February 3, 2020

Hospice and Palliative Care Innovator Honored With 4th Annual Doris A. Howell, Md, Award

LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care Founder Jill Mendlen, RN, Recognized for Extraordinary Impact Work

A nurse and longtime healthcare innovator whose entrepreneurial spirit has been fueled by a passion and purpose to improve care for people with serious illness was recently honored by the California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care.

Jill Mendlen, RN, the founder of San Diego’s LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care.

LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care Founder Jill Mendlen, RN, is the recipient of the Institute’s 2019 Doris A. Howell, MD, Award for Advancing Palliative Care.

“Jill represents the best in our field: a passionate caregiver, inspiring leader, and programmatic innovator,” said the Institute’s Executive Director Jennifer Moore Ballentine. “We’re thrilled to honor her and her team with this award.”

The Institute received roughly 20 nominations in support of Mendlen, many from LightBridge employees who have worked alongside her to provide high-quality palliative and end-of-life care that has transformed quality of life for seriously ill patients and families in San Diego County.

In accepting the award, Mendlen said she was doing so on behalf of LightBridge employees who inspire her every day with their care and commitment to the patients and families they serve. “Life is really about people,” Mendlen said. “It’s always the people that truly make a difference, and that is especially true of our staff. This honor really belongs to them. They are Lightbridge.”

Supporting Patients and Families

The ceremony honoring Mendlen drew palliative care leaders, advocates, and Institute supporters from throughout the region including Cal State San Marcos President Dr. Ellen Neufeldt, Ruth Westreich of The Westreich Foundation, representatives from the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research, and many of Mendlen’s friends and colleagues.

Addressing the crowd, Mendlen spoke about the “sacred honor” of caring for people with serious or terminal illness, and the true focus of that important work.

“Hospice is not about dying – it is really about living each day to the fullest,” she said. “Families invite us into their homes, into their lives, during a very critical time and they invite us to walk their journey with them. And I truly believe this is a sacred honor that they give us.”

To read full article please go to: https://csupalliativecare.org/4th-annual-howell-award/