The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care

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The opening of the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in December 2017 fulfills a vision for a place that supports the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of patients with life-limiting illness.

In partnership with hospice and nursing organizations throughout the region, the Jack Byrne Center closes a gap in our health system, making personalized care, community programming, and clinical research and education opportunities available within a state-of-the-art, homelike environment. Learn more about the Jack Byrne Center below.

Construction of the Jack Byrne Center has been made possible by the generous support of the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, joined by hundreds of other contributors.

For inquiries regarding patient care, please contact the Jack Byrne Center directly.

You can help

The Jack Byrne Center continues to rely on philanthropic support for many of its special programs and services for patients and families.

Giving options

To discuss additional giving opportunities

Contact Dorothy Behlen Heinrichs at 603-653-0752 or via email,

Support for caregivers

The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care is designed architecturally and programmatically to support patients and families. While the Center will include inpatient beds for those whose medical needs are too complex to be managed at home, it will also provide a variety of programs and services to support families who are caring for loved ones at home. Those offerings include the following:

  • Skills training for lay caregivers
  • Consults with palliative and hospice care professionals as needed
  • Care coordination
  • Therapeutic offerings, such as music and art for patients and lay caregivers
  • Support groups for managing stress, grief, and bereavement

The building. Attending to every space, every person

The Center's physical design is informed by the best palliative and hospice facilities in the U.S. and abroad. With an abundance of natural light and wood and stone accents, every space is designed to comfort and nurture patients, families, staff, and volunteers. The main features include the following:

  • 12 spacious inpatient rooms where patients who require highly specialized care will receive the most advanced pain and symptom management in a home-like setting. Comfortable furnishings, natural light and private outdoor decks, accessible even for patients who cannot leave their beds, will create a home-like environment.
  • Respite areas for families, including sun rooms, gardens, a chapel, a family kitchen and dining area, children's play spaces, and showers will provide opportunities for quiet reflection, consultation, and refreshment while staying nearby loved ones.
  • Multi-disciplinary workspaces and respite areas for staff will facilitate teamwork, effective communication, and resiliency among the many different professionals interacting with patients and families.
  • Spaces to create and to enjoy art, music, and food will nourish the minds and bodies of patients, families, staff, and volunteers.

Education and training. Strengthening the care network

As part of an academic medical center, the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care will educate and train professionals from diverse disciplines and share best practices.

Medical students, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, health aides, administrators, chaplains, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, healing arts practitioners, lay caregivers, and volunteers will all have opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills.

  • On-site learning opportunities, such as rotations, consultations, and simulation-based training will elevate the level of community-based care and care delivered in other hospitals and clinics.
  • Telehealth video conferencing will allow for timely consultations between the Center's staff and community-based clinicians, as well as a variety of educational sessions delivered conveniently over vast distances to professionals, lay caregivers, and patients.

Research. Creating and sharing new knowledge

The Center will become a resource for the latest knowledge and innovation in symptom management, complex communication between caregivers and patients and families, and regional health care delivery.

  • Evaluation of processes, therapies, and communication by caregivers will drive continuous quality improvement.
  • Measurement of patient and family experiences, health care practices, community engagement, and individuals' beliefs about care through the end of life will be a top priority.
  • Collaborations with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice will accelerate the creation and evaluation of models of care that can be implemented in any community, especially those with limited resources.