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St. Elizabeth Hospice first opened its doors in 1980 - and while much has changed over the past three decades, its mission has remained the same.

It all started in a small house on Eastern Avenue in Covington," said Diane Beebe, who has been a nurse with St. Elizabeth Hospice for the past 30 years. "We've expanded and changed locations since then, but we've always kept the same goal: First and foremost, we work with families to try to improve our patients' quality of life at the end of their life.

"We can't add time, but we can work to provide comfort at the end."

The program is celebrating that mission - to provide care and support for terminally ill patients and their families - and 30 years of service to the Northern Kentucky community today.

St. Elizabeth Hospice is hosting its 30-year anniversary event from 2-9 p.m. Saturday at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington. The day-long event offers activities for both children and adults and coincides with National Hospice Awareness Month, which is held each November.

"It's a great opportunity for us to celebrate what we've been doing for the past 30 years and to look to the future," said Janice Way, St. Elizabeth's assistant vice president of development.

Event highlights include a "kid-friendly" architectural design charrette, or short design session, from 2-4 p.m., which will allow children ages 5-18 an opportunity to design a special place they feel would help them or a loved one in their grief-healing process. The University of Kentucky College of Design and the American Institute of Architects is hosting the session.

Beginning at 2 p.m., daytime events for adults include a book discussion featuring "The Year of Magical Thinking," in partnership with libraries from eight Northern Kentucky counties.

Evening events include a recognition ceremony at 6:30 p.m. to honor the service of the St. Elizabeth Hospice staff and volunteers, as well as special announcements and awards. Beebe will be recognized at the ceremony, as well as long-time hospice nurses Patti Lee, Mary Lou Lubbers and Teri Clark; and certified nurse assistant Diana Leap.

A special gallery exhibit, "Imagine a Place," which features conceptual bereavement center schemes designed in collaboration with University of Kentucky College of Design students, will be open from 7-9 p.m.

The evening will close with a "Making Lemons into Lemonade" social reception, from 7-9 p.m., which will feature hors d'oeuvres and a custom-designed hard lemonade stand.

All events are free except the evening social reception, where a $30 donation is suggested. For more information, contact Janice Way at the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Foundation at 859-301-5426.

St. Elizabeth Hospice offers its services in patients' homes, nursing facilities and at its own inpatient center in Edgewood, the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./ U.S. Bank Foundation Hospice Center, which is a new 18,000-sqaure-foot facility. Additional services include bereavement support through its support groups for adults and children.

For more information about St. Elizabeth Hospice, visit or call 859-301-4600.