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Changing the Way We Die
Compassionate End of Life Care and The Hospice Movement
Fran Smith, Sheila Himmel
ISBN: 9781936740512
Foreword by Joan Halifax
Book (Paperback)
Viva Editions
$16.95
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
288 pages
November 19, 2013


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There’s a quiet revolution happening in the way we die. More than 1.5 million Americans a year die in hospice care—nearly 44 percent of all deaths—and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand. Once viewed as a New Age indulgence, hospice is now a billion business and one of the most successful segments in health care. Changing the Way We Die, by award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel, is the first book to take a broad, penetrating look at the hospice landscape.

Changing the Way We Die is a vital resource for anyone who wants to be prepared to face life’s most challenging and universal event. You will learn:

  • Hospice use is soaring, yet most people come too late to get the full benefits.
  • With the age tsunami, it becomes even more critical for families and patients to choose end-of-life care wisely.
  • Hospice at its best is much more than a way to relieve the suffering of dying. It is a way to live.

Winner of the 2014 Independent Publisher Award Silver Medal in Aging/Death & Dying

Fran Smith is a writer, editor, writing coach, and communications consultant. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine; Redbook; Salon; Good Housekeeping; Prevention; Health; the Los Angeles Times; USA Today, and dozens of other publications and websites. She has won many awards for medical reporting, health care investigations, and feature writing, and shared a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News. Fran co-authored the first reporters’ guidebook published by the Association of Health Care Journalists, and she is a frequent speaker on the power of storytelling, health care writing, and effective communications. A history buff, she is also the author of Breaking Ground: The Daring Women of the YWCA of the Santa Clara Valley, 1905 – 2005. (YWCA: 2005). She lives in New York.
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Sheila Himmel is a Psychology Today blogger and co-author of Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia (Penguin, 2009). She is a contributor to Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives: Guidance and Reflections on Recovery from Eating Disorders (April 2011). Sheila writes for publications ranging from the New York Times to Eating Well to IEEE Spectrum: The Magazine of Technology Insiders. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Robb Report, M Magazine, and the online magazine Obit. As a restaurant critic of the San Jose Mercury News, Sheila won a James Beard Foundation Award for feature writing. She won awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press News Editors Association, and uncovered fraud at a prominent Silicon Valley restaurant, revealing its longtime substitution of pork for veal. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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