LIVONIA (WWJ) – In the 1960s, people spoke of death in hushed tones. Enter Sister Mary Giovanni.
As a young nun, she was charged with caring for the sick and dying of her Felician order.
The care was holistic, she says, dealing with the whole person, and she wondered: Why can’t everyone be treated like that in their final days?
In 1987, Sister Giovanni opened Angela Hospice in Livonia, and was able to bring that holistic care to the community.
“I think that’s the key factor for hospice — the patient and the family are treated as one unit of care,” she said. “Not just the patient getting the pain under control, which is of utmost importance to us.”
At Angela, hopes and fears are talked about openly with friends, family, and the patient.
“There’s some forgiveness that needs to be done,” Giovanni said. “There’s some bucket lists that the patient has.”
Sister Giovanni was among the first to offer hospice care to pediatric patients.
Her personal heroes, she said, are the parents of sick children.
“It really, really is a huge act of love,” she said.
Do you know someone in your community that has made a difference to benefit others? WWJ Newsradio 950 is seeking out individuals who are making a difference, big or small – people who have inspired positive change and those who have made an impact in the community.
Each month, WWJ will honor a person as the Difference Maker in the Community. This person will be highlighted on-air and on cbsdetroit.com for their positive contributions. All monthly Difference Makers will be invited to join at a special luncheon in the spring of 2013 to recognize the positive contributions. Click here to nominate someone you know. WWJ Newsradio 950 Difference Maker in the Community program is presented by Baker Tilly Accountants and Advisors and sponsored in part by Family Heating, Cooling & Electrical.