This may be Dr. Deborah Dunn’s sixth year on the Angela Hospice board, but her connection to Angela Hospice goes back to Angela Hospice’s foundress, Sister Mary Giovanni.
“I was a nurse at St. Mary Mercy Hospital when Sister Giovanni was a nurse there, and Angela Hospice was just kind of a dream, a twinkle in her eyes,” said Dr. Dunn, who officially became the Angela Hospice Board Chair in September. She called her new role both an honor and a privilege. “It’s really fabulous to be able to see this whole span of Angela Hospice’s history from the early founding of Angela to today.”
From those early days as a nurse, up to the present, Dr. Dunn’s touchstones with the Felician Sisters have spanned decades. But perhaps one of the most impactful for Dr. Dunn and her family was the experience of having her mother receive hospice care with Angela Hospice in 2016.
“Through my practice as a nurse, and nurse practitioner, I have had the honor to care for patients and their families at end of life. But, it is an entirely different experience to be on the other side of that care, when your family member is going through the end-of-life journey with hospice care,” Dr. Dunn said. “I knew my mother was going to receive excellent, compassionate care…but I never thought about or had an expectation to be taken care of in the beautiful way myself and my family were taken care of at Angela Hospice. They did such a beautiful, gentle job of taking care of myself and my family; it was an incredible experience, a blessing.”
Dr. Dunn said she is excited to see Angela Hospice’s growth and expansion into palliative care for persons with chronic conditions and life-limiting illness. She said, “The future of compassionate care provision is in good hands at Angela Hospice. Cutting edge technologies like Angela’s Telehospice program, AVA, and 24/7 Telehospice center has been, and will continue to be, an essential means to meeting the needs of our patients.”
“I have the great joy of knowing Angela Hospice on all levels,” Dr. Dunn said. She hopes to continue the legacy of the Felician Sisters as well.
For her, what the Sisters have created in the square mile that encompasses not only Angela Hospice but Madonna University – where Dr. Dunn is currently Provost and Vice President of Academic Administration – and additional caring ministries, including Marywood Nursing Care Center, is a huge testament to the Sisters’ persistence, vision, and business savvy when it comes to seeing the community’s needs and contributing in a life-changing, meaningful way.
She said it has been a joy and an honor to watch all that the Felician Sisters have done over the last 35 years, and an honor to be a part of it.
“I think that Angela Hospice serves as a beating heart of loving and compassionate care for all of its patients and their families,” she said.
Under Dr. Dunn’s inspired guidance, that heartbeat of Angela Hospice will continue to reverberate throughout our community.