Windber Hospice

Who We Are

A Tradition of Caring

About Hospice: Hospice has its roots in the Middle Ages when shelters called hostels/hospices were available to travelers and the sick and dying. The word took on new meaning when Dame Cicely Saunders founded the first modern day hospice in London in 1968. She believed that existing institutions geared towards curing people were not accommodating the special needs of the dying.

Windber Hospice is a home care program that assists family and caregivers who provide the daily care for a patient at home. Hospice is not a cure, nor do we give up hope. The goal is to enhance the quality of life for the patient.

Hospice cannot take the place of the family’s care. The Hospice Team will provide medical, physical, emotional and spiritual support.

Windber Hospice Milestones: Proud to be many firsts, Windber Hospice was the first Palliative Care Program in Pennsylvania. Windber Hospice was also the first rurally oriented Hospice in the Country.

  • July 1977 - The Planning Committee was formed to initiate a warm, homelike environment for the dying.
  • February 1978 - The Home Care Team began their first home visits to Hospice patients.
  • April 1980 - The name “Windber Hospital Hospice” was adopted.
  • September 1980 – The first Volunteer Training Course was held.
  • May 1981 – The original Palliative care Unit opened at Windber Hospital.
  • November 1985 – Windber Hospice became JCAH Certified
  • September 2000 – Present Hospice-Palliative Care Unit dedicated at Windber Medical Center
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What We Do

Windber Hospice was the first rural hospice within the United States. The program promotes the Hospice philosophy of care and provides services to all persons in Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and parts of Indiana and Westmoreland Counties. The program combines quality 24/7 clinical services, social and psychosocial support, an in-patient unit with a homelike environment and holistic treatments which include flower essences, music therapy and pet therapy.

Services Provided:

  • In-Home Visits: Nursing, Aide, Counselor & Volunteer Support
  • 24 hour direct-dial, live support
  • Dedicated Inpatient Palliative Care Unit
  • No fee to patient or family regardless of ability to pay
  • Primary care physician maintained
  • Pain & symptom control
  • Physical, Emotional, Spiritual & Bereavement Support
  • Integrative health support
  • Alternative medicine including: Flower Essences, Music Therapy, Pet Therapy and Acupuncture

Criteria for Service:

  • Individual has an illness with limited life expectancy
  • Individual no longer receiving curative treatment
  • Individual and family are willing to participate in Hospice Care


  • No one is denied services due to lack of insurance coverage or ability to pay
  • Hospice services are covered at 100% by Medicare and Medicaid

For Inquiries or Referrals:

  • Individuals, families, physicians or agencies may refer of seek information be calling 1-877-309-8682 or 1-814-467-3684
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Contact Information

Address Information
600 Somerset Ave
Windber, PA 15963
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00a-4:00p
Contact: Emma Strapple
Contact Title: Volunteer Director
Phone: 814.467.3643
Fax: 814.467.3644
Windber Hospice staff offices are located within the Palliative Care Unit at Windber Medical Center.
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