AAHPM recently received a contribution that will greatly assist us in fulfilling our mission of advancing hospice and palliative care by enhancing learning and strengthening the HPM workforce.
In May of 2020 a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave a generous contribution of $200,000 to the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). This donor’s family has grown increasingly passionate about hospice and palliative medicine over the years. Though members of this family have had serious illnesses, only in the most recent years have they had access to palliative care.
The experiences spurred the family to begin to learn more about palliative and hospice care almost 20 years ago. Over time, spreading the word about modern models of palliative care has become their passion. The donor family found support from AAHPM President Rodney Tucker among others at their local program in Birmingham, Alabama. As Dr. Tucker assumed his role as board president, the donor stated the family’s intention to support the important work of the Academy and to honor Dr. Tucker.
Two main priorities were identified. First, the donor and the Academy shared a firm dedication to developing leaders in the field of hospice and palliative medicine. Second, the donor expressed a strong desire to spread the work of palliative care. This family is passionate about sustaining the field and challenges others across the country to likewise contribute to the growth of the field and its leadership.
Ultimately, the contribution will allow AAHPM to provide scholarships and programs to develop leaders in hospice and palliative medicine and grow the Leadership Scholars Fund. It is hoped that the recipients of these scholarships who participate in leadership development programs will positively impact the field of hospice and palliative medicine, dramatically improving care for patients in the future.
The contribution gives a nod to the past, honoring family members the donor lost and also looks to the future. The donor’s family is deeply rooted in the South and wants the funds to be directed towards scholarship recipients and program participants from the South. The donor family hopes that their support will lead to a rise in philanthropic engagement in AAHPM—encouraging donors from other parts of the country to make contributions to support hospice and palliative medicine in their regions. “I see my gift as a challenge,” the donor said, “one that will hopefully awaken other people who are passionate about improving palliative care.”