NHF to Present Healthcare Architect Award to Hospice Pioneer Mary Labyak

For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2011

Award Presentation will be at NHF’s Annual Gala

(Alexandria, VA) – One of America’s most accomplished hospice executives, Mary Labyak, will receive the Healthcare Architect Award from the National Hospice Foundation. It will be presented at the seventh annual NHF gala on April 8, 2011.

A social worker by training and a patient advocate by nature, Labyak began her work in end-of-life care in 1977 as a volunteer for a small, fledgling hospice. Since 1980, she has served as its leader, transforming it from a small, “typical” hospice to Suncoast Hospice, one of the most recognized and respected end-of-life care organizations in the country.

NHF invites you to share Mary Labyak’s remarks at the 2011 Gala

Suncoast Hospice cares for thousands of people a day. Under Labyak’s leadership, the hospice has expanded its services to include advance care planning and education, high specialized pediatric palliative care, pain and symptom management consultations, and much more.

Labyak’s leadership extends to the national level. She currently serves as the chair of the NHF board of trustees and co-chair of the Capital Campaign for the National Center for Care at the End of Life.  In the past, she chaired NHPCO’s board of directors and has served on many NHPCO committees.

“Of the many skilled and accomplished leaders in our field, Mary rises to the top for her longstanding commitment to end-of-life care. The numerous innovations she has implemented in her own program make Suncoast Hospice one of the most admired hospices in the country,” Said J. Donald Schumacher, NHF president and CEO.

“Those who have worked closely with Mary know that when she is conceptualizing a project, she likes to illustrate her thinking by drawing circles. The patient and family are always at the center,” Schumacher noted. “Her work demonstrates that you can be creative and innovative, taking programs in new directions and be successful. They key is to act like Mary Labyak, always keeping the patient and family foremost.”

NHF’s Healthcare Architect Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact in the delivery and understandings of hospice and palliative care. Honorees have shaped programs, developed initiatives, and raised awareness, enhancing the provision of quality end-of-life care with greater access for all. It is through their daily mission that NHF’s vision of a world filled with the best care humankind can offer will become a reality.

Last year, this award was given posthumously to Senator Edward Kennedy, in recognition of his work as an early advocate for hospice.

Labyak’s award will be presented on April 8, 2011 during the evening’s program of NHF”s seventh annual gala, From Sea to Shining Sea: An American Celebration of Hospice Care. For more information about the gala, visit donate.nationalhospicefoundation.org/Gala2011