History

In September 2007, ten people gathered to discuss the possibility of establishing a hospice house in the New River Valley.

In fall 2008 Dr. Tina Smusz suggested the name Sojourn Center. Sojourn … a temporary stay, ….. an interlude in a journey.

In 2009 Sojourn Center became a corporation.

In June 2010 Sojourn Center received 501(c)3 non-profit status from the IRS.

An extensive business plan was developed. Sojourn Center received 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the IRS in June 2010.

Wayne Thomas, graphics designer, created the Sojourn Center logo with green mountains and a flowing stream in January 2011. In spring 2011 Wes Baker with Trench Interactive was hired to create a website.

Presentations were made to various groups in the NRV community explaining the mission and vision of Sojourn Center as well as topics related to hospice and end-of-life care.

In May 2011 Sojourn Center held a Strategic Planning Workshop facilitated by Andy Morikawa with 22 community members and professionals and completed a strategic planning document.

In 2011 Sojourn Center formed a relationship with Tom Mullinax, architect/owner of Hospice Design Resources.

Grants of over $30,000 were received by July 2011 from Luther Memorial Lutheran Church and Blacksburg Presbyterian Church. The Curtis Group, a fundraising consultant, was hired to assess the support for Sojourn Center in the New River Valley and their report was received in February 2012.

In 2012 the board focused on forming partnerships with NRV entities and visited 70 community members and hospice leaders including legislators, Virginia Tech leaders, medical personnel, community leaders and Warm Hearth. Members of the board also visited 11 residential hospice houses in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The Sojourn Center board agreed in spring 2012 that the Assisted Living Facility model for a hospice facility would exclude critical patients and treatments and that our vision was for a licensed hospice in-patient facility.

Sojourn Center received a grant from a private donor for the services of Rob Glenn, owner, RG Research.

In 2013 board members met with representatives from the Virginia Department of Health in Richmond to clarify state regulations. A financial Pro Forma was completed by Virginia Tech business school members of the board. Our 2013 focus included spreading the word and strengthening the board.

Board member, Dr. Harry McCoy, received the HCA Frist Humanitarian National Award and donated the $10,000 prize to Sojourn Center in 2013.

Visits with directors/representatives of the area hospice agencies, meetings with legislators and connecting with experts in hospice house services including Tim Rogers, President CEO, Association of Home Care and Hospice of North Carolina, Mary Bartlett, CFO of 3HC in Goldsboro, NC and Andrew Reed with MultiView Systems and a return visit to the Virginia Department of Health was the focus of 2014.

In 2015 extended conference calls and visits with leaders from the Crystal Coast Hospice House in Newport, NC were held. Larry Robertson, CEO of HospiceCare in West Virginia met with us regarding issues related to hospice house operations and joined us in trying to establish a partnership with regional hospice agency that might operate Sojourn Center.

After numerous visits and research with an area hospice agency’s leadership team, a nonbinding Letter of Intent was signed in October 2015 to begin more serious discussion about partnering with them as the Sojourn Center hospice agency operator.

In November 2015 a meeting was held with several board representatives and Roger Woody about the possibility of him donating 27 acres of land within the Blacksburg town limits to Sojourn Center.

In May 2015 Draper Aden Engineering Associates provided $4,500 of pro bono services to conduct a Phase 1 Environmental Study Assessment on the Woody property and landscape architect, Blaine Keesee, developed land bubble diagrams. David White of Civilogistix in Atlanta donated engineering services to begin discussion on the possible land development for Sojourn Center. Board members met with Town of Blacksburg zoning administrators.

In 2016, we continued with partnering efforts for an operator, continuing the land donation relationship, appointing an ad hoc Steering Committee regarding capital campaign planning and continued building of our board representatives.

April 2017 an agreement with Roger Woody was signed with the intent of the closing the land donation by May 22, 2017.

On May 22, 2017, the closing of the donation of 27 acres of land from Roger Woody of Christiansburg to Sojourn Center took place at the office of attorney Arthur Shaheen.

On May 25, 2017 Sojourn Center representatives met with 35 neighbors of the Woody property to tell them about the goals and mission of Sojourn Center and plans to date.