Hospice providers merge to increase capacity in NC foothills

City of Charlotte skyline. For the North State Journal | Eamon Queeney

SHELBY — Hospice Cleveland County and Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region last week announced they have joined forces to form a single organization with greater capacity to provide comprehensive and compassionate end-of-life care for patients across 23 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Under an agreement signed by the organizations, Hospice Cleveland County will operate as a separate but affiliated subsidiary with the same name and staff, and Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region will continue its growth as the state’s largest nonprofit hospice provider. The merger also calls for creation of an independent philanthropic foundation in Cleveland County that will support local nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and governmental agencies.


“This is great news for Cleveland County and the Charlotte region as we combine two community-based, nonprofit hospice providers committed to delivering the best possible care for patients – regardless of their ability to pay or the complexity of their illnesses,» said Myra McGinnis, who will continue as president of Hospice Cleveland County. “Unlike the for-profit providers that are increasingly entering this region, our organizations have been here for decades, so we know our communities, our patients and our healthcare providers – and we put their interests first.”

Peter Brunnick, president and CEO of Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, will lead the combined organization, serving a daily census of approximately 2,600 patients in the Carolinas. No immediate changes are planned as both organizations will continue to provide the same services and staffing across the combined service area.

“We are gaining a highly regarded partner in Hospice Cleveland County and continuing to broaden our presence across the Piedmont,” said Brunnick, who grew up in Shelby after his family relocated here in 1958. «This merger not only will mean increased leverage and buying power, but more importantly, our increasing size and community connections will give us tremendous flexibility in responding to our patients› needs.»

With constant evolution in healthcare policy, reimbursement and delivery, Brunnick said the combined resources of the two hospice providers will help the organization stay ahead of change, remain competitive and enhance the quality of care. The two organizations have collaborated frequently over the years, and both achieve superior rankings on the federal government’s Hospice Compare quality measures of hospice providers nationally.

Over 35 years, Hospice Cleveland County has served thousands of patients and their families in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties, and now operates two hospice houses. Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region is the state’s first hospice, founded 42 years ago, and provides a range of services in the Carolinas, including four hospice houses.

Hospice delivers care and support for patients with terminal illnesses, with a focus on relieving patients’ pain and other symptoms, attending to their emotional and spiritual needs, and providing support for their families and caregivers.