Over the years Carol Jenkins has seen hundreds of families tortured by guilt and remorse because the end of life for a loved one was such a terrible experience for all involved. Carol has heard stories of fathers and mothers passing away alone in dreary hospital rooms while family and friends were forced to remain in the hospital waiting rooms. She heard stories of patients spending their last days being shuttled all over the hospital to get tests, MRI’s, even surgical procedures which everyone knew would never save the patients life but were done anyway. She knew people who begged to go home for their last days but were literally held captive in the hospital.
Carol knows these stories and has seen how traumatic the end of life experience can be when loved ones spend their last days in a hospital because Carol has been involved in hospice care for over 20 years and has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of a hospice for the past 15 years.
But it was in 2006 while Carol was serving on President George W. Bush Business Advisory Council that she realized a national effort and national leadership was needed to correct the many problems she has seen over the years with end of life care. That is when Carol founded what is now Hospice Fund of America. Since then Carol has been a strong, outspoken advocate for end of life home care.
Over the years, Carol and her staff have sponsored seminars so clergy and other religious leaders could better handle end of life issues with members of their church. She has brought together thousands of Americans for community meetings where the issues of end of life care are discussed.
Carol has also advocated new national policies on end of life care; to require hospitals to inform every critically ill patient of their right to have end of life care at home rather than in the hospital — to require hospitals to provide palliative care consultations with critically ill patients and their famililies as they are admitted to the hospital instead of on the way out when it is too late — and to require Medicare to expand coverage of end of life home care which would not only save tax dollars but would also provide more flexibility for families and critically ill patients.