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(Houston) – Texas County Memorial Hospital Hospice of Care is celebrating 30 years of service to the community in 2013.

According to Hospice of Care director Courtney Owens, Hospice of Care was the first hospice to open in the South Central Ozarks when it opened in 1983.

Owens was born at TCMH and raised in Cabool. According to Owens, she and her staff—many of whom are also longtime residents of Texas County—take pride in providing hospice care to area patients.

Owens also says that TCMH Hospice of Care is the only area hospice with a medical director that is board certified in palliative care: Dr. Charlie Rasmussen, DO. Rasmussen is a full-time family medicine physician at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston. He has been practicing in the county since 2007.

Hospice of Care provides a holistic approach in caring for the patient’s physical, spiritual and mental needs. The Hospice staff also works closely with the patient’s family members and friends in creating a peaceful and high-quality experience for everyone as the patient nears the end of life.

Patients using the TCMH hospice service may have terminal illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other condition. Usually, hospice care is reserved for patients that have been evaluated by a physician and found to have six months or less to live. Most Hospice of Care patients receive care in their own home in Texas County or the surrounding area, but hospice care can also be provided in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The Hospice of Care staff includes Owens—the director and also a registered nurse; Rasmussen; an additional registered nurse; two licensed practical nurses; one social worker; one chaplain; one aide, and five volunteers.

Additional information about TCMH Hospice of Care is available by contacting them at, 417/967-1279.

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