The Campaign for

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The Campaign for

A Small Home Makes aBigDifference


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

loved one.

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.


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.”


Why We

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.


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.


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.



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

homes category.

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.



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,

Ken’s sister.

Susan saw a transformation in her husband

after he moved to Chilton House. “The paranoia

left. …He stopped being frantic. He was sweet,

compassionate, lovely.”

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 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.


are available.

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

Fundingthe Vision



Chilton House

VNA Care Network & Hospice

65 Chilton Street

Cambridge, MA 02138

617-547-2620, ext. 1363

888-663-3688, ext. 1363


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