Skip navigation

Rockville Centre, NY — Good Shepherd Hospice observed the opening of a $5M, 8,400-square-foot inpatient Hospice Center at Mercy Medical Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Good Shepherd Hospice Center provides a home-like environment that delivers expert hospice care to patients with complex medical needs in Nassau and Western Suffolk counties. It offers symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, and dignity and comfort to patients and their loved ones.

Good Shepherd Hospice and Mercy Medical Center are members of Catholic Health Services, whose mission is to honor the sanctity of life at every stage of life and the dignity of every person.

“Today is a special day as we open the second Catholic hospice center on Long Island and the only Catholic hospice center in Nassau County,” said Good Shepherd Hospice President and Chief Administrative Officer Mary Ellen Polit. “Today we recognize the importance of the mission we have pledged to honor—the establishment of a Catholic hospice center where patients and families will know that the dignity of each person extends to the end of life, that being with family and friends at the end of life is important, and will understand the value that expert hospice care brings to patients and families.”

Good Shepherd Hospice Center features 12 private inpatient rooms, a family lounge, a kitchen/dining area, and dedicated prayer and family meeting rooms. It also provides:

•    24/7 access to acute symptom management in a home-like setting
•    24/7 visitation for family, friends and loved ones, including patients’ pet(s)
•    Expert hospice nursing care
•    Medical social work
•    Pastoral care
•    Bereavement services, and more.

“We understand the importance of home—the comfort, safety and peace it provides. This is why the concept of home is so central in hospice care. Yet, some patients are unable to be home because of their complex medical needs. Good Shepherd Hospice created this Center to provide the care they require in an environment that serves as a ‘home away from home’,” said Good Shepherd Hospice Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Hospice, Palliative Care & Home Care Services Kerrianne Page, MD. “As important as the opening of this beautiful space is, so too is the creation of the Good Shepherd Hospice Mercy team. Their clinical excellence, dedication and compassion will be the cornerstone of our work, and we are proud to welcome them to the Good Shepherd Hospice and Catholic Health Services family.”

The Good Shepherd Hospice Center marks the return of dedicated hospice services at Mercy, where in the 1970s Mercy Hospice (now Good Shepherd Hospice) founded a pioneering hospice unit in New York State.

“The new Center was a vision created by Sister Dolores Castellano of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus (CIJ) and the life passion of Sister Dolores Wisniewski, also of CIJ, who worked tirelessly with determination and love to spread the mission of Catholic health care in home care and hospice,” said Polit in her opening remarks.  

Polit also recognized Dr. Alice O’Shaughnessy for her work in developing the hospice expertise and Catholic values of the Mercy Hospice team and her continued work with Good Shepherd Hospice. “We are forever grateful,” Polit added. The conference room was named after O’Shaughnessy.

Catholic Health Services President and CEO Alan Guerci, MD, shared in the excitement and agreed that Good Shepherd Hospice and Mercy are natural partners for this mission. The Center was blessed by Rev. Msgr. Francis J. Caldwell (Parish of the Curé of Ars in Merrick) and Rev. Msgr. William Koenig (St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre).

Good Shepherd Hospice Center was supported by multiple donors, including the Friends of Mercy, The Harold I. and Faye B. Liss Foundation, Sister Mary Alice Aschenbach, Grant Thornton, LLP, Kathleen McCaffrey, Thomas Christman, John O'Brien and the Lanzetta family.

“This is a place of hope, where patients’ pain and suffering are relieved, families and friends garner emotional and spiritual support, and memories are made, even when life is short,” said Page.

Good Shepherd Hospice also serves the Suffolk County community with a center in Port Jefferson.

For more information about Good Shepherd Hospice Center, visit or call 631-465-6363.

For more information about Mercy Medical Center, visit or call 516-62-MERCY (3729).

Photo Caption (L to R): Catholic Health Services Executive Vice President and COO Dennis Verzi; Mercy Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Peter Scaminaci; Good Shepherd Hospice Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Hospice, Palliative Care & Home Care Services Kerrianne Page, MD; Good Shepherd Hospice President and Chief Administrative Officer Mary Ellen Polit; Sister Dolores Castellano of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus; Catholic Health Services Senior Vice President for Business Development Ron Steimel; and Catholic Health Services President and CEO Alan Guerci, MD.

Photo Credit: Joe Lanzetta


About Good Shepherd Hospice
Good Shepherd Hospice, a member of Catholic Health Services, provides comprehensive, compassionate care to people whose life expectancy is limited by serious illness. The hospice team individualizes care plans to allow patients to live every day as fully as possible. Services also include bereavement care, comforting and supporting patients’ loved ones for up to 13 months. Good Shepherd Hospice serves patients in their homes in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and has inpatient hospice centers located in Rockville Centre at Mercy Medical Center and in Port Jefferson on the campus of St. Charles Hospital.

About Mercy Medical Center
Celebrating more than 100 years, Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, a member of Catholic Health Services, is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, as well as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Mercy is also the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and consecutive Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. And, in recognition of the value it places on superior nursing care, Mercy has the Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mercy provides comprehensive medical and surgical care and is a leader in minimally-invasive surgery, joint-replacement, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, spine and neurosurgery, in-patient acute rehabilitation, diagnostic and interventional radiology, maternity and newborn services and women’s health. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® is a registered trademark of the American Society For Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

About Catholic Health Services
Catholic Health Services (CHS) is an integrated health care delivery system encompassing some of the region’s finest health and human services agencies.  With six acute care hospitals, three nursing homes, a home health agency, hospice, a community-based agency for persons with special needs and a regional lab, CHS’s high standards have resulted in a nearly 24% market share.

browser error

Browser Error

Diagnosis: Our website no longer supports this web browser.

Treatment: Please use one of the following browsers for the best possible outcome.

  • edge web browser iconEdge
  • chrome web browser iconChrome
  • safari web browser iconSafari
  • firefox web browser iconFirefox