Memorial Tree Planting Candlelighting Ceremony

Mission & Philosophy Statements
St. Alexius Hospice exists to provide professional services to terminally ill patients and their families in the Bismarck/Mandan area and surrounding communities.

St. Alexius Hospice believes that life must be nurtured from beginning to end, regardless of lifestyle, race, color, creed, or status.

St. Alexius Hospice has the responsibility to foster each human being's right to life and the decisions regarding quality of life and dying with dignity in an environment of their choice.

St. Alexius Hospice recognizes that each individual is a member of a family and that these relationships are central to planning hospice care.

St. Alexius Hospice believes that all members of the health care team are to be treated with dignity, respect, and support.

Hospice is a special kind of care designed to provide sensitivity and support for people in the final phases of a terminal illness. Hospice enables patients to carry on an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality at home or in a home-likesetting. 

Caring for the dying person at home can be overwhelming when faced alone. Hospice eases the burden by providing services and education to the patient and family that include:

  • Pain control
  • Physical care
  • Symptom management
  • Spiritual and emotional support

St. Alexius Hospice Provides:

  • Nurses who are specially trained to provide pain and symptom management, education and guidance, coordinate patient care with the primary physician and hospice Medical Director.
  • Certified Nurse Assistants to assist patients and caregivers with personal care, such as bathing, hair and skin care and homemaking services.
  • Social Workers to assist in dealing with emotional issues and connecting with additional community resources.
  • A Chaplain to provide spiritual guidance when requested. The chaplain will also participate in grief counseling and bereavement services.
  • Volunteers who offer companionship and additional support to patients and their families.

Additional services provided under the hospice program:

  • Short-term in-patient and respite care
  • Bereavement services
  • Medications for pain relief and symptom management
  • Physical, occupational and speech-language therapy
  • Medical supplies, equipment and appliances
  • Dietary, Pharmacy consultation

Who pays for hospice care?
Studies have shown hospice care to be no more costly, and frequently less expensive, than conventional care during the last six months of life. This is because less high-cost technology is used and family, friends and volunteers provide much of the day-to-day care at home. Hospice care is a covered benefit under most private insurance plans. In addition, hospice is a covered Medicare benefit and in some states is a covered Medicaid benefit. While each hospice has its own policies concerning payment for care, it is a principle of hospice to offer services based upon need, rather than the ability to pay.

Who is eligible?
A patient may be admitted to Hospice when he/she meets the following criteria:

  1. A diagnosis of terminal illness.
  2. Treatment program is palliative rather than curative. Patient's treatment plan is seeking comfort measures rather than cure.
  3. Consent from primary physician.
  4. Consent from the patient and family.
  5. The patient should have a family member or designated person who is mainly responsible for the care at home.
  6. The patient has an identified physician who will assume direct supervision of the patient's medical care in conjunction with the Hospice Medical Director.


  • Tree Planting Ceremony - St. Alexius Home Care and Hospice's tree planting ceremonies are a time for families to remember their loved ones. Patients are recognized and their lives celebrated during this touching service. Families have the chance to write a note to their loved one and plant it with the tree. The note symbolizes nourishment for the tree. An open house and fellowship follow the ceremonies. Tree plantings take place in Bismarck, New Salem and Garrison.
  • Home Care & Hospice Month - November is National Home Care and Hospice Month. Hospices across the country reach out to raise awareness about important care issues for people coping with life-limiting illness. St. Alexius’ Hospice celebrates the beginning of the month with a flag raising ceremony.
  • Flag Raising – Every November 1, St. Alexius’ hospice staff gathers to raise a flag in observance of National Hospice Month. The community is encouraged to attend the flag raising ceremony at the South Broadway entrance to the Medical Center. The flag serves as a reminder of the efforts of hospice clinical and support staff, volunteers, family caregivers, physicians, pharmacists, social workers and clergy who tend to the terminally ill with care and compassion. The flag is flown the entire month in remembrance of those who have died in hospice care.
  • Finding Hope through the Holidays - This bereavement support offering is held for community members to learn healthy ways to cope during the stress of the holiday season. The event is facilitated by the hospice team.
  • Wreath Auction - Christmas wreaths, holiday arrangements and a variety of seasonal items are sold by silent auction in Boniface Auditorium. All proceeds go to assist hospice patients and families. This event is open to the public.

If you would like more information about hospice events or to donate funds, please contact St. Alexius Home Care & Hospice at (701) 530-4500 or (800) 223-1977.


  • Volunteers - Volunteers are an important part of the Hospice program. Anyone who is willing to share his or her time, energy, compassion and talent to enrich their own life and life of the patient can become a volunteer. Volunteers go through a training program to ensure they are acquainted with the Hospice program and team approach. Volunteers have opportunities throughout the year for additional training and education. Initial and ongoing education exposes the volunteer to death, dying, grief and loss issues; the hospice philosophy; and the psychological and social issues families deal with in the care of their dying loved one.

    Volunteers help with activities such as:

    1. Companionship
    2. Respite care (relieving family members from the demands of caring for loved ones)
    3. Errands
    4. Administrative support
    5. Weekly flower delivery
    6. Bereavement support

St. Alexius Hospice asks that volunteers commit to serve a minimum of two times per month for a minimum of one year. Volunteers can choose their schedules based on their assignment.

For more information on becoming a hospice volunteer, please call (701)530-4500 or (800) 223-1977.


  • Tuck-In - St. Alexius’ hospice volunteers call patients and families at the end of the week, as the weekend approaches. The goal of the program is to make sure patients have all the medication and supplies they need to “tuck them in” for the weekend.  Volunteers provide a supportive relationship with patients and families.

Opportunities to support hospice 
Although hospice services are often covered by insurance, such payments rarely cover the full cost of care. Hospices must therefore rely to a great extent on grants and community support.