Hartwin House

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Hartwin House is a proposed 12-16 bed inpatient hospice house in Blair County as a function of patient preference, family needs and the lack of this level of care in our area.  Hartwin House will provide individual care plans alongside patients and their families through an inter-disciplinary care team to manage illness and honor patients’ wishes at the end of life.

Hartwin House will be supported by the Hartwin Foundation established at the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation.  The Hartwin House will provide inpatient hospice care at all four levels of hospice care including routine hospice care, respite level of care, generalized inpatient care and continuous care.

The Hartwin Foundation at the CPCF will support the launch of this community project and will be the avenue for donors to give to this project in the planning and funding phase. 

The Hartwin House will operate as a hybrid model mission-drive organization.

Mail Donations to Hartwin Foundation at Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation:
1330 11th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601

Hartwin House Announced

Mark and Tommi Burchfield

Community and media representatives attended the announcement of Hartwin House on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at the Wingate by Wyndham in Altoona. Tommi Burchfield, Founder and Advisory Council member, shared the following with guests and welcome all who read this message to learn more about Hartwin House and how you can be part of this very exciting project.

This journey started for me a little over three years ago when two very special people to me on this earth became sick and passed away. That experience has led me to my work in hospice and ultimately to be in front of you all this afternoon.

I read an article not too long ago that says we as humans don’t get to decide what happens to us in this life. There are circumstances that are sometimes beyond our control especially when it comes to grief and loss. The article went on to explain that as a part of healing what we can do is use those circumstances to fuel a passion and purpose within us to value and enjoy life and that for me is exactly what has happened. There is no greater reminder about the value of life than when you work daily with those who may not have a lot of it left.

I have become so passionate about working with families and patients who are facing this extremely difficult time and am motivated to educate and empower them to make their choices and wishes known and more importantly make sure that whatever choices patients and families make that they are honored and respected. I have come to realize that this is my life’s purpose.

Tommi Burchfield sharing comments at Hartwin House Announcement

Hospice care provides a much needed support for families during that time. Right now in our community, patients are provided hospice care and support in three settings. At home, in a nursing facility or in a hospital setting. While many times that meets all of the patients and family’s needs, there are many other circumstances and times that none of those settings fit a patients or family’s needs and that is the work that we are here today to talk about.

Over the past year, work has been done to research and start the exploratory phase of opening an inpatient facility solely dedicated to hospice services in Blair County. Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many industry and community leaders, some of who are here today, to discuss this project and gather feedback and gauge interest.

Today, I am excited to announce that planning is officially underway in Blair County for an additional setting for hospice care to be provided. The Hartwin House is a proposed 12-16 bed inpatient hospice house in Blair County as a function of patient preference, family needs and the current lack of this level of care in the area. The Hartwin Foundation has been established and will be administered by the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation for the launch of this project and will be avenue for donors to give during the planning and development phase.

The Hartwin House will operate as a hybrid model mission-driven organization and will be a community project that engages healthcare providers such as acute-care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, physicians and hospice agencies to come together for patients and families at the end of life.

An Advisory Council has been formed to continue the project planning and development with leaders in long term care, hospice care, non-profit administration and experts in Medicare regulations.

Tommi Burchfield unveiling Hartwin House logo

Advisory Council members thus far include:

Jodi Cessna, Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation- ex, officio member
Laurie Dean, AseraCare Hospice
Scott Greene, Grane Hospice
Lori Pfister, Quality Aging Solutions
Susan Romanini, RN, Hospice Volunteer
Pat Savage, Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries

There are many others who have committed to helping move this project forward and sharing their time and talents to make this a success.

The cost of the project is estimated to be a total value of $ 4-5 million dollars. Community investment in the capital project of building the facility has been discussed and will cost approximately $ 2-2.5 million dollars. Our goal for donors and community support is to raise the initial $2 million dollars needed to start the project and to support operating expenses and initial costs.

While it is going to take a full community effort, I am confident that we will not only meet but exceed our goal to provide this specialized care to Blair County Residents.

I am so incredibly humbled and honored to be here today. I want to thank everyone who has supported me thus far in this endeavor and shared so openly about their experiences with hospice care and end of life services. The term Hartwin is German and means brave friend. I know that this project has been inspired not by me but by my brave friends who have given me my life’s purpose. It is my hope that with this purpose of serving of others in mind that the Hartwin House can provide our friends and neighbors the love and care that is much deserved and greatly needed at the end of life.

Thank you!