History of Hospice

In 1963, a British hospice pioneer named Cicely Saunders established the first modern hospice, St. Christopher's Hospice in England. The guiding principle of Dr. Saunders' work was "To cure sometimes, but to comfort always.” Later that year, she made an extended trip to America. That trip helped jump-start one of the nation's first hospice programs at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, piloted in 1968. Today there are over 3000 Hospice programs in the U.S.


History of Catskill Area Hospice

A group of dedicated volunteers and clergy joined to organize the first hospice care in our region in 1981. Two years later, Dr. Yoshiro Matsuo joined their efforts, and a volunteer-based hospice was born.

In 1988 Catskill Area Hospice became a Medicare Certified Hospice with a paid professional staff in Otsego and northern Delaware counties. Throughout the 1990s, CAHPC expanded its service area to  include all of Delaware and Schoharie counties.

In 1998 Catskill Area Hospice added Palliative Care to its name to reflect an expanding of services to patients outside the Medicare definition of hospice. Palliative care is like hospice care because it concentrates on comfort care and on quality of life issues. Patients receiving palliative care services do not have to have a limited prognosis and can continue curative therapies.

Since 1988 Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care has served patients and their families. Future goals include:

  1. Expanding our Palliative Care services to be available to all persons in need of comfort care at home, in nursing homes and hospitals
  2. Building a Hospice Residence to accommodate Hospice patients who are unable to be cared for at home.
  3. Establishing a regional bereavement center to house support groups, and counseling services for bereaved family members including children.

Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care continues its mission to "Make life easier" for patients with advanced disease and their families across our three county area.