alabama. In 2007, we moved to our current location at 408 Martling Road in Albertville and opened our 10-bed hospice inpatient facility. The facility was built to provide additional options for hospice patients to manage uncontrolled symptoms or for when a respite stay is needed. Shepherd’s Cove is a result of community support through monetary gifts and prayer support.
Why Choose Shepherd’s Cove Hospice?
For 35 years, Shepherd’s Cove Hospice (formerly Hospice of Marshall County) has faithfully served our community and our reputation for servant-hearted, compassionate care has not gone unnoticed. In every area of hospice care, our staff goes the extra mile for our patients. The desire to do more can be seen in the passion and commitment of our staff and volunteers. Shepherd’s Cove Hospice has been voted the area’s best hospice by Sand Mountain Reporter’s readers for a number of years. With humble beginnings as an all-volunteer organization in a small room at the Guntersville Recreation Center to our present 40,000 sq. ft. home, the mission of Shepherd’s Cove Hospice has always been to provide comfort and compassionate care to those living with a life limiting illness regardless of their ability to pay.
The Shepherd’s Cove Hospice Difference:
- Longevity – Shepherd’s Cove Hospice is a non-profit, community-based, United Way funded agency providing hospice care since 1982.
- We are one of the region’s only non-profit hospice organizations, which means YOU profit from our organization, not a board of directors waiting on investment returns. Our organization is governed by a volunteer board of community leaders—your friends and neighbors.
- Inpatient Unit
- Our 10-bed, freestanding, hospice inpatient facility is designed to complement the care offered through our home hospice program. Compassionate, emotional and spiritual care that preserves comfort and dignity is provided in a spacious, welcoming, and home-like environment. Our inpatient unit is the only facility of this type in all this area.
- Nationally Certified, Respected and Experienced Staff
- We have a tenacious commitment to quality care, as demonstrated, in part, through numerous staff achieving advanced certifications in our field of expertise.
- Our leadership and management team has a combined 141 years of hospice experience.
- In 2009-2010, our CEO served as President of Alabama Hospice Organization, which included national legislative advocacy engagements.
- Our CEO is certified as a Hospice & Palliative Care Administrator.
- Our Chief Nursing Officer is also a Nurse Practitioner who is certified in Hospice and Palliative care and makes rounds in collaboration with our medical director, providing excellence in advanced nursing practice.
- Completely local
- Decisions that affect our community and our services are made locally, not in a corporate headquarters in another area of the state or nation.
- Our office and inpatient facility is located in the heart of Sand Mountain in Albertville, Ala.
- We are centrally located to provide service to our 9 county service area including Marshall, Madison, Morgan, Etowah, Blount, Cullman, DeKalb, Jackson and St. Clair counties.
- Community Bereavement Support Groups
- While all hospices are required by regulation to offer some type of grief support, we take it to the next level at Shepherd’s Cove Hospice. We offer many different support groups & individual/family counseling regarding loss/grief issues free of charge. Our groups are open to anyone in the community who has experienced loss, not just those who have utilized Shepherd’s Cove Hospice services.
- We offer a great in-school grief support program through our local schools including Camp HOPE, a bereavement program for school children. Camp HOPE , in partnership with Chalakee Stables, received national attention through a bereavement conference held in Los Angeles in 2008.
- Accessibility to services 24/7
- Our goal is to anticipate your needs or problems before they happen. Questions and concerns often occur after traditional working hours. We have experts from every field on call or on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can answer your questions, help to resolve your problems or get a nurse on the way to you when you need it…no matter what time of day or night.
- Our Volunteers are the BEST
- We have hundreds of trained, dedicated volunteers who serve as an integral part of the hospice team. You can help make a difference. Visit our Volunteer Page or Contact Us today for more information. There are opportunities for everyone! Some of our volunteers are retired; others are students or professionals who have full time jobs. We even have volunteer positions for those who are disabled and bedbound.
- We Honor Veterans
- We are a NHPCO We Honor Veterans Program Partner.
- One of the ways we honor those who have served our country is to hold a special ceremony upon the death of a veteran in Shepherd’s Cove called Stars and Stripes Tribute. It is a very touching ceremony for everyone involved.
It is the mission of Shepherd’s Cove Hospice, a non-profit agency, to provide, with a servant’s heart, exceptional, individualized care for those coping with end-of-life issues.
Shepherd’s Cove Hospice walks with families and individuals of all ages as they journey through end of life and the stages of grief, helping them understand what to expect and bringing peace, comfort, and hope. We are a trusted leader in providing exceptional care tailored to your needs, whether it is at your bedside or in our short-term care facility that offers a peaceful, home-like atmosphere.
We are dedicated to creating an unmatched legacy of service in Northeast Alabama through our hospice care, community bereavement programs, and state-of-the-art team training that ensure an uncompromising high quality of care. Our care involves a team-approach that includes expert medical care, pain-and-symptom management, and spiritual, emotional, and practical support for you and your family.