November 12, 2013
The sign for Agape Hospice on Eatonton Street (Hwy 16 E) has been in place for two years now.
On October 7, 2011 there was a ground breaking for the Hospice with Mayor Standifer, Rep. Susan Holmes, and Development Authority Executive Director David Dyer participating along with several foreign investors. It was reported the business would be open in about a year.
Today the Hospice appears to look just about the same as it did a year ago.
In December 2012, “a number of community leaders, including commissioners-elect, city council persons, and others” met with Dr. Peter Lee of Doctor’s Hospice at the home of Susan Holmes. The “discussion” centered on the Hospice and its completion.
At that meeting the “community leaders wanted answers” and were told that there was a hold up with paperwork for the foreign investors. They were also told that there was not enough need to justify the staffing of the building. Rep. Holmes suggested that they meet again in March 2013 to plan a grand opening.
There has been no grand opening and there has been no activity on this site.
As of November 5, 2013, there is no current building permit and the property taxes in the amount of $890.96 have not been paid.
In July 2011, while the Development Authority of Jasper County was wooing Doctor’s Hospice, serious allegations had been filed against it. “In one case last year, a Fayetteville hospice organization faced having its permit revoked after Georgia regulators flagged the company for the state’s most serious violations— including two that either caused death or serious physical or emotional harm or posed an ”imminent and serious threat’’ to a patient.” “Doctor’s Hospice of Georgia, with more than 20 locations in the state, is under a state probationary period for a year after regulators found serious violations connected with its Rome and Fayetteville operations. The company agreed to pay a fine in a consent agreement, but the agreement did not revoke its permit, as had been threatened, and the company did not admit to violations in the most serious category.” See more at: http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2011/07/hospice-problems-raise-concerns-quality-oversight/#sthash.CEMFoU7e.dpuf
Putnam County has a hospice building in the same state of completion near Putnam General Hospital on Hwy 44. The hospice is also owned by the same company. There is also a similar scene with a partially completed hospice in Stockbridge, GA. The fact that they have so many locations sitting half built should be a red flag to the communities in which they are located.
Our community leaders may need to start realizing that it appears “coming soon” isn’t any time in the near future, if ever.