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Our History & Mission


Our Mission: To provide access to the highest quality LifeCare, education, and supportive services to our patients, their families, and the communities we serve.

Our story began as a mission to help our community by providing care and compassion to those with life-limiting illnesses. Our founders had a deep sense of how profoundly illness and grief can affect patients, their families and those they love. It was this devotion that inspired the creation of Lower Cape Fear Hospice (now Lower Cape Fear LifeCare) in 1980. Dr. Daniel Gottovi, a local physician, led the group that became our first Board of Directors.

Sandy Morgan, a 27-year-old UNCW nursing student, was our first patient. She was admitted on July 1, 1980. Sandy and her husband, Philip, had signed up to be some of our first hospice volunteers. However, Sandy was then diagnosed with cancer and needed our hospice support. The compassionate treatment and selfless volunteer spirit that surrounded Sandy and her family remains an important part of the way we care for Lower Cape Fear LifeCare patients and families today.

Today more than 6,000 families trust us with their care every year.

Since opening, we have expanded to continually offer the highest quality care available for those in our community. Some of our important milestones include:

  • In 2009, we launched Begin the Conversation, our advance care planning program that was created to encourage and guide everyone through discussions about their health care and end-of-life wishes. We also urge everyone to complete the appropriate state-recognized advance care directives to help ensure wishes are honored.
  • In June 2009, we opened the Katherine and Duncan Phillips LifeCare and Counseling Center, which also serves as our administrative Home Office in Wilmington.
  • In 2014, a new, six-bed wing was completed at our Dr. Robert M. Fales Hospice Pavilion.

The original 12 rooms were also renovated.

  • In April 2014, we expanded our services into South Carolina when Mercy Care, a 30-year-old nonprofit hospice, became a part of our agency.
  • As of January 1, 2020, Lower Cape Fear Hospice changed its name to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare to better represent its expanded service lines, unite Mercy Care and Lower Cape Fear Hospice under one name and logo, and position the agency for future growth. As Lower Cape Fear LifeCare the agency offers access to a spectrum of health services from palliative care through hospice care, at any point in a person’s life, wherever they call home. LifeCare also provides support and education to loved ones and caregivers throughout the stages of illness and the grieving process.

Today, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare cares for patients and families in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties in North Carolina, and Horry, Georgetown and Marion counties in South Carolina.

We welcome the opportunity to speak to you or your community organization about our services.

Do you have a loved one who is facing a life-limiting illness?

Are you or a loved one facing a chronic or serious illness and looking for improved quality of life while treatment is ongoing?

Are you confused about advanced care planning?

Have you and your family lost someone special in your lives and need grief support?

We will be glad to answer your questions. Call 800.733.1476 for more information.

Make a difference through the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation

Thanks to the support provided by donors through the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation, we were able to build our three care centers in the communities they serve and an administration office to better serve patients and families in Southeastern, North Carolina. Please consider getting involved today.

Our History & Mission

“The staff is simply amazing. I have had four family members pass with hospice care and each experience has been exceptional. This most recent loss of my grandfather at the Wilmington care center was no exception. Thank you and bless you all.”

Granddaughter of hospice patient

Quality Counts

Over 6300 families trust us with their hospice and palliative each year. Lower Cape Fear LifeCare also provides more than one million dollars in charity care yearly.

Don’t Wait

Only 10% of our patients take advantage of the full Medicare hospice benefit which includes ALL medical care, medications, equipment and visits related to diagnosis.

To find out if you or someone you love qualifies for hospice, call 800-733-1476 or fill out the below form:




Lower Cape Fear LifeCare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to the highest quality LifeCare, education, and supportive services to our patients, their families, and the communities we serve.


Hospice Honors

United Way

On January 1, 2020, Lower Cape Fear Hospice formally changed its name to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare to better represent the spectrum of care and support they provide those in our community.