In 1977, a group of health care providers, clergy and civic leaders met to discuss the need they saw in the Des Moines community for a special kind of service. That service was caring for patients and families facing the end of a life. At the time, the concept of hospice care was being kept alive through the efforts of dedicated volunteers.
Volunteers were actively going to patients’ homes and assisting with care for the dying. They knew people wanted to remain in the comfort of their own homes during the end of life. However, the volunteers simply couldn’t keep up with the demand on a volunteer-basis.
The volunteers approached the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s Administrative Cabinet for direction on how to begin. A meeting was set and notices were published in the paper for anyone interested to attend a public forum. Approximately 150 people came to voice their interest.
From that meeting, a task force was set in motion led, in part, by Sister Eve Kavanagh. On February 7, 1978 Hospice of Central Iowa was incorporated under the laws of the State of Iowa -- the date we officially recognize as the birth of our organization. That was the beginning of what today is HCI Care Services, a non-profit organization serving more than 1,500 patients and their families each year throughout 41 Iowa counties.
Our New Name
In February, 2011, our organization expanded beyond our traditional hospice care services to offer supportive private duty services. We had also recently opened a thrift store to help raise funds for services benefiting our hospice patients. With the addition of these new services and our evolving identity, the time was right to change our name from "Hospice of Central Iowa" to "HCI Care Services."
While we've added new services and changed our name, we've stayed true to who we are: a community-based, not-for-profit organization. You can trust us to continue building upon our long history of providing comfort, dignity and peace of mind.
Our Community Partnership
In 2012, we created a community partnership with fellow non-profit Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa (VNS of Iowa). Together, HCI Care Services and VNS of Iowa share a common mission statement, organizational values and vision. VNS of Iowa offers dozens of specialized programs that provide health and support services to our community's most vulnerable populations.