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Hospice director receives award


Carolyn Nystrom, executive director of Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, traveled to Seattle two weeks ago to receive a Sojourns Award from Cambia Health. The award comes with a $50,000 prize that will support Hospice’s activities.

Cambia Health, a nonprofit corporation that owns Blue Cross and Blue Shield, presents the award annually to a resident of each of the states of Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah. The company announced that the award “honors exemplary leaders in the field of palliative care, promotes their innovations and invests in their future work.”

Cambia stated that Nystrom was being recognized for “her passion and unique abilities, her vision and her day-to-day work in palliative care that is truly changing the landscape for patients, their families, health professionals and her community.”

In an interview, Nystrom said the award came “as a total surprise.”

She said the end-of-life care provided by Hospice of the Wood River Valley is exceptional for a rural area, and about 93 percent of the people who die in the Wood River Valley use Hospice’s services—the highest percentage of any hospice in the United States. She said Hospice is able to provide such a high level of care only because it receives so much help from the entire medical community here.

“Our good work couldn’t happen everywhere,” she said. “We are very fortunate for the partnerships and collaborative efforts of everyone.”


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