Hospice HistoryIn 1967, Dame Cicely Saunders, a British physician, founded the first modern hospice in a London suburb. She was the first to apply the term "hospice" to specialized care for the terminally ill. Dame Saunders believed in holistic hospice care, combining the talents of physicians, nurses, social workers and clergy to address every aspect of patient care.
In 1981, the hospice concept came to Galveston. A group of Galveston area citizens met to discuss the needs of terminally ill patients and their families. Their goal was to restore dignity, and add value to the last months of patients' lives. The founding group became the first Board of Trustees, and for the next two years, worked to develop a charter, create by-laws, and raise start-up funds. In March, 1983, Galveston Hospice Group, Inc. offered help, hope and comfort to its first patient.
In 1985, the organization became one of the first three hundred hospices in the United States to receive Medicare certification. The hospice continued to grow and meet the needs of more patients from a larger area. In 1987, the organization was renamed Hospice of Galveston County, Inc. to reflect the expanding reach of its service area.
By 1997, a strong team of dedicated professionals had been assembled and was now servicing Galveston, Brazoria, Chambers, Liberty and southeast Harris Counties. In order to reflect the organization's broad reach and team focus, the name was changed to the now-familiar Hospice Care Team, Inc.
Hospice care eligibility is not limited to any specific disease, or any age. Hospice Care Team routinely cares for patients diagnosed with cancer, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), congenital birth defects, renal failure, old age, and AIDS. No one is denied services based on disease, age, gender, religion, or ability to pay.