The Women's Journal

40 Years Of Leadership & Innovation

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Presented By Taylor Davis, Delaware Hospice

On November 2, 1982, Delaware Hospice—the First State’s FIRST hospice—admitted its very first patient. To this day, Delaware Hospice continues to be the largest, licensed, nonprofit community-based hospice serving both Delaware and southeast Pennsylvania.

Leading Then

Over the years, our programs have grown into a continuum of care, including Delaware Palliative, a community-based program for patients receiving treatment for a serious illness, and Delaware Transitions, a resource that provides non-medical support to members of the community with serious or chronic conditions.

In 1991, we launched our nationally recognized New Hope program to address the unique, unmet grief needs of children and youth in our community—even capturing the attention of Dateline. Nine years later, we had a founding role in the creation of the Delaware Quality of Life Coalition. In 2003, we established our Katybug pediatric program, which provides specialized hospice and palliative care for our youngest patients and their families. With Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurses on staff, the program is the only one of its kind in Delaware. In 2008, we opened a free-standing hospice center in Milford, Delaware to provide patients who temporarily needed a higher level of care with a state-of-the-art, home-like setting.

In addition to earning the trust of the community, we’ve been recognized as a leader in the field by outside organizations, including The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Home Care Accreditation. We’re proud that Medicare selected us as the only hospice provider in Delaware to pilot the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) in 2016. And just this year, we earned all 4 rings in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Quality Connections program—one of only 12 hospices in the nation to earn this distinction and the only healthcare organization in Delaware to do so.

Leading Now

As we look to the future, we continue to explore national and regional opportunities that will benefit our community. In 2021, we formed a new partnership with Saint Francis Healthcare, Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, to provide palliative consultative services to Saint Francis Healthcare’s patients.

We recently expanded this partnership to include an 8-bed inpatient hospice unit at Saint Francis Hospital, located in Wilmington. The addition of the hospice unit will help meet the growing need for hospice and palliative care services in Delaware as its population ages.

We’re also excited to be participating in Saint Francis Hospital’s new Healthy Village initiative, which aims to better meet the needs of the surrounding community by inviting organizations that provide community services to maintain a presence inside the hospital.

Leading Roles

From the beginning, caring volunteers and donors have been the bedrock of Delaware Hospice’s very existence. As our programs have grown, so has our support network. Our many volunteers visit and call patients, help with Camp New Hope, sit on committees, sew Memory Bears, manage administrative tasks, bring us honored traditions like the Festival of Trees fundraiser, and more. It’s only because of these committed individuals who give of their time and resources that we’re able to offer the community so many free programs and resources.

To all our many supporters and believers these 40 years, we say thank you! To learn more about Delaware Hospice, please call (302) 478-5707 or visit our website at