Hospice El Paso had a noble beginning in 1978 when a group of concerned citizens took it upon themselves to see that terminally ill patients could live the remaining days of their lives in a pain free, loving atmosphere. They believed hospice to be both a concept and program which focused on helping the patient and their families live to their full potential. The founding years saw a development of care which included not only trained professionals, but also the inclusion of social work, volunteer, and bereavement services for the family.

First meeting

First community meeting attended by thirty-three El Pasoans at the Cancer Treatment Center

Steering Committee

Steering committee of sixteen formed to pursue hospice care and services.

Hospice El Paso Incorporates

February 13th – organizational meeting held and later hospice incorporates.

Peggy Schwartz, Office, 501(c)(3)

Peggy Schwartz is hired as executive director. First office established at the cancer Treatment Center and eventually moves to 1900 North Oregon. Staff is hired and Volunteers begin training. In June Hospice of El Paso, Inc receives it’s non-profit exemption status from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.

National Hospice Nursing Letter

March 8th – December 31st. 43 patients are admitted, 23 men and 21 women. Dr Barbara Petrosino UTEP nursing school faculty member and board member of Hospice El Paso begins “National Hospice Nursing Letter”

Charter Member

Becomes a charter member of the “Texas Hospice Organization”. First fundraising dinner is held.

Medicare Certified

First full year as a Hospice Medicare Certified program. Average daily census, 16.

Open to all patients

Hospice opens to non-cancer patients. Contract with Thomason also in Texas Tech family practice residency training program as part of a geriatric rotation.

Staff grows

Staff has grown to 23 full time employees

United Way

Hospice El Paso accepted into United Way

Educational Symposium

Hospice El Paso develops and produces its first educational symposium in palliative care.


Hospice El Paso creates its own in-house pharmacy. Still the only stand-alone hospice with a pharmacy

Joint Commission on Accreditation

Hospice El Paso becomes the first free-standing hospice in Texas to achieve accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). We are still the only stand-alone El Paso Hospice Organization to have the highly respected certification.

Hospice El Paso Foundation

The Hospice El Paso Foundation is established to raise capital for a building.


Four out-of-town for-profit corporations move to El Paso competing for referrals.

Tom Meagher

In January Tome Meagher becomes the new Executive Director. In September Hospice El Paso solely owns its first permanent location.

Pediatric Program

Launches the Pediatric Palliative Care program.

Jim Paul

Jim Paul becomes the 5th Executive Director in 36 years