History of Hospice

The term "hospice" comes from the word "hospitality" and dates back to medieval times. Hospice referred to a place of shelter and rest for tired or sick travelers on a long journey. Physician Cicely Saunders first applied the term to the concept of providing specialized care for dying patients in 1967. She founded the first modern hospice, St. Christopher's Hospice, in a residential suburb of London.

Saunders introduced the idea of hospice to the United States during a 1973 visit to Yale University. Her lecture, given to medical students, nurses, social workers and chaplains about the idea of complete hospice care, included photos of terminally ill patients with cancer and their families. Through these photos, Saunders showed how the use of symptom control care made a dramatic difference in these patients' lives. This lecture was the first in a series of events that resulted in the development of hospice care, as we know it today.

The Saint Francis Hospice program was created in 1987. We are proud to celebrate the years of providing quality, compassionate care to the Tulsa area.