December 16, 2020
Ann Daley accomplished more in her 90 years than most could do in two lifetimes. She helped care for countless patients not just in her role as nurse but as a local health care innovator.
One of her most notable efforts was helping bring hospice care to the community. Four decades later, hospice has brought the gifts of peace, joy and comfort to so many in Bemidji, including Ann herself.
“She was a pioneer in community health and helped address voids in our local health care system,” said Ann’s friend and colleague, Dr. Howard Hoody. “That was her life’s work.”
Health care pioneer
A life-long Minnesotan, Ann moved to Bemidji in 1976 with her husband, Stan, and two young children. She took on the challenge of developing the community’s first patient education program.
Over the next 20 years, she educated patients on disease management, focusing on diabetes, heart disease and cancer. She wrote columns for the Senior Center and Bemidji Pioneer about how to care for one’s self. She helped found new programs and services to meet the needs of her patients.
So when Ann experienced a traumatic fall and struggled to fully recover, she knew where to turn. Already suffering from congestive heart failure and respiratory issues, she started at-home care with Sanford Bemidji Hospice.
Ann wasn’t sure how long she’d have left, but then something amazing happened. She started to feel better with each passing day. Ann visited with friends and family, even hosting concerts in her living room, and continued to live her life to the fullest.
Ann passed away in October 2019 in the comfort of her own home, 15 months after entering hospice care.
More than 170 patients and families benefited from compassionate hospice care this year.
As you give thanks for all the blessings in your own life, please consider also giving comfort to more families.
Visit sanfordhealthfoundation.org/holidays to make your first and most important gift of the season.