Since 1985, Angela Hospice has been providing a crucial service to the community of southeast Michigan. Sparked by one woman’s vision and determination, Angela Hospice was founded under the sponsorship of the Felician Sisters. Sister Mary Giovanni spent 11 years researching advanced pain control and the hospice model of care before opening Angela Hospice in a small office at Madonna University. A registered nurse, Sister Giovanni began caring for terminally ill people in their homes, but it was always her dream to open an inpatient hospice care facility.
Angela Hospice soon outgrew its one-room office and two subsequent locations, before breaking ground for a new hospice center. In 1994, the Angela Hospice Care Center opened as the first freestanding inpatient hospice facility in Michigan.
That same year, Angela Hospice expanded its care to pediatric patients with the My Nest is Best Prenatal Program for seriously ill children. An extension of My Nest is Best, the Angela Hospice Prenatal Hospice Program was designed in 2000 for parents facing the knowledge that their unborn child may not survive or may be born with a life-limiting illness. It was the first program of its kind in the Midwest.
While hospice home care has always been at the heart of our program, the demand for inpatient care continued to increase. By 1999, the Care Center was operating at full capacity. Sister Giovanni knew the facility must be expanded. After years of patience and prayer, permission to build an addition to the facility was granted, and Angela Hospice broke ground once again in 2008.
Angela Hospice cared for over 2,000 patients this past year, and continues to reach out to the community, offering grief support groups and counseling, educational programs, and speaking engagements, all provided free-of-charge.
It is only through the compassion of our faithful supporters and the trust of those who place their lives in our caring hands that we have been able to carry out and sustain this mission for so many years. And to each of you, we say, “Thank you.”
For more information about Angela Hospice and its programs, call us at 734.464.7810.
Meet our Foundress
Sister Giovanni’s zeal for the hospice concept of care began after attending a conference featuring Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern day hospice movement in England. Following that inspirational meeting, Sister Giovanni spent 11 years researching pain control, alternative comfort measures, and the daily needs of dying patients and their families. Sister Giovanni founded Angela Hospice in 1985, and in 1994 opened the Angela Hospice Care Center as the first freestanding facility of its kind in Michigan.
Sister Giovanni served as President and CEO until 2014, when she transitioned into a role which would allow her to work more directly with patients, benefactors, and the community, while also serving her second passion: the Blessed Angela Mobile Clinic which she helped establish in 2013 to reach underserved people in the mountain regions of Haiti.
Over the past 30 years, Sister Giovanni has served on boards and committees for end-of-life care on the local, state, and national level; and has received numerous honors for her compassionate work and pioneering spirit. In 2014 she was named a Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by the American Association for Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and was inducted into the Home Care and Hospice Hall of Fame by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
Sister Giovanni received her Master of Nursing Administration from Madonna University, in addition to Bachelor degrees in Nursing and Gerontology. Her professional experience has also included positions as staff nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, faculty in Hospice Education at Madonna University, and Director of Nursing at the Felician Sisters Infirmary.
She retired from her work with Angela Hospice in 2015.