Art Modell may be remembered for his five decades as a professional football owner and businessman, but his best legacy remains in helping to build Cleveland’s first residential hospice facility.
Modell, owner of the Cleveland Browns from 1961 to 1995 and the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-2004, died Thursday at age 87.
David Simpson Hospice House, part of Hospice of the Western Reserve, opened in 1995. The 42-bed facility, designed with the look and feel of a residence instead of a traditional care facility, includes a music room, a gallery walk and guest accommodations. The winding paths of its Vista Walk along the Lake Erie shoreline are paved with inscribed bricks celebrating loved ones.The Modell family was especially involved in the creation of the house’s Meditation Room and the childrens’ playground on the site, the organization said in a press statement.
"It was the Modell family's vision that set the stage for the building of our hospice house located on Cleveland's lakefront," said William E. Finn, the hospice’s chief executive officer. "[They] were never interested in notoriety for their contributions. They were motivated solely by their desire to provide a home away from home with the finest quality end-of-life care."
Hospice of Western Reserve also hosts the Hospice Institute, opened in 1997 as Ohio’s only education and research institute dedicated to end-of-life care.