Dr. Shoudy, A Man of Vision
On November 22, 2009, Blue Water Hospice lost a dear friend and true champion of hospice care in St. Clair County.Dr. Elmore Shoudy committed his adult life to helping others. He was a Family Practitioner in Port Huron from 1960 to 1995, and was chief of Port Huron Hospital's Emergency Room from 1975 to his retirement.It was through his experience with patients, both in his private practice and in the hospital, that convinced Dr. Shoudy that there should be more compassionate way of working with patients and families coping with terminal illnesses.Rather than spending their last days in a hospital or long-term care facility, Dr. Shoudy, as creator and Medical director of Blue Water Hospice, advocated for terminally ill individuals to be cared for in a facility specifically dedicated to serving the needs of the terminally ill in a home-like setting surrounded by friends and family. Dr. Shoudy's vision became a reality in 1982 when Blue Water Hospice opened Marian Manor in downtown Port Huron.With continued leadership from Dr. Shoudy, Blue Water Hospice gradually moved away from institutional care of terminally ill people towards the care of hospice patients in comfort of their own homes. As part of the Visiting Nurse Association Health Services (VNA), Blue Water Hospice has assisted thousands of patients and their families in an effort to make this end of life's journey as meaningful and as free from pain as possible.To honor Dr. Shoudy's leadership and passion for hospice care, the Board created the Elmore D. Shoudy Award for Outstanding Hospice Services in 1992. This award is given annually to an individual who, Like Dr. Shoudy, is dedicated to the celebration of life with terminally ill patients and their families.As the years passed, Dr. Shoudy and the Blue Water Hospice staff and volunteers noted that, although family members and loved ones wanted to provide the necessary care for their terminally ill loved ones at home, at times, circumstances prohibited this from happening. In recent years, they observed a growing need for a homelike facility that is capable of providing dedicated care and support to patients and their families.As a result, Dr. Shoudy advocated for hospice facility to be option to go to a "home away from home" during the last days of terminal illness.Upon locating a beautiful, peaceful piece of property in Marysville, complete with pond and quiet meadow lands, Dr. Shoudy knew he had found the perfect location for the Blue Water Hospice Home, and the hard work of raising funds towards the construction of the home began.Although Dr. Shoudy passed away before he could see his dream come to fruition, his spirit lives on in the campaign. Brenda Clark, a past hospice administrator describes him as "a man who lived his convictions of helping terminally ill patients die with dignity, free of pain, and surrounded by friends and loved ones."Those convictions will be held high by the leaders if the team who are now moving ahead with the construction of Dr. Shoudy's vision for "... a home away from home for hospice patients and their families".Dr. Patel has been the Medical Director for Blue Water Hospice for over 20 years. Like Dr. Shoudy, Dr. Patel is both well-known and respected throughout the community. Dr. Patel will oversee care for patients who will become residents at the Blue Water Hospice Home.