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  Hospice Director:
Medical Director:
Medical Director Designee:
Hospice Clinical Supervisor:
Thomas Smith
Dr. Robert Fisher
Dr. Richard Lynch

2818 Neuse Blvd
New Bern, NC 28561
hospice@cravencountync.gov  (252) 636-4930


Craven County Hospice

"Your Home Town Hospice For Over 35 Years"

Celebrating More Than 35 years Caring for Craven, Jones, Carteret, Lenoir and Pamlico Counties

A Message from the Director of Craven County Hospice

"You Matter because you are you.  You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die..."    These are the words of Dame Cecily Saunders who is credited with being the Founder of the Present Day Hospice Care Movement.  Her words summarize the mission of Craven County Hospice.  In this article, I reference an event we are promoting to help community and church groups host which deals with the fact of our "Being Mortal".  Being mortal means that we will one day our life will end on this earth.  When your Physician determines that Hospice is the best course of treatment for your illness of condition, we cannot change the outcome but we can change the experience.  There might not be a "magic" or even "supernatural" (depending on your belief system) cure or healing, but we are here, to provide your family an extra support mechanism so you or your loved one may die in the one place most people prefer to spend their last days:  Their Home.  When it is time, REMEMBER:  Ask for us by name, Craven County Hospice.  Your Not-for-Profit Health Care Partner for over 35 years.   We are here to comfort, guide and support.  

Craven County Hospice is seeking community partners that are willing to host a special event featuring a screening of the Frontline Documentary "Being Mortal" with Dr. Atul Gawande.  Dr. Gawande, author of the book by the same title, walks us through his own personal struggle as a surgeon as he faces the reality that we are all mortal and must face death one day.  The documentary shares stories of some of patients and their families and even his own personal struggle when his Father, also a surgeon, was diagnosed with Cancer.  Dr. Gawande helps guide the viewer in accepting the universal fact that we all are going to die (we are mortal). and urges us to have the conversation with our family and  physicians and express what is most important to us, then choose a treatment plan of care that supports our wishes. Craven County Hospice received a copy of the documentary through a grant from the Hospice Foundation of America and the John and Wanna Harmon Foundation.   If you have a community, church or civic group that would like to host a viewing of this powerful documentary, we would love to partner with you and make it available.  We are unlimited in the number of times we can present the program.  We would need a 1.5 hour suggested time period, allowing time for discussion about Advanced Directives after the showing. There is no cost to attend or sponsor a showing.  Contact me if you would like more information.  

We are thankful for the support of our Community and pledge to continue to provide "World Class Hospice Service" to the patients and families we serve and education and support to our community. Craven County Hospice is proud to offer quality healthcare at home to everyone needing care who suffers from a life threatening illness or condition. Want more information? Give us a call. We will schedule a no cost or obligation consultation to discuss ways Hospice Care can benefit you or someone you love.

Here's to making Every Moment Count!  

Thomas Smith, Director

Note:  Craven County Hospice complies with all Federal Civil Rights laws and does not discriminate or treat anyone differently based on their race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability and provides free aids and services to anyone with disabilities to communicate effectively such as qualified sign language interpreters, written information in other formats when needed and free language services to people whose primary language is not English.   

Don't Be Afraid of Hospice

​For many people Hospice is a "four letter word", a word no one really wants to hear.  It is difficult to face the reality of our own mortality.  We want to think there is "one more treatment  or "something else" our physician can do that will give us more time to live.  Certainly, Craven County Hospice encourages everyone to seek treatment as long as it provides longer quality of life.  When faced with a diagnosis of an illness or condition that will limit your life, please don't hesitate to ask your physician about Hospice Services.  We are always here to help you face that journey.  You are not alone!  If you hear the words:  "There's nothing that can be done...", Hospice is the "something else".  Hospice is a philosophy of care that provides palliative (pain and symptom control) comfort and practical help to you and your family in your home.  Questions?  Please don't hesitate to give us a call.  Our own internal surveys show 100% of those responding would recommend our services to friends and family.    One hundred percent of physicians that use our service indicate they would refer patients to our service again.  

"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
          Mark Twain, American novelist and humorist (1835 - 1910)

Advanced Directives (Living Will)?

Have you completed your Advanced Directives (sometimes referred to as  "Living Will")?  We can help you if you have not done so.  If you would like more information, give us a call, or visit:  https://fivewishesonline.agingwithdignity.org.   To appoint a Health Care Power of Attorney, you do not need to consult an attorney (although your attorney can help you if you wish).  Don't assume that completing a Financial Power of Attorney is the same as designating a Health Care Power of Attorney. Completing a Health Care Power of Attorney does not give that person any legal power over your finances, it merely appoints a "Health Care Agent", someone to make decisions on your behalf relating to your healthcare when you are not able to.    

 "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

           Mahatma Gandhi, Indian philosopher (1869 - 1948)


What is Hospice and What Services are Offered?

Hospice is philosophy of care that looks at each individual as being that:  An individual. 

  • Hospice affirms life, yet views death as a normal process. 
  • Hospice will never do anything or administer any medication that would shorten a person's life prematurely.  Hospice is NOT euthanasia, or assisted suicide.  
  • Hospice care is designed to support patients and families to empower them to face critical illness in their home environment. 
  • Hospice provides bereavement support and counseling. 

Services include:

  • Skilled Nursing - in home care focusing on pain and symptom control for the individual.
  • Nurse Aide - to assist with personal care.
  • Respite Aide - to provide a 3 hour respite break for the family in the home.
  • Hospice Volunteers - trained in handling the varied needs of the patient/family.
  • Social Workers - psychosocial needs of the patient/family.
  • Bereavement Support - provided up to one year after the patient dies. On-call services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Spiritual Care Support - a spiritual care coordinator (Chaplain) to insure patient and family spiritual care needs are met through direct support or coordination with patient/family spiritual support systems. 

The goal of Hospice is to provide “Palliative Care”  (the control of  pain and symptoms); utilizing a team of specialists (disciplines) to  provide care including physician services (working together with your doctor of choice), skilled nursing, counselors and social workers, spiritual care specialists, certified nursing assistants, as well as volunteers with a variety of skills and levels of assistance. 

 At Craven County Hospice we:

"Focus on Living"


Hospice Volunteers

We celebrate our Volunteers.   I am the hospice volunteer coordinator at Craven County Hospice and would like to honor all volunteers who are dedicated to providing care and support for the patients who are nearing the end of life’s journey.

Across the country, more than 458,000 trained volunteers provide more than 21 million hours of service to Hospice organizations. More than 1.58 million people receive compassionate care from hospice every year, and hospice volunteers are an integral part of the care team.

 Craven County Hospice staff and employees would like to publicly thank our volunteers!  These kind people help  every day by spending time with the patients, providing pet, music and other alternative therapies, assisting in the office and much more. The work these volunteers do for the patients we serve is invaluable. Their dedication and selfless commitment enables us to fulfill our mission: to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. Their acts of compassion both large and small, allow our patients comfort, and companionship that make the difference at a very critical point in their lives.

To Craven County Hospice volunteers and all volunteers, thank you!

Joan Whitley, Volunteer Services Coordinator
Craven County Hospice

If you would like to become a Hospice Volunteer, please call: 


and ask for the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. Your involvement can be a rewarding experience as well as helping our program of care.

Hospice Newsletters

*Craven County Hospice gratefully accepts contributions, memorials and honorarium gifts. Such gifts are an essential part of the agency's operating budget and enables us to serve patients who are uninsured or are unable to pay for Hospice services. It also helps us provide services such as Respite Aides not covered through reimbursement by the Medicare Hospice Benefit*

Checks may be made payable to:
Craven County Health Department  ( or CCHD Hospice) Foundation, Inc.
PO Drawer 12610
New Bern, NC 28561

Coming Soon:  The ability to make donations through PayPal or a credit card.  



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