Original meaning of the word HOSPICE

The word “hospice” stems from the Latin word “hospitium” meaning guesthouse. It was originally used to describe a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. Dr. (Dame) Cicely Saunders, a British physician, began the modern hospice movement in 1967 by establishing St. Christopher’s Hospice near London, England. St. Christopher’s organized a team approach to professional caregiving and was the first program to use modern pain management techniques to compassionately care for the dying. The philosophy of Hospice care is to relieve pain and other symptoms associated with advanced illness. Hospice provides medically directed nurse coordinated care and support for the patient and family. It seeks to help patients carry on a pain-free life, therefore enhancing their quality of life. When possible Hospice provides care in the home for patients who wish to remain at home for as long as possible.

Our History – Past, Present & Future


First Hospice established in the United States in New Haven, Connecticut.


Visiting Nurses Association, Inc. provided home care to the terminally ill residents
of Fairfield County, Ohio.

1978 – 2022

The Senior Care Services program began, prior to the development of FAIRHOPE Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. as an organization. It received funding from Title IIIB of the Older Americans act, contracted through the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA); Senior Levy and local matching funds. The program provided personal care and homemaking services to Fairfield County residents 60+ years of age, with preference to individuals 75 years and older who lived alone and in rural areas, were low-income and minorities or handicapped. It was the only program of its kind in Fairfield County.


Hospice care received federal support when the US Congress created the Hospice Medicaid Benefit (HMB) Act after reviewing results from several years of hospice demonstration projects; Fairfield County was an initial target area. Also that year, members of the community in conjunction with the Fairfield County Area Visiting Nurses Association, articulated the need for hospice and worked to develop a local program to provide palliative and supportive services for the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their families.


Hospice & Health Services, Inc. (currently DBA FAIRHOPE Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc.) began serving the Central Ohio community during that year to meet the hospice and personal care needs of Fairfield and neighboring counties. It was the fourth hospice licensed in the State of Ohio. Its mission was to provide compassionate, high quality services to patients, their families and the community.


Caregivers of Fairfield County program established to meet the personal care and homemaking needs of patients.


Hospice & Health Services, Inc. expanded to include Hospice of Hocking County. It was also during this period when Hospice of Perry County was formed and The Center for Hope was established to consolidate all grief support services at a single location.

2001- 2002

The Center for Hope developed the Child & Adolescent Grief program through a special United Way grant to assist children and adolescents in the community and area school districts. Also, established monthly community grief support groups.


Hospice & Health Services, Inc. celebrated its 20th year of service. In conjunction with this occasion, the corporate name was changed to FAIRHOPE Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. (FAIRHOPE) to incorporate all divisions and to establish a logo and identity that would be easily recognizable for the community. Palliative care was also added to the name to include the expanded operations to meet the community’s needs. New Mission Statement and Vision Statement were also developed.

OUR MISSION: FAIRHOPE promotes compassionate end-of-life care through a professional team approach. We strive to relieve suffering by providing comfort, support and resources to meet the palliative and grief needs of the community.

OUR VISION: To be the progressive leader in high quality, community-focused hospice, palliative and grief care in South Central Ohio.”


March – A Palliative Care Partnership was established between FAIRHOPE and Fairfield Medical Center. A four-bed Palliative Care Unit was created and opened to meet the palliative care needs, including hospice care, for patients in the acute care setting. FAIRHOPE provided leadership in the development of the Palliative Care program and the unit. FAIRHOPE also provided educational training for the FMC Palliative staff.


The building plans for an inpatient hospice house began in full force in 2005 and the realization of the dream became a reality in 2007. The Pickering House, an inpatient hospice facility, was built locally by the community for the community and began officially accepting its first patients in 2007. The 12-bed inpatient unit provides short-term pain and symptom management, respite care, imminent death, and time for care giving arrangements to be made. This integral addition to FAIRHOPE was made possible by a key donation of $1 million by Miss Virginia Pickering in honor of her parents, Dan and Grace Pickering, and so the building was given the name of “The Pickering House”.


The Anita M. Turner Center – Hope Starts Here – was opened officially in December 2016 after much planning and anticipation. The AMTC is home to our grief support programs and additional administrative offices. This new addition now offers grieving children, individuals and families a welcoming, peaceful setting to meet where they can comfortably express their grief. The large multipurpose room is the perfect space to house the Family Grief CAMP, where grieving families gather together to build relationships and share their grief experience. This room is open to community groups as an inviting free meeting space. A formal open house was held in May 2017.


Rebranding of logo established a refreshed new look to the FAIRHOPE logo. This new design incorporated the familiar hearts from the previous logo and included a tagline “Home of The Pickering House”.

An external relations assessment with FAIRHOPE staff and volunteers, as well as, our community partners provided important feedback to determine FAIRHOPE’s presence in the community as the preeminent choice for hospice and palliative care and assist in guiding future planning and development of a value proposition statement.

Since 1982, FAIRHOPE Hospice & Palliative Care has provided exceptional and compassionate care in our community.

We are dedicated to meeting the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of those we serve by honoring life during its most difficult times.

We will meet you on your journey wherever you need us. This includes serving you at our serene 38-acre campus in Lancaster, home to the Pickering House hospice in-patient facility and the Anita M. Turner grief center.