Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
As a public service, public health stories are free to Central Texans during the coronavirus crisis. Please support our local journalists by subscribing today. Call 512-392-2458.
Article Image Alt Text

VITAS Healthcare, opened its first office in San Marcos on Dec. 19 with a San Marcos Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. Photo courtesy of  VITAS

VITAS Healthcare expands services to San Marcos

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

VITAS Healthcare, the nation's leading provider of end-of-life care, celebrated the opening of its new office in San Marcos with a ribbon cutting ceremony held on Thursday, Dec. 19. The opening marks the company’s second office in the greater San Antonio region.

Serving the region for 25 years, VITAS provides quality, compassionate care to terminally ill patients throughout 16 counties in south Central Texas, from Frio and Bandera to Williamson and Caldwell. In addition, patients whose symptoms cannot be managed at home may receive comfort-focused care at the VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit at Methodist Healthcare System in San Antonio.

Healthcare professionals may contact the San Marcos office at 1-800-93-VITAS for referral information or download the VITAS referral mobile app for one-touch referrals, VITAS locations and hospice eligibility guidelines.

VITAS core services available for hospice-appropriate patients:

  • Admissions personnel available 24 hours a day, 7 days awekk and 365 days a year — at the convenience of the family or upon the request of the physician;
  • Physical, emotional and spiritual care provided by a hospice team that visits the patient at home, in their nursing home or assisted living community, an average of five or more times per week;
  • 24/7 access to trained clinicians who can dispatch a team member to the home when necessary;
  • Continuous care at home for up to 24 hours when necessary;
  • Inpatient care for aggressive management of acute symptoms that cannot be managed at home.

Additional therapies and patient-focused programs available to patients in the San Antonio-San Marcos area:

  • Lavender Touch: A gentle hand massage administered by trained volunteers that offers added comfort, support, and one-on-one attention,
  • Music Memories: A visit led by a certified music therapist to assess the strengths and needs of the patient through music;
  • Paw Pals: Loving animals and their owners who volunteer to visit patients to provide comfort;
  •  Life Bio: A written, audio or video biography of a hospice patient, provided by specially trained volunteers
  • VITAS also has an award-winning Veterans Program.

 “It is our honor to continue to serve the community and expand our services to meet its’ growing needs,” said Joseph Brickner, general manager of VITAS in San Antonio. “Our goal is to improve access to hospice and palliative care services for the San Antonio community, so patients and caregivers have the comprehensive, compassionate support they deserve at the end of life.”

Every interdisciplinary VITAS team includes a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, volunteer and bereavement expert who attend to the medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

Since volunteers serve as part of the hospice team, VITAS is hosting a volunteer fair on Thursday, Jan. 30, to recruit individuals who can fill the gap between loved ones and professional caregivers. VITAS offers opportunities that allow volunteers to choose a role in which they are comfortable and fulfilled including patient care, administrative assistance, music and art enrichment, Paw Pals pet visits and more. Visit for details and to apply.

Established in 1978, VITAS Healthcare is a pioneer and leader in the American hospice movement. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, VITAS operates 48 hospice programs in 14 states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin — and the District of Columbia. VITAS employs 12,388 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily, primarily in the patients’ homes, and also in the company’s 28 inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities for the elderly. At the conclusion of the third quarter of 2019, VITAS reported an average daily census of 19,137. 

For more information about VITAS services and employment opportunities, visit their website.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666