Julia Duane Quinlan, chief executive officer and co-founder of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, celebrated her 95th birthday on Feb. 23.
Together with her late husband, Joseph T. Quinlan, she opened the hospice in 1980 in loving memory of their daughter Karen Ann. Since the opening, Quinlan has dedicated herself to ensuring dignified, comforting care for terminally ill patients and their families.
The Karen Ann Quinlan Charitable Foundation launched a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser in her honor, with all funds raised to directly benefit The Julia Quinlan Home for Hospice Endowment Fund. It was created to provide funds to cover under reimbursed and un-reimbursed care at the Home for Hospice. It started with $100,000 in seed money from Lakeland Bank that was matched by organizational and community funding.
“Our goal is to achieve an endowment of one million dollars which will be permanently restricted to providing care at the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice,” said John Quinlan, director of the foundation. “We intend to distribute this money at the rate of ten percent per year and replenish the fund through donations and fundraising events.”
The majority of the care provided will be respite care where a patient and family can be provided five days and four nights of hospice care as well as ambulance transfers to and from the Home whether they have Medicare or insurance coverage or not. “We will also provide Haven care when necessary to patients and families who need the unique care provided at the Home but would not otherwise be able to afford it,” said Quinlan.
The fundraiser will run through Feb. 28 at facebook.com/KarenAnnQuinlanHospice.org/fundraisers. You can also donate online at KarenAnnQuinlanHospice.org/endowment or by calling 973-383-0115.
A life upended
Quinlan’s life as wife and mother had been quite normal up until the fateful night the Quinlans’ received a phone call at 2 a.m. advising them that their daughter Karen Ann was in a coma. From that time forward, Julia Quinlan has tirelessly dedicated herself to the cause of hospice and making sure the terminally ill had the care they needed by forming the Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation and then on April 15, 1980, the Center of Hope Hospice, now named Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice opened its doors to Sussex County and the surrounding community.
During her 40 years of involvement with hospice, Quinlan has been a national speaker who has contributed to the advance of the hospice philosophy and to the cause of patient rights. Julia is well known locally and nationally, and has spoken at conferences across the country on ethics, end-of-life care, hospice and the historic importance of the Quinlan landmark decision.
Quinlan has received numerous awards for her advocacy on behalf of hospice, including the prestigious Jefferson Award. Founded 47 years ago by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard, this award celebrates ordinary citizens who demonstrate extraordinary acts in public service. The Jefferson Award Foundation recognizes this honor as the “Nobel Prize for public Service.”
More recently she received the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award for her lifetime of giving.
Quinlan is the co-author of “Karen Ann” (Doubleday, 1976) and “My Joy, My Sorrow” (St. Anthony Messenger Press), which was released in July 2005. Her current book, “Legacy of Love,” is available for order online at karenannquinlanhospice.org/legacy .
In 2013, Quinlan directed her efforts to building the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice, a ten-patient residence overlooking the vistas from property on the Waterwheel Farm in Fredon. The home which opened in 2014 provides terminally ill patients a place to call home when they can no longer be cared for in their own home. In 2017, she was instrumental in the search for the permanent home of the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center, which is now located on 5 Plains Roads in Augusta.
To this day, she plays an active role in the foundation and the hospice serving as CEO.
“There’s still work to be done and families to be helped,” Quinlan said. “I have plans to expand our services in Pennsylvania and add new programs to what we currently offer. And, I may still have another book to write.”
Quinlan’s life as wife and mother had been quite normal up until the fateful night the Quinlans’ received a phone call at 2 a.m. advising them that their daughter Karen Ann was in a coma. From that time forward, Julia Quinlan has tirelessly dedicated herself to the cause of hospice and making sure the terminally ill had the care they needed.