CURRENT AREA OF RESEARCH
The Hospice Legacy of The Rev. Dr. Edward F. Dobihal, Jr: An Intersection Between Spirituality, Healthcare and Social Justice
The Rev. Dr. Edward F. Dobihal Jr. is one of the forgotten pioneers of the hospice movement in the United States. In a lot of hospice literature, you read statements like, “Florence Wald, along with two pediatricians and a chaplain, founds Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Connecticut.” But that chaplain was The Rev. Dr. Edward F. Dobihal. Born in June, 1927 in Baltimore, he received a doctorate degree from Drew University in 1965.
In 1986, Rev. Edward F. Dobihal, Jr. and his wife Shirley Dobihal were recognized by the National Hospice Organization (NHO) with the Founder’s Award for his significant role in the founding of the first hospice in the United States.
Although hospice is now big and popular in the United States, as a gentler transition to death than the traditional treat-until-the-last breath approach, there were many skeptics at the start. But Dobihal felt from the beginning that he wanted to make dying more humane and worked hard for it and in the process became one of the pioneers of the hospice movement in the US. In addition to being a founding member of Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Connecticut- the first hospice in the United States, Dobihal was also the first president of the hospice board.
Chief investigator for this project is Dr. Saul Ebema, President and Founder of Hospice Chaplaincy.