Our History

Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care was founded in 1980 as Benton Hospice Service. Lumina is an independent, non-profit organization which is overseen by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.

The modern hospice movement began in 1967 when Cecily Saunders opened the first hospice in England. The idea of helping people die at home, in comfort and surrounded by family inspired Corvallis area healthcare professionals to begin a similar program here in Benton County.

Dave Kliewer, a survivor of a WWII Japanese POW camp, returned from the war to medical school at Harvard. He was a pioneer in the new specialty of oncology/hematology, but recognized early on that "science" could only be a small part of medical treatment, especially for the very ill, and that compassion was paramount. For many years he was a leader of the medical community of Corvallis, and, especially, in the arena of medical ethics. He was a civic leader as well, and for these works he was awarded the Oregon Medical Association Doctor Citizen of the Year.  His experience, wisdom, and compassion were revered by his peers and his patients. In retirement, he returned to Japan to meet with, and forgive, the commandant of his POW camp. He was the father of hospice in Benton County, urging others to join him in the development of Benton Hospice Service, now known as Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care.  His wife, Jean, was an inspiration as well, and a solid helm and anchor for Dave's work on the rough seas of medicine.

The first year of operation, Benton Hospice Service, now known as Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care, served less than 20 patients with a volunteer staff working out of donated office space. In 2001, Lumina moved into an office on Professional Drive, built with donations from the community. Palliative Care services were introduced in 2016. In August 2019, Lumina moved into its current office building today in downtown Corvallis, thanks to generous donations from the community. This building houses Lumina's Resource Center, a public educational center for navigating end-of-life. We serve over 400 hospice and palliative care patients and their families annually with over 50 professional staff and more than 120 trained volunteers.

As Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care continues to grow, we remain committed to providing patients and families outstanding quality end-of-life care.

Our History

Dr. David and Jean Kliewer, avid bicycle riders