Hospice Care Movement: The Commonwealth Fund, 1974

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


In 1973, the Commonwealth Fund gave Florence Wald, dean of Yale University's School of Nursing, and her colleagues a small grant to study the feasibility of establishing in the United States a modern hospice along the lines of St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. The next year, the group’s work researching models of terminal care and gathering support for the hospice model culminated in the opening of Hospice Inc., the first modern hospice in the United States. Hospice Inc. would also serve as a clearinghouse for information on hospice care and a center for the growth of the hospice movement. As Hospice Inc. took shape, the Commonwealth Fund, the Van Ameringen Foundation, and the Ittleson Family Foundation gave $100,000; $100,000; and $50,000 respectively for planning and the assembly of a complete home-care staff. Program staff of the Commonwealth Fund also helped Hospice Inc. secure a $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.



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