Home Health and Hospice Care, Inc. – 3HC – was founded in July 1981, as Mount Olive Home Health in Mount Olive, North Carolina. In the years since, the private, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit health care company has grown into one of the largest of its kind in North Carolina and is recognized nationwide as a leader in the home care industry.
In its early days, the company served clients in parts of Wayne and Duplin counties with a professional staff of two, a part-time registered nurse and a part-time physical therapist. By 1982, the company’s market included all of Wayne, Duplin, and Lenoir counties, with a second office in Kinston, North Carolina. The company moved its Mount Olive clinical office to Goldsboro in June 1983. In 1984, it changed its name to Home Health and Hospice Care, Inc. and, in 1989, established its corporate headquarters in Goldsboro where it now remains.
The company quickly earned a reputation for quality and compassionate care. It often served areas that no other company would pursue, and in several instances, such as rural Jones County, 3HC was requested by County Commissioners, and other community leaders, to provide home care for their citizens.
As the company grew, so did the scope of its services. Company directors and managers were committed to the mission of home health care as a cost-effective and emotionally satisfying service. They believed that their patients, the great majority of them 55 and older, healed and thrived better in the comfort of familiar surroundings following hospital or clinical procedures. The company’s philosophy is embodied in its motto, “Compassionate Care Is Our Calling”.
Its home care services began, in 1981, with the basics: skilled nursing, physical therapy, and aide services. It adopted speech pathology next and then occupational therapy and medical social work. It offered Community Alternative Program/Mental Retardation and Community Alternative Program/Development Disability service in 1983. 3HC began offering hospice services in 1984. At the end of 1991, 3HC added private duty nursing services, and became JCAHO (Joint Committee for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredited. In 1999, 3HC moved to CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Partner).
The company began to invest in its own buildings in 1986 in Kinston. It built its current Corporate Headquarters in Goldsboro in 1989, and a new Kinston office in 1991, and another in Clinton in 1993. During its 10th anniversary year, 3HC expanded its operations and opened offices in Johnston, Wilson, Jones, and Pitt County. The agency has way stations in Cumberland, Harnett, and Wake County. The Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro was also constructed in 1995 and expanded in 1997. On May 2, 2011, the Kitty Askins Hospice Center doubled its size and service again to 24 beds with the opening of the new SECU House at Kitty Askins Hospice Center.
In 2007, 3HC’s market included 16 counties in the heart of eastern North Carolina, from Jones County near the coast to the Research Triangle.
3HC continued to develop new services in its second decade, adding a telephone alert system, psychiatric nursing, OB/GYN nursing, industrial health program, HIV case management, home infusion, and CAP/AIDS program.
The measure of its first years was recorded in the company’s patient data. In 1981, after two months of operation, the company’s staff had made 99 home visits. The figures for the fiscal year ending 2010 were:
- 101,381 home health visits
- 644,469 hours of service
- 61,512 days of hospice care
- 2,435 in-patient days of acute care at Kitty Askins Hospice Center
- 1,865,792 total miles driven
As 3HC entered the 21st Century, its Board envisioned ambitious goals. The agency enhanced its reputation as a leader in comprehensive hospice care. For example, it expanded, in 2000, its bereavement services with its Wings! Camp for Children and work with the Angel Foundation for adults. 3HC continued to emphasize the quality of its care, achieving accreditation with commendation in 1995 and imposing a comprehensive Compliance Plan in 1999. It implemented in 2001, a plan to deal with the growing, national nursing shortage and a Development Program to increase charitable contributions.
Starting in 1997, new technologies were implemented and continue to be employed to enhance the quality of care offered to patients. For example, laptops, Health Buddy telehealth and monitoring, VitalStim, and PT/INR allow early intervention to health-threatening conditions. Anodyne Therapy, or infrared therapy, is 3HC’s latest offering to the communities we serve. In 2005, 3HC received the prestigious Transformational Change Leader Award from The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME), formerly known as Medical Review of North Carolina. The award was the result of 3HC’s implementation of cutting edge technologies, innovative means of communication, and outstanding measurable outcomes of patient care.
From a staff of three in 1981, the company currently employs over 400 professionals in seven clinical offices, the Kitty Askins Hospice Center, the Crystal Coast Hospice House, and the corporate office.
Dean Lee, president of 3HC, states, “Success for 3HC over the next 25 years will continue to focus on the needs of our patients and the community. Continuous improvement in quality of care is the driving force to meet those needs. Through the great people of 3HC and the use of innovative technology and techniques, we will continue to be the leader in the home health and hospice services provided to the citizens of eastern North Carolina.”