Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care is a community-based, nonprofit serving the Mid-Willamette Valley. It is our mission to provide compassionate care and support for individuals, families, and caregivers facing serious illness or end of life.
Over the years, Lumina has earned a reputation for our commitment to promoting dignity, respecting choices, easing suffering, and honoring the grieving process. We take pride in going above and beyond as both a trusted healthcare provider and a community resource.
History of Lumina
Benton Hospice Service, now Lumina, was started in 1980 as an all-volunteer organization. We are grateful to founders Betty Johnson, David Connell, David and Jean Kliewer, George Constantine, and the many early volunteers who joined them, for their pioneering vision for a community-based, nonprofit hospice that continues to guide us today.
Lumina has grown over the years while retaining the values that have served us since our founding. Today, our team consists of approximately 60 staff and more than 100 community-based volunteers. Each year we provide in-home hospice and palliative care for over 400 patients and support more than 1,500 community members with our grief and caregiver support programs. Our Community Resource Center, located in downtown Corvallis, is a caring environment where the community can access support groups, individual counseling, education, training, and other end-of-life resources.
Lumina is a founding member of the Oregon Nonprofit Hospice Alliance and is dedicated to preserving the nonprofit difference in end-of-life care.
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 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.
Today, our staff of 60 professionals and more than 100 community volunteers serve over 400 hospice and palliative care patients and their families annually, support over 1,500 community members with grief and caregiver support, and reach hundreds with our community education programs.
As Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care continues to grow, we remain committed to providing patients and families outstanding quality end-of-life care.