Hospice program founder plans expansion to Albert Lea area

ALBERT LEA — A Freeborn County native who started one of the largest hospice programs in Minnesota has expanded it to serve the Albert Lea area.

Heath Bartness, chief operating officer of St. Croix Hospice, said since 2008 the hospice program has expanded to serve Rochester, Minnetonka, St. Cloud and almost 50 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

“By expanding to serve the Albert Lea area, we will continue to reach out to patients that are currently not being cared for,” Bartness said.

The St. Croix Hospice team manages and brings comfort care to end-stage diseases wherever a patient considers homes. The team provides nursing, music therapy, massage therapy, social work, spiritual care, volunteers, bereavement care and nurse practitioner and physician services.

“It is an honor to be serving the hometown community that I was born and raised in,” Bartness said.

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