VNA Hits Home Run for Hospice Patient


The Visiting Nurse Association’s team of hospice professionals goes the extra mile to lift spirits and celebrate their patients’ passions. Maureen Murphy shares how a lifelong Phillies fan recently enjoyed a very special day at the ball park. 

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We love it when we can brighten a patient’s day or help them make a wish come true.

We recently got a great chance. One of our chaplains, the Rev. Laura Barry, visits Mr. Walter Stafford, a patient, and finds out he’s a Phillies fan.  Reverend Laura had an idea!

She applied to the Lighthouse of Hope to see about getting Philadelphia Phillies baseball game package for him. One that would include tickets for Mr. Stafford, his family, his nurse, and herself.

Her request was approved! And on Sunday August 14, 2016 off they all went to the ball game. Once the Phillies heard they were coming, they were very generous, too, and added a few more free tickets and free parking and even food.

According to Reverend Laura, “Mr. Stafford cried when he saw the Phillies Citizens Bank Park Stadium as he has not been to a live game since the Phillies played at Shibe Park (pre-1970).

The Phillies mascot, the Phanatic, came to visit Mr. Stafford and as you can see in the picture, Mr. Stafford cried again with much happiness. The entire family was so very excited to have shared in this experience, as was Mr. Stafford’s VNA nurse, Linda Kamnik and I.

At the 7th inning stretch, “God Bless America” played throughout the stadium and Mr. Stafford heartily sang along as tears welled in his eyes. And, the icing on the cake…the Phillies won!”

About the VNA

Started over 125 years ago in Philly, the VNA was a pioneer in public-health nursing, and their”multi-disciplinary” approach to healthcare continues today. A dedicated team of healthcare pros, including nurses, chaplains, social workers, home health aides, and therapists (including therapy dogs!) — provide home health and hospice care to all, regardless of ability to pay.

To learn more about the VNA, check out our article.


Get Involved!  Volunteering at VNA Hospice of Philadelphia takes as little as 1-2 hours once per week but makes such a difference to the patients and their families. Opportunities include office support, Inpatient Unit visits, home visits, and special events. Call 215-581-2360 with questions or to start the application process (includes Background Check, Child Abuse History Clearance, TB testing, and comprehensive training which VNA pays for.)


About Maureen Murphy 9 Articles
Maureen is the Senior VP for Development for the VNA Hospice of Philadelphia; the only nonprofit, freestanding hospice unit in the Philadelphia Metro area. A dedicated team of healthcare pros, including nurses, chaplains, social workers, home health aides, and therapists (including therapy dogs!) — provide home health and hospice care to all, regardless of ability to pay.

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