Jennie Magid Dedicates her Life to Helping Hospice Patients and their Families in Silicon Valley
Hospice of the Valley is honored to nominate Jennie Magid for the 2016 Silicon Valley Excellence in Healthcare Award for her lifelong dedication to providing hospice care and end-of-life services in Santa Clara County. As the founder of not-for-profit Hospice of the Valley (HOV) in San Jose, Jennie is a pioneer and leader in the hospice industry.
Jennie established the HOV founding committee in 1976 to honor the memory of her husband, George Joseph Magid, M.D. Dr. Magid specialized in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolic disease at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University Medical Center, and was an active member of the community. He helped to establish the Diabetes Society of Santa Clara Valley as a member of the founding committee.
As a new widow and mother of three young children, Jennie was determined to help other families who were going through the same end-of-life experiences.
“I started Hospice of the Valley because I noticed during my husband’s illness that other families didn’t have the same support system that we had during this difficult time in our lives. I was compelled to establish an organization that would provide quality end-of-life services to other terminally ill patients and their families in Silicon Valley,” she explains.
Jennie’s unique talent of building relationships and communicating her vision for hospice care allowed her to gather the right people to help build her dream. She engaged a group of friends and colleagues to start planning for the hospice, originally named Project Journey.
“These friends were a group of community members who were dedicated to carrying out our vision of helping families have a more positive end-of-life experience,” she explains. “It was a very difficult time establishing the first hospice in Santa Clara County, with very few models to learn from at the time. Establishing a new hospice was a choppy sea, but we had a life raft of supporters keeping us afloat to achieve our goal.”
After planning for five years with her supporters, HOV opened in 1979. In the initial stages, it took about a year for the group to get 501-C3 non-profit status, operating under the umbrella of Catholic Social Services. After the first year, HOV gained 501-C3 status and was operating on its own.
At the beginning, the staff was an all-volunteer team of physicians, nurses, respite workers, a social worker and a chaplain. Original funding came from the Junior League of San Jose with an $18,000 grant for a patient care coordinator and a public relations campaign. During the first year of operation, the realization of Jennie’s vision meant that 41 families received hospice care.
Hospice of the Valley Today
Hospice of the Valley has grown to employ a team of more than 100 hospice professionals, with an estimated annual payroll of $6,750,000. Over the past 36 years, Hospice of the Valley has provided care to over 35,000 Silicon Valley residents, and continues to benefit from Jennie’s vision, commitment and dedication. In 2015, donors gave more than $1 million to support HOV’s hospice and grief support programs.
Today, Hospice of the Valley continues to offer compassionate hospice care and grief support to all residents of Santa Clara County, regardless of ability to pay. On Sept. 1, 2015, HOV joined forces with Sutter Care at Home. Founded in 1906, Sutter Care at Home is part of the not-for-profit Sutter Health network and delivers high-quality home care to more than 150,000 patients in 27 Northern California counties each year. This collaboration enhances Hospice of the Valley’s ability to continue to provide high-quality hospice care and grief support services for a long time into the future.
Jennie remains actively involved with Hospice of the Valley and in the community. She continues to advocate for end-of-life care; contributes to new ideas about how hospice can integrate the healing arts for patients, caregivers and volunteers; works with HOV leadership to collaborate on hospice management; and supports fundraising events and the HOV Volunteer Service League.
Jennie’s career accomplishments are numerous. She served on several community boards and committees in Silicon Valley, including O’Connor Hospital, a not-for-profit Health Trust grants committee, Villa Montalvo Historical Library and Youth Science Institute, and community arts organizations .
She has been honored with several leadership awards, including the Santa Clara County Medical Society’s Citizen’s Award for establishing Hospice of the Valley, and the Human Services Outstanding Service Award at Tandem Computers. Jennie created Tandem’s Corporate Philanthropy Program, and instituted many programs benefitting the local community, as well as worldwide where Tandem had other offices.
“The greatest gift I have received is to see the commitment, dedication, and wonderful hearts of people who serve in hospice and community work,” Jennie says. “I am so grateful to everyone who has contributed to building Hospice of the Valley into the wonderful, giving organization it is today.”
Thanks to the vision and lifelong contributions of founder Jennie Magid, and the volunteers and professionals who have lovingly cared for thousands of patients and families in hospice care, Hospice of the Valley continues its legacy of compassionate end-of-life care in Silicon Valley.