Hospice of Wichita Falls developed as an outgrowth of a 1982 conversation between Elsa Galbraith and Joan Whitlock, who had recently cared for dying friends. Both felt that hospice care would have benefited their friends, but such service was not available in Wichita Falls.
Hospice of Wichita Falls’ charter as a non-profit corporation in the State of Texas was granted in late December 1983, and the first full board meeting was held on January 30, 1984. Between late September and early December 1984, the first group of volunteers underwent 30 hours of training. Jan Banta, R.N. was selected to serve as the first CEO and the staff began seeing patients in April of 1985. Over the next several years Hospice of Wichita Falls expanded the service area from patients residing in the Wichita Falls area to a radius of 50 miles of Wichita Falls. Our latest service expansion occurred in 2005 to include the counties of Foard, Hardeman, and Knox in North Texas.
In April of 1994, Hospice of Wichita Falls received a $4 million grant from the W. Erle and Emma White Foundation to build North Texas’ first hospice inpatient center.
The opening of the twelve bed W. Erle and Emma White Hospice Inpatient Center on January 27, 1997 marked the beginning of a new era for Hospice of Wichita Falls.
During 2000, Hospice of Wichita Falls marked another milestone, with its accreditation by the Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc. (“CHAP”). The Program concluded that Hospice (1) functions and operates in a manner which consistently supports its consumer-oriented philosophy; (2) consistently provides high quality services; (3) effectively utilizes its human, financial and physical resources to accomplish its mission; and (4) is positioned for long-term viability.
Hospice of Wichita Falls continues to develop new programs and re-evaluate and improve upon current programs, with the continued commitment to its mission of “Care, Hope and Support for All When Illness Threatens Life”.