call us: 1 (866) 655-1017
Donate today
Meet the volunteers Common Hospice Questions Donate Today News

Get to know us...
the team making an impact

After tragically losing her husband Tom Murphy, Susanne turned her pain into purpose. Susanne was soon joined by a dozen locals, all of whom shared similar stories of loss and a common goal to uplift the community. The group quickly went to work, and as they honored the memories of their loved ones, they created a comforting home away from home for Worthington residents approaching the end of life.

In September of 2001, Hospice Cottage Inc, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), was successfully established, and it’s been a mainstay in the community ever since. Learn all about the facility and the team that helps Worthington’s Cottage of Care run so smoothly. Get to know the all-volunteer board, who were brought together by passion, purpose and love of community.

Meet the volunteers

I feel that quality end of life care facilities are an integral part of any community. Having professional staff to care for our loved ones in a comfortable home-like setting and having a place for visiting family is invaluable. I wish this was available when my grandmother passed while suffering from cancer.

Joe Anderson

Board of Directors

Volunteering is comforting and rewarding in so many ways.  I enjoy hearing the resident’s life stories, treasured memories, working on a puzzle together, reading or just sitting quietly with the resident; listening to family members or just little things like the aroma of baking cookies can be comforting for residents and visitors.

Tammy Anderson


It is a blessing to be a part of the Hospice team. I consider it an honor to share in a portion of my patients’ life.

Cec Burchill


I joined the hospice board after our family used the facility when my husband passed away.  It met all our expectations and more. It is an honor to now share and help others.

Nancy Galland


My family was able to use the cottage for my mom and it was such a blessing. I want to help in every way I can so the cottage continues to be a blessing to anyone who needs it.

Pat Grimmius

Board of Directors, Secretary

As one of the founding members of Sunset Hospice Cottage 20 years ago, it gives me gratification that our efforts have had an impact on so many families.  With our local volunteers and benefactors, I am confident the Cottage will be able to continue its mission for decades ahead.

Don Groninga

Volunteer / Financial Services

It is nice to serve for an organization that wants the best for people who use our cottage. Serving has given me lasting friendships. It is rewarding to see our community bond together for the Hospice Cottage cause. It has been a true blessing.

Kathy Hayenga

Board of Directors / Co-Treasurer

My siblings and I made the decision to bring our Mom to the Cottage last year. Our Mom was well cared for in her last few days; as were family members. I knew this was a place I wanted to be involved and serve. The Cottage is comfortable and peaceful with incredible staff.

Tom Johnson

Board of Directors / Vice President

You will never be closer to God than at the birth of someone or the death of someone.

Joel Krekelberg


I have had the opportunity to witness first hand, their services in the past and see the compassionate care that they provide to their residents. I am a firm believer in treating residents with compassion, respect and dignity in their final journey.

Kim Korthals

Board of Directors

Sunset Hospice Cottage provided care for my husband and helped us make our remaining time as comfortable and meaningful.  We were able to be a family.

Robyn Moser

Board of Directors

I choose to be involved with Sunset Hospice Cottage – it is an experience of honor and privilege to serve families in the transition of end of life. I believe in dignity, comfort, and respect, and the hospice experience promotes a higher quality of life in those times.

Susanne Murphy

Volunteer / New Patient Liaison

I’m involved with Hospice because I see the difference it makes in the finality of a person’s life. Hospice helps patients have peace, comfort and dignity in their last days. Hospice helps the family face the passing of their loved one both at the time of death and after.

Ruth Nystrom

Board of Directors

Shortly after my wife, Joan, passed a local group was organized to build a regional hospice cottage in Worthington. My children and I decided to fund the onsite chapel in her memory. We hope it continues to be a place of peace, refuge, joy and dignity to families, patients and staff.

Alan Oberloh

Board of Directors

Our family was touched by the blessed volunteers and facility.  Once you see the deep commitment and honest caregiving that comes from the Hospice Cottage you are compelled to get involved and pay it forward for others.

Michael Petersen

Board of Directors / CMO

I am humbled beyond words for the opportunity to be a hospice volunteer. I hope to touch and am touched by patients and families I’ve met during their end-of life journey.  Nothing teaches kindness, courage and compassion more than being a hospice volunteer. It’s about making a difference.

Deb Scheidt

Board of Directors

My husband was in hospice and I saw how caring people were. Being on the board is one way I can give back.

Judy Selberg

Board of Directors

Immediately, I was stuck by the passion and dedication this team has for the hospice mission.  This experience has really shaped my view of service. The passion and level of organization in what they did was impressive… I’ve realized just how important hospice is to our community and the families we serve.

David Serrano

Board of Directors / President

My dad was diagnosed with treatable, but not curable cancer over 25 years ago. I personally have experienced the practicality and beauty of the Sunset Hospice Cottage and the wonderful physical and emotional care provided for both of my parents who spent their final days at the Cottage.

Ida Van Westen


My dad was in hospice, and I saw first-hand what this organization does for families. I was very humbled when asked to serve on the board. Hospice is such a fantastic organization.

Dennis Weber

Board of Directors / Co-Treasurer

Common Hospice Questions

What you need to know before, after and during hospice

Whether you’re familiar with the hospice process or it’s all new to you, we’re here to help guide you every step of the way. To get you started, we’ve paired the most common hospice questions with a host of heartfelt answers from certified professionals. From the fundamentals of hospice to family grief counseling, learn what to expect and determine the type of care that’s right for you and your loved ones.

Who is eligible to receive hospice care?

Typically, care is offered to anyone who has a life expectancy of less than 6 months.  However, most people start hospice care in-home and as their symptoms advance, they often move to a full-time managed care facility such as Sunset Hospice Cottage.

What if the patient lives longer than 6 months?

This is a blessing, and you will receive the same care for you as long as you meet the conditions for hospice services.

How do I know when it’s time to go into a facility like Sunset Hospice Cottage?

Many people start their hospice care at home, and the majority of our residents use Sanford’s services for in-home hospice care.  Most commonly our residence transition from in-home hospice care to our Sunset Hospice Cottage when it becomes difficult for you or your family to adequately take care of your needs. This transition is sometimes for the concerns for safety, the needs for general care, or even emotional support.

Can I go home from Sunset Hospice Cottage if I get better?

Absolutely, we have had several patients whose conditions took a turn for the best. We are always delighted to see somebody return to their home if they so desire.  The decision is always in the hands of the patient and the family.

How much does it cost?

$170 per night paid to Sanford Health. Reimbursement for most hospice services comes from Medicare, Medicaid, health maintenance organizations, and other private insurance plans. However, these costs do not cover room and board.  The per night fee is paid to Sanford for the additional staff necessary for 24/7 operation. Sunset Hospice Cottage costs are covered entirely by donations.

How long are most patients in Sunset Hospice Cottage?

The majority of patients are in the cottage 5 to 10 days, but some have been in our facility for more than six months.

I'm concerned about the pain, can you help?

Our nurses on staff specialize in pain and symptom management and are always working to address your needs and make you more comfortable.

Does choosing hospice mean I am "giving up"?

Hospice care focuses on enhancing the quality of life in its final stages. It seeks neither to shorten nor prolong life.

May I continue with my treatments and therapies?

Hospice specializes in palliative care also referred to as comfort care. Therefore, treatments are focused on controlling symptoms and managing pain, rather than attempting to cure.

How large is Sunset Hospice Cottage facility?

The building is roughly 15,000 square feet or 5-10 times larger than a typical home.  It also includes limited underground parking to make it easy for residents to come into the facility without being exposed to the outdoor elements. The Cottage is located on 2 acres tucked away inside of a residential neighborhood on the south side of Lake Okabena.  The facility has 4 residence bedrooms plus 2 backup bedrooms.  These are all located on the main level.

We have family that’s not living near the facility. Do you have accommodations to make it easier for out-of-town visitors?

Our facility was designed with families in mind, including out-of-town guests. Much of the space is dedicated towards the needs of the entire family. In the lower level there are 3 bedrooms and a large family room, making it conducive to children, adults and even small family reunions.  These facilities are free of charge to anyone with a loved one at Sunset Hospice Cottage.

Can I have visitors at any time of the day or night?

The facility is designed to meet the needs of the patient and this can come at any time during the day or night.  The facility is staffed 24 hours per day by Sanford employees, and visitors are welcome at any time.

I have a pet that is important to me. Can it visit me or stay with me?

Pets are welcome at Sunset Hospice Cottage; however, we do not have staff that are certified to care for them. Typically pets attend the cottage with visitors.

What are donations used for?

Sunset Hospice Cottage is funded entirely from donations. All donations proceeds are in two primary ways:  First, they are used to serve the needs of the patients and the facility including the cost of building maintenance, upkeep, and improvements towards the grounds and building.  Second, we have a modest endowment that is used to fund the stay for families with fewer resources, including the cost for the medical care provided by Sanford Health.

Does anybody profit from Sunset Hospice Cottage?

No. Hospice Cottage Inc has been a registered 503c non-profit organization since 2001.  Furthermore, every volunteer, manager, and member of the Board of Directors serves in a volunteer capacity. Sunset Hospice Cottage simply has no payroll.

How long has Sunset Hospice Cottage been around?

The organization was formed in 2001 in the building construction was finalized in the spring of 2003.

Does Sunset Hospice Cottage have any other facilities?

Sunset Hospice Cottage currently has only one facility in Worthington Minnesota.  At present there are no plans for expansion.

What is the relationship between Sunset Hospice Cottage and Sanford hospital?

Sunset Hospice Cottage is an independent non-profit facility that is funded entirely through donations, its primary role is to provide room and board for hospice patients.  However, the nursing and caregiving staff are all Sanford employees.  Sanford has a dedicated office on the lower level.  A Sanford caregiver is located on the premises 24 hours a day.

Can I still see my same doctor?

Absolutely, there is no change in care from your current physician.

Will I still be able to make my own decisions regarding my care?

Yes, you and your family are in charge of your care, just as before you entered hospice.

Are meals included in the cost? Can I still cook for myself if I want to?

All meals are provided for and delivered to the patient as needed.  We also have a large open kitchen and dining room. You encourage you and your family to use the kitchen “as if it was your own”.  There is an adjacent dining table for family meals, whether you cook it in the kitchen, or bring it in from a local restaurant.

Is Sunset Hospice Cottage associated with a religious group?

We have partnerships with many local churches and we have a small private chapel at our facility. We support complete freedom of worship at all times.

Should I bring up hospice care to my physician or wait for a recommendation?

It is beneficial to have these discussions in advance and have your questions and concerns addressed. Discuss hospice care at any time with your physician, family, clergy and friends.

I want to learn more, what is the best way to contact Sunset Hospice Cottage?

Our phone number is (507) 372 7770, we are here to help you in any way we can.  As we are a non-profit, we are not trying to sell you our services.  Our mission is to help you through your transition that best fits the needs of you and your family.

Load more questions

Both my mother and father passed away at Sunset Hospice Cottage and the facility was a blessing to them and our family. It allowed us to be together through the good times and the hard ones. And enabled us to spend as much time with mom as she wanted without burdening her. Sunset Hospice Cottage provided the professional care, comfortable surroundings and spiritual support that we knew she wanted.

Paula Jorgensen-Lenz

Contact Us

Sunset Hospice Cottage

1935 Woodland Court

Worthington, MN 56187

1 (866) 655-1017 1 (507) 372-7770