Hospice of Wichita Falls: An asset to the Area
Hospice of Wichita Falls (HOWF) was first developed as an outgrowth by Elsa Galbraith and Joan Whitlock in 1982 who after caring for dying friends felt that Wichita Falls and the surrounding counties where lacking a professional and caring facility for hospice care.
After a great deal of talking with friends, locals and doing a great amount of research it was clear what path to take. After another year of raising awareness and support the downtown Kiwanis Club pledged $12,000 in seed funds to give the hospice program the start it needed. HOWF was granted a non-profit late in 1983 by the State of Texas. After a committee was formed by volunteers and professionals’ bylaws and specific plans were drawn up followed by its first board meeting at the start of 1984.
The board and volunteers spoke with many churches, service organizations and professionals in the field and began a newsletter that was widely distributed and very popular.
Over 100 local businesses and persons where contacted through letters to enlist their financial support.
In 1988 the demand for hospice care grew and so did the HOWF to meet the needs of those seeking hos pice care. With growth came the need for higher levels of training. In the later part of 1988 HOWF became a licensed Medicare Hospice which is the highest-level license available to a hospice program. At the same time the HOWF began servicing all patients with life threatening illnesses.
Again in 1990 HOWF expanded yet again to meet the needs of those needing hospice care within 30 miles of Wichita Falls. HOWF was approved as a Medicaid hospice in 1991 and in 1993 requests from Olney and Seymour where made to service their towns.
April 1994 HOWF received a $4 million grant from the W. Erie and Emma White Foundation which HOWF used half to construct an impatient care center. The remainder was put into an endowment with a portion of the interest used for maintaining and improving the administration and inpatient facilities. Services where expanded to within a 50-mile radius of Wichita Falls late of 1994. For a complete telling of the history of growth of the HOWF please visit howf.org/history-2.
Please continue to follow along with the Enterprise as we continue to explore the rich history of the HOWF.