Honoring Dr. Gerald Holman with the dedication of our Inpatient Residence

On May 23, 2012, Hospice Care of the Southwest hosted a reception, ribbon cutting and open house to dedicate its Inpatient Residence area to Dr. Gerald Holman. Members of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce were on hand for the ribbon cutting and the room was filled with family and many friends.

Helen Miller, Director of Professional Services for Hospice Care of the Southwest and one of the founding employees, made the following comments to the assembled crowd.

Dr. Holman was instrumental in starting hospice care in Amarillo during the early 80s. He changed the way people in our community were dying—offering them comfort, dignity, and making the process less lonely. In 1988, Dr. Holman and another well-known hospice physician founded the Academy of Hospice Physicians which later became the National Certification Board for hospice and palliative care. Dr. Holman continually increased his hospice knowledge on state and national levels and was sought after as a presenter across the country.

When Hospice Care of the Southwest began seven years ago, we were encouraged and blessed by the fact that Dr. Holman interrupted his retirement to help and guide us. In an e-mail he sent me during those start-up moments, he wrote: Thank God that the true flame of hospice, so carefully nurtured, will not be extinguished in Amarillo.” As he helped us develop our mission statement, Dr. Holman was adamant that we would provide care to patients and families by “Applying the Science of Comfort with the Art of Caring.”

In addition to staying current on the latest medical developments in hospice, he truly exemplified the second part of the statement by being so caring. He said and modeled the fact that “the best intensive care is your ears.” Dr. Holman would sit with the patient, listen to their story, their concerns and their requests. If they wanted prayer, he would pray with them. If there were tears, he would console them. If the patient wanted to laugh, he would laugh with them. Most of all, he would love each one unconditionally! When he enters a room, there is an overwhelming feeling of gentleness and kindness. He is so genuine.

Seven years ago tomorrow, on May 24, 2005, we admitted our first patient. It was Memorial Day weekend, and we essentially lived at the patient’s home. From that point forward, Dr. Holman was available to us day and night. When he was finally ready for his second retirement, he made sure to pass along his knowledge of hospice care to our new medical directors.

As a tribute to Dr. Gerald Holman, we continue to educate the community about the value of hospice care. What Dr. Holman started in the 1980s is still very much alive and well in Amarillo, Texas! It is with great pleasure that we dedicate our Inpatient Residence unit in honor of Dr. Gerald Holman. Operating from within Childers Place, the well equipped rooms and dedicated staff members of Hospice Care of the Southwest are pleased to offer quality, compassionate care and support to patients and their families. Appreciation to hospice team member Katy Montgomery for the event pictures.

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