Hospice Origins

First Hospice

Dr. Cicely Saunders founded the first modern hospice, St. Christopher's, in England in the 1940s. She wanted to provide specialized care for dying people in a way that recognized them as unique individuals. St. Christopher's aimed to treat people with dignity and respect at the end of their lives.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Shortly after the founding of St. Christopher's, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote and taught about the process of dying and grief in the United States. Her work influenced the way hospice programs deal with patients' emotional and spiritual issues.

Hospice in the United States

The first hospice in the United States, Connecticut Hospice, opened in 1974. Shortly after that, numerous other hospices opened across the country. Today, Medicare and Medicaid pay for hospice services and many people benefit from hospice care every year. Hospice care is a way of providing services to the dying. It focuses on pain management, keeping patients comfortable, and meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of patients in addition to providing medical care.