Hospice Care Network
Jane Morris has been with the Fresh Meadows location of the Hospice Care Network, one of the largest hospice groups in New York City for the past year, but she has more than 35 years of experience in healthcare.
Morris spent 25 years at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan as the Clinical Director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute of the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development. As the first nurse in the program, she filled a leadership role as well as a clinical one. Her work in geriatrics spearheaded education in palliative care and in the relief of pain and symptoms of illness to improve life for patients and families.
“One assumes that hospice care happens naturally, but it is not a part of the training for physicians and nurses until the last year of training,” Morris said.
For Morris, what led her to hospice care was the desire to fill the unmet needs of patients and families who are dealing with the prospect of losing a loved one.
“There is an importance and need to educate the public about what they should expect,” Morris said. “Most families say they wish they had known about hospice care sooner.”
Her colleagues felt the same way, and they believe that this network has a great benefit to many families. However, the public may still be unaware of what services hospice offers.
“Most people think that hospice is for patients in their last stages of cancer, but this is not so,” said Morris. Hospice care is available at home for people who are in the advanced stages of their diseases such as lung disease, AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
“To be involved in this work has been a profound gift,” Morris said. “I feel I bring an expertise that people need.”
Morris, a current resident of Nassau County, attended King’s County College where she obtained a nursing diploma in 1972. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1978 and a Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Geriatrics in 1983 from Adelphi University. She has been a licensed massage therapist for the past ten years and is now a member of the Board of Trustees for the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State. She is currently a member of the Center to Advanced Palliative Care (CAPC).
Morris became a Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar, which has helped her to move the importance of palliative care in the country. She is also the recipient of the Ellen Fuller Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice and Mount Sinai’s Presidential Service Award that recognizes outstanding leadership.