Customer Success Stories

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Hospice of the Western Reserve implements Office 365 for the entire organization and Azure IaaS for their At Home subsidiary

Hospice of the Western Reserve has been providing services with a focus on hospice and palliative care since 1978. Currently, the organization offers a wide range of comprehensive and compassionate services and programs throughout Northern Ohio which include: palliative care, hospice care, perinatal care, skilled home care assistance, emotional and spiritual support for families and loved ones of hospice patients, school crisis support, children’s summer camps and adult workshops for the bereaved, community art therapy, access to free expert speakers, and a variety of educational resources. Through all these offerings, they “strive to relieve suffering, enhance comfort, promote quality of life, foster choice in end-of-life care and support effective grieving.” (

  • "The ability to offload our in-house Email administration was critical to our current year IT initiatives."

    Todd Benenati
    Hospice of the Western Reserve
    IT Director

Business Needs

As with every healthcare organization, Hospice of the Western Reserve was facing significant cost pressures due to the passing of the Affordable Care Act, while they were also deploying a new version of their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) patient care system that supported mobile healthcare professionals. Due to this, Hospice of the Western Reserve needed to allocate the time and attention of their already over-stretched IT system administrators to this EMR rollout.

In addition to the EMR upgrade, there were other IT indicatives that were requiring additional Windows Server capacity, which had to be duplicated at the organization’s off-site disaster recovery location. This was driving an up-front capital expense that didn't fit in their budget.

Also, the organization, at this time, was also completing the business plans and activities to bring to market their new At Home subsidiary, but for compliance purposes had to initially be on a separate, isolated network from the traditional corporate entity, yet still be HIPAA compliant.


Hospice of the Western Reserve engaged Stratus Innovations Group to complete a requirements gathering session and develop an IT business plan to address IT issues and opportunities. From this, Hospice of the Western Reserve decided to first migrate to Office 365 for organization-wide collaboration and communication functionality. We then designed and implemented a migration plan that included developing a "hybrid configuration" where mailbox migrations could be completed at a comfortable pace while allowing co-existence between users who have been migrated and those who have not.

Next, we designed an Active Directory Federation Service (ADFS) solution for the new At Home organization that was deployed in Microsoft Azure IaaS and provided SharePoint Online-based document libraries where the At Home resources could scan business documents and store them for archival purposes. 

Finally, we also planned and completed the migration of the recently acquired Hospice of Medina organization from a Google platform to Hospice of the Western Reserve's Office 365 environment. 


By off-loading the enterprise Email administration and maintenance activities, the Hospice of the Western Reserve's IT system administrators were able to allocate more time to the new EMR rollout, as well as a recently planned enterprise-wide systems management rollout.   Decommissioning the previous Email server allowed the organization to re-purpose this hardware and storage for the up-coming systems management rollout as well as allocate additional resources to the new EMR upgrade.

Hospice of the Western Reserve also benefitted from deploying the At Home ADFS infrastructure in a Microsoft Azure Virtual Network because it allowed them to maintain HIPAA compliance with Office 365 Single Sign-On, while having this ADFS infrastructure in a load-balanced, highly available from off the corporate network and eliminating the need for an additional hardware purchase.

Solution Overview

Product and Services

Office 365

Microsoft Azure IaaS

Windows Server



Organization Size

Large (1,000 - 9,999 employees)


United States

Hospice of the Western Reserve