Missoula family donates land to Partners foundation for regional end-of-life center
A Missoula nonprofit focused on providing hospice care received a welcome boost on Tuesday when it received 5 acres of land, where it plans to build western Montana's first end-of-life center.
The donation, made to the Partners Hope Foundation by philanthropist Terry Payne and family, includes property off Union Pacific Street just west of North Reserve.
Payne also donated the library property to the City of Missoula in 2019 for future redevelopment.
“We hope that having this (hospice) property enables the foundation to quickly raise the funds necessary to build the center, so it can be used for the benefit of the Missoula community and the entire Western Montana region,” said Terry Payne, who heads PayneWest Insurance.
Founded in 2017, the Partners Hope Foundation is working to provide a dedicated facility where individuals who are dying may receive care. The center will also provide family members with end-of-life education.
Nancy Pickhardt, board president of the Partners Hope Foundation, said the organization is working to develop new community partnerships and has established a collaborative agreement with Partners In Home Care.
The latter will serve as the new facility's licensed hospice provider.
“As we develop the end-of-life center, we look forward to collaborating with additional community partners,” said Pickhardt. “We aim to offer a variety of holistic services for people nearing end of life and their loved ones — and for all of us to learn about and honor this transforming stage of life.”
Once built, the facility will represent western Montana’s only end-of-life center and will serve a six-county region surrounding Missoula. It will also offer inpatient, residential and respite hospice care, along with educational and support services for community members.
Betsy Wackernagel Bach, the foundation's interim executive director, praised the Payne family for its donation.
“Their gift ensures that community members who are dying will have a place to receive the highest quality care and support when care at home or elsewhere is not possible,” she said.
Several years ago, Payne also entered into an agreement with the Missoula Public Library to exchange the 400 block of East Main, where the new library now sits, for the 300 block of East Main, where the old library sits.
The gift enabled the library to remain open during construction. The old library will eventually be redeveloped by the city and a selected developer into a mix-use project, though the final product has yet to be determined.