The Association

The Sterntalerhof concept was developed in the 1990s, and Sterntalerhof as a facility was founded in 1998 as an independent charitable non-profit association. This social project was founded by counsellor and deacon Peter Kai and vaulting expert and psychotherapist Regina Heimhilcher.

In his 20 years as counsellor at St. Anna’s Children’s Hospital in Vienna (focusing on children with cancer) and in the children’s clinic of Vienna’s General Hospital (AKH), Peter Kai was permanently confronted with families who were overwhelmed in their everyday life with the situation during and after a child’s long-term illness. 

This need to do something resulted in an idealistic private initiative which developed into an organised network within two decades. This network includes a professional interdisciplinary team made up of both full-time and part-time experts plus volunteers and supporters working all year round to care for and support families with children who have a life threatening or life limiting disease from all over Austria, and going beyond our in-patient services to provide them with care and support in their homes and with mobile units.

Sterntalerhof is carried by a network of committed people and companies from civil society. Their one-time or continuous commitments of time, financial resources, material or expertise makes it possible to professionally operate our facilities with a team of 25 full-time employees, supported by 20 children’s hospice volunteers. Additionally about 25 part-time employees and 30 volunteers guarantee the maintenance of our infrastructure and therefore our operative work. Another 100 people support the sustainable establishment of holistic life-long care with their project-related support at Sterntalerhof.

Excerpt of our statuses which are the basis of all our work:

The association is called “Sterntalerhof – Verein für ganzheitliche Lebensbegleitung” (Sterntalerhof – association for life-long care), herewith called “Sterntalerhof”.

Sterntalerhof is domiciled in A-7410 Loipersdorf-Kitzladen, Dorfstraße 35 and extends it operations throughout all of Austria and other countries in the interest of holistic children’s hospice work in cross-border cooperation.

Sterntalerhof does not strive to make a profit and exclusively pursues a direct charitable and non-profit purpose according to the Austrian Federal Fiscal Code.

The purpose of Sterntalerhof is providing holistic, family-oriented, life-long care for people in situations of crisis, in addition to respective education and informational work to manage knowledge and capacities, as well as raising awareness in society.

Its main focus of work is life-long care, counselling and nursing of seriously and chronically ill children and their relatives. Its main focus of operation is conducted by personal talks, counselling and support, especially by social services for sick children and their relatives. Providing possibilities to recover for the entire family in need of protection, a feeling of light-heartedness and happiness, hope and zest for life shall be made possible for the affected children and their families who do not know how long they’re going to have a tomorrow together.

With an interdisciplinary team of full-time and part-time employees and volunteers supported by therapy horses, the sick child as well as parents and siblings should be cared for in a holistic manner (i.e. their physical, mental and spiritual needs are catered to).

We put special emphasis on a natural and loving atmosphere, in coordination with the treating doctor and respect for every individual’s dignity.

Full-time and part-time employees commit themselves to only work in the field of their expertise, and which complies with their competency and for which they are qualified and trained.

This includes always keeping an eye on directing all these activities towards the vision, mission, goal and sphere of action of Sterntalerhof hospice.

Sterntalerhof is politically independent and non-denominational. Furthermore, Sterntalerhof hospice is a non-profit organisation. All funds are to be exclusively used for the association’s work after deduction of administrative costs.

Sterntalerhof hospice is listed as a tax-preferential organisation (Registry of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance [BMF-Reg.]: SO 1157) and has the Austrian Seal of Approval for Donations (Österreichisches Spendengütesiegel).