The Campaign for
A Small Home Makes aBigDifference
THE HOUSE AT 65 CHILTON STREET looks
much like the other homes in this quiet,
residential area of Cambridge’s Huron Village.
But, in the past 17 years, over 2,000 people
have been touched by the caring community
within its walls.
Hospice of Cambridge, now part of VNA Care
Network & Hospice, had brought life-affirming
care into terminally ill patients’ homes for
many years when the idea for Chilton House
formed. Hospice helps the terminally ill and
their loved ones focus on living as fully as
possible by providing a combination of physical,
emotional, practical, and spiritual support.
Such care allows most patients to live at home
during much or all of their illness. Yet there was
no homelike place for hospice patients who
could not live at home because their family
needed to work, they had no loved ones to
help with their care, or their needs were too
complex to be met at home.
The nonprofit agency envisioned a place
where Cambridge area residents could live
their final days with dignity and in comfortable
surroundings. The Hospice of Cambridge
Development Committee, a group of volunteers
dedicated to supporting the availability of
compassionate care for the terminally ill,
worked tirelessly to help Hospice of Cambridge
achieve its dream.
Chilton House opened in 1991 as the first
residential hospice in Massachusetts. Over the
years, the converted two-family residence has
been called home by individuals from all racial,
social, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds.
The hospice team (nurses, social
workers, trained volunteers, home health
aides, and pastoral and bereavement counselors)
cares for patients and their loved ones with an
emphasis on pain and symptom management
for patients. Registered dietitians, rehabilitation
therapists, and clinical specialists are available if
needed. Bereavement counseling and support
are also offered to family members for up to
one year after they experience the loss of a
Chilton House has served as a model and
inspiration for other residential hospices in
New England. Staff help make each unique
experience positive and life affirming in
surroundings that feel like home.
As Chilton House approaches two decades of
serving the community, VNA Care Network &
Hospice wants to ensure the residence continues
to bring comfort to those coping with terminal
illnesses such as cancer, pulmonary disease,
cardiac disease, Alzheimer’s, and AIDS. The
agency, with the support of the Hospice of
Cambridge Development Committee, is
embarking on a $1.8 million capital campaign
to repair and renovate the home as well as
establish a patient care fund for those in need.
You can help make our vision for compassionate
end-of-life care in Cambridge a reality once
again by making a generous gift to the Chilton
House Capital Campaign.
H E L P I N G F A M I L I E S
Even after her mother, Mary Mittell, lost the
ability to speak, Janet (Jan) Kinasewich knew
Mary was happy at Chilton House.
The preceding years had been difficult. Mary
was in her mid-80s, lived alone, and began having
problems with her memory and day-to-day tasks.
No matter what Jan and her brother tried, Mary’s
condition continued deteriorating. Jan said,
“She was so unhappy, it was agony to see.”
Jan moved her mother to Chilton House. Jan
was well acquainted with the residence and its
staff. She began volunteering for the Hospice
of Cambridge Development Committee in the
early 1990s raising funds in support of care for
the terminally ill at Chilton House and the
Mary had a room overlooking the garden. She
determined her own schedule — sleeping late,
having breakfast, or napping when she wanted.
“The home is geared to patients, not the staff
or the institution,” said Jan.
Mary particularly enjoyed being in the living
room, the center of social activity at Chilton.
She could see people coming and going and
be with staff, volunteers, and other patients.
Jan recalled parties in the evenings, visits from
Mary’s grandchildren, and cookouts organized
by a volunteer. Jan said, “The quality of
community was so wonderful.”
The homelike environment and extraordinary
care from the staff and volunteers were just
what Mary needed. She thrived at Chilton
because the staff, said Jan, “think far beyond
their job descriptions. They think about the
person and what the person needs.” Even
when Mary could no longer speak, she would
watch the activity and smile.
Mary’s time at Chilton, said Jan, were the
“happiest months of her life in her last five
years by far.”
Need YourHelp Chilton House helps individuals and families
make the most of life while facing a terminal
illness. In 2007, more than 50 people called the
house their home, and 110 family members
were cared for during their loved one’s journey.
With your help, VNA Care Network & Hospice
and the Hospice of Cambridge Development
Committee can raise the $1.8 million needed to
continue providing the best possible care to
those facing the end of life.
HOSPICE RESIDENCE RENOVATIONS
Chilton House needs repairs and renovations
associated with nearly two decades of service to
the community. The renovations also provide an
opportunity to expand from four patient bedrooms
with a shared bathroom to five bedrooms
each with a private bathroom, enlarge the living
space, and add amenities that will offer more
comfort to residents and their loved ones.
PATIENT CARE FUND
The patient care fund will help maintain Chilton
House so patients can receive the best possible
end-of-life care in a homelike environment. The
fund will support grief and bereavement
services, free or reduced fee hospice care for
those in need, and maintenance of the
residence and grounds.
TAKING THE “LEED” IN
RESIDENTIAL HOSPICE DESIGN
The first hospice residence in the state now aims
to be the first home of its kind in New England
to achieve Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the
Renovations will be made with the goal of meeting
performance standards in LEED’s five key areas:
sustainable site development, water savings,
energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor
environmental quality. Making Chilton House a
“greener” place will help the environment while
creating quiet, comfortable, and attractive
surroundings that are more economical to
operate and maintain.
H E L P I N G P A T I E N T S
An aggressive brain tumor was slowly taking
Dr. Kenneth (Ken) Dawson from his family.
This gentle, intelligent man spent 25 years as a
child psychiatrist helping troubled youths and
their families. He was given nine to 18 months
to live. Traditional and experimental treatments
weren’t working. He became more confused
and paranoid. Seizures kept him in and out of
the emergency room.
It was clear during his last hospital stay that he
would not be able to continue living in his
childhood home in Cambridge with his wife,
Susan Dawson, and their three children. He
was taken from the hospital to his new home,
Chilton House, in June 2007.
“The staff at Chilton are so kind. They have
such an understanding of what people need
and the desire to do it,” said Connie Dawson,
Susan saw a transformation in her husband
after he moved to Chilton House. “The paranoia
left. …He stopped being frantic. He was sweet,
The family was able to enjoy their last weeks
together and even celebrated Susan and Ken’s
25th wedding anniversary at his favorite restaurant.
Connie said, “Before Chilton House, all we did
was worry. All of a sudden Ken was safe. We
could focus on being a sister, wife, or kids again.”
During his last days, the clinicians at Chilton
House kept Ken comfortable. Connie said they
seemed to anticipate his needs. “We didn’t ever
have to worry or start advocating for him,” she said.
The family gathered for what they knew would
probably be their last time together. A nurse
made sure Ken wore his favorite Red Sox t-shirt
so the children’s last memory of him wouldn’t
be in a hospital gown.
Connie recalled, “We were tense and anxious,
and the staff could see it. Lola (a nurse) took
his hand and started singing. She calmed all of us
down. She just transitioned us, and we were fine.”
Ken passed away on Aug. 27, 2007, at the age
of 59. “We couldn’t keep him from dying, but
we gave him the best death possible. …We feel
very lucky,” said Connie.
You can help terminally ill patients and their families
in our community today and in the future by
making a charitable gift to Chilton House. There
are numerous ways to show your support:
CASH GIFTS are a direct way to support the
campaign. Gifts may be made by check or
credit card using the enclosed envelope.
Donations may also be made by credit card on
VNA Care Network & Hospice’s secure donations
page at www.vnacarenetwork.org or by calling
617-547-2620, ext. 1370.
PLEDGES may be made payable over a period of
three years and enable the donor to contribute a
larger gift than would be possible to make in any
one tax year. Installments can be fulfilled on a
monthly, quarterly, biannual, or annual basis and
automatically charged to a credit card or by
check mailed to our Development Office.
GIFT OF SECURITIES/STOCK may offer you tax
benefits. Our Development Office is happy to
work with you and your financial advisor to
arrange for this type of gift. Simply call our
Development Office for assistance.
MATCHING GIFTS by many companies may
double a contribution made by an employee.
Usually the company’s human resources office
can provide the necessary information and
matching gift forms.
NAMING OPPORTUNITIES at Chilton House
For more information or assistance making a
charitable gift, please contact:
Jodi Vigneron, development associate, at
617-547-2620, ext. 1363; 888-663-3688, ext. 1363;
Jane Woodbury, vice president of business
and fund development, at 617-547-2620, ext.
1360; 888-663-3688, ext. 1360; or
PROPOSED 1ST FLOOR
PROPOSED 2ND FLOOR
VNA Care Network & Hospice
65 Chilton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-547-2620, ext. 1363
888-663-3688, ext. 1363
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