Expert care brings peace of mind and hope

By David Wiley, KCH President & CEO
Published: Jan 25, 2022

I would never have imagined I would be given the opportunity to work for a company such as Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care (KCH). Life events, and likely more important forces, led me to the greatest opportunity any person could have. My connection to KCH is real, my connection is raw, and my connection is joyous. I share my experience as a source of inspiration and an example of the impact KCH can make on someone’s life.

This past October was the 10th anniversary of my mom’s death in 2011. After an incredible nine-day journey at Kansas City Hospice House (KCHH) my mom, Jean, took her last breath. I had the grand fortune of staying all nine days and nights with her. The outcome of our experience is a deep appreciation for, and understanding of, the 24/7 hospice house operations from a family perspective. 

To be clear, 10 days before her death I didn’t even know about hospice care because we had never experienced it. During our time at KCHH I was reassured that it is never too late to seek help for your loved one. Even with our family only receiving nine days of service, it was the best decision we made. The care provided was above my expectations and brought our family peace – it felt like we were at home.

Our family shared meals, watched birds flutter in the bushes outside the window, spent time on the porch and listened to volunteer Gary play his guitar while my mom tapped her foot to the tune. We had incredible nurses who knew I wanted to help care for my mom throughout the night– they honored my onerous wish. There was incredible social work support for our loud, obnoxious family who grieved in various ways. There was even a Fellow to support us over the weekend. And I had Mary Anne – who held my hand on the last morning of Mom’s life asking me if I was okay after she tenderly cared for our Mom during a difficult night. These memories, along with many more, are poignantly etched in my mind. Our experience was literally life changing.

From unimaginable to inspirational

More than two years after Mom’s death, I had the opportunity to join the KCH team as COO in 2014 and later was given the privilege of leading as President & CEO in 2016. If you are looking for a place where you can feel confident your family member will be well taken care of by compassionate, knowledgeable and professional staff, you should consider looking into the services offered at KCH. You have many options to consider for your ailing loved one. I know firsthand that having the support of a team of professionals, during potentially the most difficult time of your life, will bring you peace of mind.

After Mom’s death I learned to carry on and turned my grief into a passion for the work we do. Those days, hours and moments under the care of KCH have compelled my life in a way that is frankly unimaginable. My personal experience as a family member provides a foundation and inspires my thinking and actions because I truly know how meaningful Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care’s work is for our patients and families.Our Guiding Principles lead the way in which services are provided to each and every patient and their family who give us the honor of caring for their loved one. We know that when it comes to palliative care and hospice, expert care is defined both by our staff’s training and expertise, and our ability to restore and maintain the peace and beauty of life, at the end of life. I hope knowing there are local experts like those at KCH, to help guide decision-making and deliver medical help when needed, provides reassurance to families in our community, wherever they are in their own life journey.


  1. Chriatie Wiley Cochran on January 26, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    David expressed our heartfelt feelings of our time with mom at KCHospice House. Mom passed with ultimate dignity and our family could not have been more proud of her last days on earth.

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