The origins of America’s early movement toward embracing hospice care originated from an effort calling for kindness, care and friendship toward individuals coping with a life-limiting illness. British physician Dame Cicely Saunders and Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross each served as early pioneers of the hospice movement, making significant contributions toward educating the public about the unique needs of individuals coping with the end-of-life.
In 1976, Dr. Dorothy Moser, a faculty member of the University of Delaware’s Department of Nursing, heard a visitor from the U.K. speak about hospice at the Delaware Medical Association. She was so inspired, she decided to get some students involved, and took a journey with them in 1978 to visit a hospice in Sheffield, England. Dr. Amy Hecht was serving as the Chair of the University of Delaware’s Nursing Department when she began hearing about hospice in the late 1970s. Their efforts, combined with a generous gift from the Episcopal Diocese, led to the founding of Delaware Hospice in 1982.