The end of an era for hospice patients in the northern valley is beginning.

Altru Health System has announced it is in the process of transitioning their hospice program to Hospice of the Red River Valley, according to Altru Health System spokeswoman Annie Bonzer. She says the move is part of the health system's "strategic intent to be a regional integrator of care."

"We are confident that the Hospice care in our region is in great hands with Hospice of the Red River Valley," Bonzer says. She adds that all current hospice staff will have the opportunity to pursue positions at Hospice of the Red River Valley, or remain at Altru.

"We are honored that Altru has placed its trust in Hospice of the Red River Valley because of our shared values, our reputation and quality scores," Hospice of the Red River Valley's Bonnie Oelschlager tells WZFG News. "For nearly 40 years, our mission has been to provide comfort and care through life’s journey."

Bonzer says the health system is refocusing their resources to the home health services as a part of their post-acute care strategy.

"The delivery model of this care is changing, with more care received at home and reduced hospital stays," she says. "A focus on home care supports this shift to meet our patients’ needs."

Figures related to the amount of patients served by either Altru's hospice program or Hospice of the Red River Valley were not immediately available.