1971: Members of Richland Lutheran Church envisioned a program that provided outreach to people currently not being served in the jails and nursing homes and for people dealing with dying and/or the loss of a loved one. A grant was secured from the American Lutheran Church American Missions Board to fund a part-time chaplain for three years and the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy began.
1972: The Chaplaincy was incorporated and Rev. John Moody was employed as the Program Director, and solitary staff person, for the first 3 years of its existence. Tri-Cities Chaplaincy was housed in the Richland Lutheran Church.
That first year a support group for the widowed was formed. "Project Concern" was started and continues today as Transitions for the Widowed. People came from the general community for pastoral counseling.
The first contract for Chaplaincy services was signed with the Fred English Center (now the Benton Franklin Juvenile Justice Center) and continues to this day.
1973: The formation of The Chaplaincy continued. More chaplains and volunteers were added to the staff as programs developed and new service agreements with the community were signed. Nursing home lay chaplains volunteer program was started as well as a religious education program for the handicapped. The Chaplaincy signed contracts to provide pastoral care at Kadlec Medical Center and Mid-Columbia Mental Health Center (now Lourdes Counseling Center). Seminars and workshops were offered to the community on faith and life topics.
1974: The Chaplaincy became a United Way agency and began receiving funding in 1975.
1978: The Chaplaincy continued broadening its programs and expanding its original types of services. Over the next several years, contracts to provide services were added at Kennewick General Hospital, Benton County Jail, Franklin County Jail, Elder Services and Tri-Cities Group Homes. The Board authorized preparation for two new ventures: Hospice and Clinical Pastoral Education.
1981: Hospice accepted its very first patient. It was an all-volunteer program at inception.
1984: Hospice became Medicare/Medicaid certified for Washington State and gained the ability to charge fees for services and bill insurance companies. The goal remained to never refuse care to anyone regardless of ability to pay. Fund raising was an ongoing effort that required not only United Way and the local churches and contracts but also grants, special community events, memorials and contributions.
The Chaplaincy began to be recognized as the lead organization concerned with grief following a death. The pastoral counseling program was focused on this service. New support groups were formed for people grieving after death by suicide and homicide. A grief support group for children was started.
1986 - 1991: Tri-Cities Chaplaincy had rapidly evolved from a movement to an established organization. The founding Director, Rev. Moody, left in 1986 and was succeeded by Geneva Davidson in 1986 and then by Corrine Dodge in 1989. In 1991, Tom Halazon joined the Chaplaincy as Executive Director.
1993: Locations changed from the initial shared church office to various locations. Just as the original founding of the Chaplaincy began with a dream, so also did the construction of the current facility that includes the Hospice House, Counseling Center and administrative offices.
This same year, a local realtor watched as his wife of twenty-five years succumbed to cancer in their Richland home. He cared for her, with his son, with help from the Chaplaincy Hospice program. After she died, he wondered how others could manage such a crisis and still maintain their lives. He began to dream of a facility to provide such care for dying patients and their families. In the summer of 1993 he hosted "the worlds largest garage sale" which provided the $5,000 seed money to begin the fund to build the Hospice House.
1994: Construction began on the new facility to house the Chaplaincy's current programs and a six bed Hospice House for in-patient care.
1996: The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice and Counseling Center opened in the fall of 1996. The facility was valued at more than 1.2 million dollars and was constructed for $675,000. This was possible due to the thousands of volunteers who worked 27 months and over 24,000 hours to build the Chaplaincy's 9,000 square foot mortgage-free facility. Countless financial and in-kind donations were made. The Hospice House is staffed at all times by a Registered Nurse and a Certified Nursing Assistant. Volunteers are a vital, irreplaceable part of the work force.
1997: The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice House and Counseling Center was selected to receive the nationally known Midland Community Spirit Award given in recognition every two years for outstanding volunteer efforts. The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy was placed in nomination by hospice volunteer, Glenna Hammer Moulthrop. The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy was then one of 55 nominees nationwide for the Spirit Award. The Midland Reporter-Telegram published the summaries of the three finalists and the residents used a system to vote by calling the newspaper. The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice House and Counseling Center was recognized as 1997's best example of unselfish volunteerism. The Executive Director, along with other representatives from the Chaplaincy, traveled to Texas October 7th to receive the special Midland Community Spirit Award.
1999: Planning for a four-bed addition to the Hospice House began this year with an estimated cost of $250,000. The project broke ground this same year.
2000: David Riddle joined The Chaplaincy staff as Executive Director. The agency has grown every year. There are now eight Chaplains on staff that includes twenty-seven registered nurses and certified nursing assistants, two counselors, two volunteer coordinators, three social workers, two patient care coordinators, a bereavement coordinator and the administrative staff.
2001-2003: The new addition to the Hospice House and Counseling Center was completed in 2001, and the Chaplaincy celebrated 20 years as a nationally accredited Clinical Pastoral Education training center. There are eight Chaplains on staff, thirty one registered nurses, seven licensed practical nurses and twelve certified nursing assistants, two counselors, two volunteer coordinators, seven credentialed and registered social workers, two patient care coordinators, a bereavement coordinator and the administrative staff.
Adapted from a History of the The Chaplaincy by Martha Jack, Ph.D.
2004-2006: The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy service area grew beyond the Tri-Cities area. The Tri-Cities Chaplaincy changed it's name to "The Chaplaincy" by applying for dba (doing business as) status. The legal name of the organization remains: Tri-Cities Chaplaincy.
2007 - 2008: The Chaplaincy continues to grow. For details on each year, please read the 2007 Annual Report. In 2007, Bette Cooper became the Executive Director and under the guidance of the Management Team, the values and mission became very clear. For accomplishments in 2008, please read the 2008 Annual Report. Also, at the 2008 "Lighting the Path" breakfast, Ms. Cooper spoke to the 1000 attendees about the values and "Our mission to serve others with impeccable spiritual, emotional and physical care."
2009 - 2010: Need for the services of The Chaplaincy continues to grow and we ended the year 2010 with 150 full and part-time staff. Land was purchased in the Spaulding Business Park in Richland, WA and construction started on a new building. The building expansion will be used for our community hospice staff, administration and chaplain services. Our Hospice House in Kennewick, WA will remain a GIP (General In-Patient) facility serving patients requiring a higher level of care.
2011: The Chaplaincy at Spaulding Park is completed in September. Administration, in-home hospice teams and chaplain services move in in October. Read about the grand opening here and view photos from the colorful ceremony here. The existing facility at 2108 W. Entiat continues as the Hospice House and is also home to our volunteer services, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), Spiritual Companioning and accounting. All adult bereavement services have been consolidated under one roof at 19th and Garfield in Kennewick along with Cork's Place. Need help finding us? Click here.