With much sadness the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the National Hospice Foundation share the news of the death of Zachary Paul Morfogen, of Palm Beach who died Tuesday, May 27, 2014. He was 85 and was with family in Pennsylvania at the time of his death.
founding chairman emeritus of what was the National Hospice Organization and
the National Hospice Foundation, Mr. Morfogen was a longtime advocate for
hospice and currently served on the Foundation’s Board of Governors.
became one of the nation’s earliest advocates for hospice care during his
tenure as a trustee of Riverside Hospital in New Jersey. While there, Mr.
Morfogen persuaded Riverside Hospital to establish one of the nation’s first
free-standing hospices and later convinced Time magazine to do a story about
the then growing hospice movement in the U.S.
the early years of his work with Riverside Hospital, Mr. Morfogen saw firsthand
the need for more compassionate care for the dying. At the suggestion of a
colleague, he visited Cicely Saunders, founder of St. Christopher’s Hospice in
London and widely recognized as the founder of the modern day hospice model.
About his visit at St. Christopher’s he shared:
One day there, I saw a hospice patient who had to be in her
eighties celebrating her birthday – big party, cake, candles, the whole bit. I
said to Cicely, “So, how long does she have left?” Cicely said, “Oh, about a
week.” I thought, wow, what a difference between what this was and what I saw
was dedicated to the arts and was actively involved in the creation of the
ground-breaking exhibition, “Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry,” that opened at
the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 1996 and then toured the
A love for the power of art to communicate and
educate led to the creation of the National Hospice Foundation’s Zachary
Morfogen Art of Caring Award which recognizes those who use the arts to
increase awareness of hospice care.
Morfogen was a painter and author whose books included You Gotta’ Have Art and
Dealing with Death Free From
Fear which was published only this month.
is survived by his two children and their spouses, seven grandchildren, two
great-grandchildren, and a sister. His beloved wife, Marilyn, died in 2011.
contributions may be made in his memory to the National Hospice Foundation, 1731 King St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314 or The Roosevelt Institute, New York, NY.
Morfogen’s obituary and online condolence book are available