In the 1960s, as the hospice movement was developing in London, Dr. Don and Charlotte Shedd, heard a series of lectures by Cicely Saunders, an English nurse, who founded the first modern Hospice. The Shedds, along with a small group of concerned citizens, gathered intent on establishing a Hospice in Buffalo.
In 1978, Charlotte Shedd met a young surgeon Dr. Robert Milch, and together they decided to initiate ‘unofficial’ hospice home care services. At this time, 120 volunteers were trained and ‘hospice-type’ care was being provided. Dr. Milch functioned as volunteer Medical Director and consultant, and in 1993, he was appointed as the full-time Medical Director of Hospice Buffalo.
Our organization transitioned and grew from an early grassroots movement to a nationally recognized and respected leader in providing care to patients and their families, challenged with life-limiting illness. Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo is proud to have been the first in the country to accomplish this and many more milestones along the way.
We owe sincere gratitude to the group of passionate and determined pioneers whose legacy of commitment, volunteerism and advocacy is the backbone of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo. Their legacy of dedication and support carries on today with a growing number of volunteers and donors.
Our Volunteer Roots
An Overwhelming Response of Care and Compassion
Also in the ‘60’s, Cicely Saunders delivered a lecture in Buffalo on the hospice movement topic to an overflowing audience. The interest was so powerful that several in attendance decided “on the spot” to become hospice volunteers. Shortly thereafter, the fledgling hospice had over 200 potential volunteers, so the first Hospice volunteer orientation was organized. This moment of activism and energy highlights the origin of Hospice in Buffalo as one of the earliest grassroots, community-based movements of its kind in the country.
Today, volunteers continue to be the backbone to our efforts, not only to assist with companion care, transportation, and caregiver respite, but also to provide many helping hands to bring fundraising events to life.
Fill out an online application to become a Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo volunteer today.