Founded 34 years ago in 1979, Benton Hospice Service is an independent, non-profit organization which is overseen by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.
The modern hospice movement began in 1967 when Cecily Saunders opened the first hospice in England. The idea of helping people die at home, in comfort and surrounded by family inspired Corvallis area healthcare professionals to begin a similar program here in Benton County.
Dave Kliewer, a survivor of a WWII Japanese POW camp, returned from the war to medical school at Harvard. He was a pioneer in the new specialty of oncology/hematology, but recognized early on that "science" could only be a small part of medical treatment, especially for the very ill, and that compassion was paramount. For many years he was a leader of the medical community of Corvallis, and, especially, in the arena of medical ethics. He was a civic leader as well, and for these works he was awarded the Oregon Medical Association Doctor Citizen of the Year. His experience, wisdom, and compassion were revered by his peers and his patients. He was the gentleman's gentleman. In retirement, he returned to Japan to meet with, and forgive, the commandant of his POW camp. He was the father of hospice in Benton County, urging others to join him in the development of Benton Hospice Service. His wife, Jean, was an inspiration as well, and a solid helm and anchor for Dave's work on the rough seas of medicine.
The first year of operation, Benton Hospice Service served less than 20 patients with a volunteer staff working out of donated office space. In 2001, Benton Hospice Service moved into its current office, built with donations from the community. Today we serve over 350 patients and their families annually with over 50 professional staff and more than 120 trained volunteers.
Benton Hospice Service is accredited by the Oregon Hospice Association, certified by Medicare, and licensed by the State of Oregon.
As Benton Hospice Service continues to grow, we remain committed to providing patients and families outstanding quality end-of-life care.