Mercy House of Chambersburg has received a generous major contribution from Dr. W. David Kent to support its mission of providing compassionate end-of-life care.
Gail Reeder, president of the Mercy House board of directors, said that Kent, a retired palliative care and hospice physician and current pastor of West Side Brethren in Christ Church, gave the gift in memory of his parents. Helen Kent was an RN who worked at the Chambersburg Hospital and as a school nurse in Shippensburg for many years, and James Kent, who served in the Marines during World War II, delivered milk door-to-door and worked at the Shippensburg True Value.
Recalling that his parents taught their children to be caring and compassionate, and that his mother had volunteered to sit with dying patients at Penn Hall, Kent was inspired in his career first as a family physician and later as a palliative care specialist to emulate the values he learned at home.
“Having encountered and assisted many patients and families while engaged in practicing palliative and hospice medicine, I realized there was a real need for this type of service and care in Franklin County. Mercy House, the only facility of this nature in the Chambersburg area, fulfills this need, said Kent. “Having been blessed many times over while practicing medicine, it is only natural that I would want to share this blessing. In addition, it is my intention to challenge and encourage others who are financially able to contribute to this worthy project.”
Noting that his donation includes a bequest, Kent stated further, “It is inevitable that our lives here on earth will end. However, the work of Mercy House will never end. By providing a legacy gift to the organization, it is a comfort to know that the project will continue, and patients and families will receive the care they need long after my life is over.”
Mercy House is a residential end-of-life facility where terminally ill individuals will receive round-the-clock compassionate care. Partnering with local hospice agencies who will direct case management, Mercy House staff and volunteers will provide supportive care to those unable to remain at home. Adhering to PA personal care home requirements, Mercy House is the first facility in Franklin County offering this type of residential care for dying patients.
“We are privileged and humbled to receive this donation that honors James and Helen Kent, and thrilled that Dr. David Kent has chosen to invest in the future of Mercy House and its mission,” said Reeder as she announced the significant contribution.
To learn more about Mercy House or to make a charitable gift, visit www.mercyhouseofchambersburg.org/make-a-gift.