The hospice movement in Genesee County began in 1980. Carol Sinclair, R.N., a nursing administrator at Crestmont Medical Care Facility in Fenton, became interested in starting a local hospice program. Hospice of Fenton was formed, and accepted its first patient in 1981. Operating funds came from gifts, memorials, fundraisers, and grants from the Flint Area Health Foundation, a predecessor organization of the Community Foundation.
As services expanded, so did the organization, changing its name to Hospice for Communities in 1985. The volunteer program grew across several Genesee County communities, serving individuals with end-of-life care. As home care services expanded, another name change occurred and Community Home Health and Hospice was born.
In 2000, responding to a community need, the county's first residential, inpatient center for hospice care was constructed on Linden Road in Flint Township. The property was donated by George Mansour, and a dedicated group of volunteers provided services including cultivation of beautiful gardens. Avalon Hospice was recognized for its high quality, professional care and its generous spirit.
A local board of directors was guiding the organization throughout its growth and years of expansion. Presented with an opportunity to sell the building, the board approved and formed the Community Hospice Foundation. Today, the Compassionate Living Fund provides grants to improve the quality of life for individuals and families experiencing chronic illness, end of life transition or end of life events.
"We found it difficult to give away the money on our own and put it to good work in the compassionate care industry," said board member Donald Lada. "Our goal is to keep the money in Genesee County and support programs and services that help patients with terminal diseases. Through the Compassionate Living Fund, the Community Foundation has helped us achieve that goal."