Harold W. & Ruth Shaffer Mountain Hospice Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Designated                        DATE ESTABLISHED:  November 26, 1997 

PURPOSE:  To provide annual donations for Mountain Hospice, Inc.

DISTRIBUTION:  Upon the recommendation of the Grants Committee and approval by the Board of Directors of TCF. 

VARIANCE POWER:  If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund.

FUNDING:  $ 20,000.00 initial donation from Mr. and Mrs. Harold W. Shaffer of Philippi in 1997. 

BACKGROUND:  The word hospice originated in medieval times when it was used to describe a place of shelter for weary or sick travelers.  The term was first applied to specialized care for the terminally ill in 1967 when Dr. Cicely Saunders established St. Christopher’s Hospice in London.  Today, the term hospice refers to compassionate care of the terminally ill in the patients’ homes, nursing or personal care homes, hospitals, or other entities the patients call home.  Hospice is compassionate, professional care that centers on treating the patient rather than their disease.  Nurses, social workers, aids, clergy and volunteers assist the patient to live a life as comfortably, as dignified, and as completely as possible.

Mountain Hospice, Inc. began serving Barbour County in 1993 after an interest group formed the Hospice of Barbour County.  The name was changed to Mountain Hospice, Inc. when its scope of services spread to include Randolph County in November 1994.  In 1995 the group again expanded to include the Tucker County area.  At that time it was being served by Hospice of Cheat River, now also known as Mountain Hospice, Inc.

Hospice services are paid by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance companies but Hospice accepts patients based upon their needs, not their insurance.  Reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and insurance covers approximately 85% of costs.  The company relies on fundraisers, donations, and gifts and endowments (such as this fund established by Mr. and Mrs. Shaffer) to make up the difference.

“Mountain Hospice is growing, but we strive to keep that small town feeling.  Each one of our patients and their families and loved ones are very special to us” said Hospice Director Patricia Arnett.  “We are grateful for the generosity of this gift of endowment and are pleased to have such community support.  We feel this shows that working together as a community, we are neighbor helping neighbor.”  The board of director President for Mountain Hospice, Rev. Jay Sullivan, states “We appreciate this great and generous gift.  We acknowledge their commitment to Mountain Hospice, and we will strive to do as much as we can to serve the special needs of the terminally ill in this community.”

Mrs. Shaffer died June 20, 2006.


In addition to the fund for Mountain Hospice, Inc., in 1993 Mr. and Mrs. Shaffer provided funding for the Herbert W. Clarkson Scholarship Fund in honor of Mrs. Shaffer’s uncle.  At the same time as they established the Mountain Hospice Fund, they also established the Harold W. and Ruth F. Shaffer Scholarship Fund.