BANGOR, Maine — Eddington-based New Hope Hospice is merging with Community Health and Counseling Services, according to the director of CHCS.

“The decision to merge was based on discussions that identified opportunities to strengthen our hospice services,” Dale Hamilton said Wednesday in an email. “Both organizations share similar philosophies and we felt that the merger would be a good fit and would help us to provide choice to the community.”

New Hope Hospice was founded in 1994 by Patricia Eye, who was instrumental in advocating for hospice care in the region 40 years ago, as well as Constance Eye and Nancy Burgess, according to the group’s website.

Hospice is now recognized around the country as the model for providing comfort and support to the dying and their loved ones.

CHCS and New Hope Hospice have 50 years of combined hospice experience, Hamilton said of the two free standing, not-for-profit organizations. New Hope employs 11 people, some of whom are contracted workers, while CHCS has 420 employees.

“Where both hospice programs have such a wonderful reputation for all the hard work they do — every day — bringing their resources together will be a huge value to communities that are served with end-of-life care,” James Fernald, who serves as vice president of the New Hope Hospice board of directors, said in a press release about the merger.

CHCS board president Angela Butler said the merger, which should be completed in May, would provide “enhanced hospice services” to the community.

Christii Maquillan, New Hope Hospice executive director, will join CHCS as the associate director of hospice development, and three New Hope Hospice employees will transfer over, but one job position will be eliminated, Hamilton said.

Discussions are underway with the remaining contracted workers, but the decision has already been made to close the Eddington location, she said.

“Services will be integrated into the CHCS Bangor site,” Hamilton said. “CHCS provides hospice services in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Washington and Hancock counties.”

Maquillan said the merger provides “the opportunity for New Hope Hospice to maintain our community roots and core values.”

“Together, we will set the highest standard of hospice care,” she said in the press release.