Giving back and paying forward


Pamela Puppe Patient Care Scholarship FundGiving back and paying forward is on the mind of Pam Puppe and Kansas City Hospice is grateful for her support.

As a young girl, Pamela Puppe dreamt of becoming a nurse and worked hard toward that goal, obtaining near-perfect grades. Growing up extremely poor, and in a time when women were unable to obtain student loans or apply for scholarships without the consent of their father or a male guardian, she had to let her dream go.

Her father did not see the value of college. And he had concerns about his daughter’s ability to pay back a loan. Pam went on to pursue a career as a hairstylist. It was a way she could still care for others.

While not able to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse, she helped serve as a caregiver. She cared for her father, mother, husbands and several dear friends in the last years of their lives. “I watched the loving care as hospice nurses and care partners made my dying husband comfortable for six weeks as he passed away peacefully at Kansas City Hospice House™,” she remembers. “Their compassionate and gentle hands took the stress and work off my shoulders. They allowed family, friends and myself to laugh and love.”

A healing rose garden

Following the death of her husband Peter in 2012, Pam helped build the rose garden and other gardens outside the west wing of Kansas City Hospice House. She also became a KCH Full Circle Society member. By including KCH in her estate plans, she ensured the hospice house and its serene gardens would continue to provide care and peace for years to come.

Being surrounded by nature is undoubtedly calming. It has also been shown to promote healing and provide a respite from the stress of medical treatment. Kansas City Hospice House was designed with this in mind.  Patients, their family members and also patient care staff enjoy the peaceful gardens.

Pam PuppeLocated on 12 acres next to a green belt where deer and other wildlife roam, each room has a large window that opens to the outside. A central courtyard is accessible to wheelchairs and patient beds, and there is even a stone labyrinth for meditation.

The entwined gardens that Pam helped design offer a variety of textures and colors that attract birds and butterflies. It’s a beautiful, but not too busy, design that offers peace of mind and sanctuary to those who walk its path or sit on its benches to reflect.

A scholarship aids in giving back and paying forward

More recently, Pam has shown her passion for the nursing profession in another way. She is helping others pursue the dream she couldn’t – a career in nursing. In late 2020, she provided a generous gift to establish the Pamela Puppe Patient Care Scholarship Fund. Awarding a scholarship to one KCH patient care staff member annually, this fund will further their educational goals and enhance the level of care they are able to provide to patients and families.

“I’m giving this gift in hopes that someday you will pay it forward,” Pam shares in a letter to potential recipients.

She was inspired to establish this scholarship fund not only by her personal experience of being financially unable to obtain a nursing degree, but by the care provided to her second husband, Jerry, at Kansas City Hospice House in 2018.

“I can’t begin to express all that the entire staff did to make this journey easier. The nurses and care partners were so professional in tending to his physical needs and yet giving everyone the comfort and support we all so desperately needed. I am truly grateful for everything that was provided by Kansas City Hospice House.”

It is Pam’s hope that recipients of the scholarship will gain professional education and training to further their careers and become better care providers, and will someday pay it forward to another person in their pursuit of a career in nursing.

“I hope you will accept this gift knowing the difference you can and will make in so many people’s lives,” she says, “you will not remember all of them or their loved ones, but they will remember you… for the kindness, mercy and love you give.”

About Us

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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