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Forty years ago few people knew the word hospice; fewer still recognized its potential to alleviate suffering. But one woman held a vision of what this philosophy of care could mean to her community.
This nurse, Elizabeth “Betty” Bulen, invited three of her friends, Betty Benz, Ann Elizabeth Warren, and Kay Elizabeth Austin, to work with her in establishing an organization of compassionate volunteers devoted to offering hospice care and palliative care to the terminally ill and their families. To strengthen this vision, Betty Bulen and Betty Benz visited St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. Inspired by what they saw, they began offering their first volunteer training. In 1978, they incorporated, naming this new entity, The Elizabeth Hospice, which shares the name of all the founders.
“People think hospice is about dying, but it’s really about celebrating life.” – Betty Bulen
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