Brian’s House hospice facility now open to patients
Gallery: Brian’s House to reopen in Hampton Township
HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, MI — It has been nearly five years since Brian’s House, the beloved hospice facility, closed its doors to patients.
But following years of fundraising and countless hours of volunteering, it’s officially back to life.
Brian’s House is now open to patients as of Monday, June 18. After Compassus, its hospice provider, backed out due to regulatory and financial reasons, the facility at 664 W. Nebobish Road in Bay County’s Hampton Township is operating as a social home, as opposed to an inpatient hospice home.
Patients who are prescribed hospice care by their doctors can choose their care provider and then opt to spend their final days at Brian’s House, as opposed to in a nursing home or in their own residence.
Brian’s House is still going to offer 24-hour care and have a full-time registered nurse on staff. Brian’s House staff can administer hospice medication, but under the guidance of the patient’s prescribed provider.
The facility will be similar to Toni and Trish House in Auburn, which gives terminally ill patients a home-like setting while under independent hospice care.
Delilah Maxwell, a founding member of the community group, Save Brian’s House, said no patients were brought in on Monday, but the facility is ready for them.
“It has been a long, long journey,” she said. “We’re just thrilled to finally be open.”
Brian’s House opened in 1996 in memory of former Bay City actor Brian Straub, a 1977 Bay City Western High School graduate who died from AIDS on Nov. 22, 1991.
The original facility was a 6-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 2,500-square-foot prefabricated home in Essexville on Hamilton Road between Knight and Jones roads. At the time, about $80,000 for construction costs was donated to build the home. By January 1998, Brian’s House had served 200 clients.
Demand for Brian’s House grew over the years, and in April 2006, the service moved to a new 12-bed, $4 million facility on McLaren Bay Region’s West Campus. In 2009, a $1.2 million addition to the south side of the building added seven additional beds.
McLaren officials in September 2012 closed the hospice, saying the cost of operating it exceeded reimbursements within new healthcare regulations.