Honoring the Spirit of Hospice Care: The Yoshiro Matsuo Compassionate Care Award
The modern hospice movement in the United States has its roots in the spirit of volunteerism. Compassionate end-of-life care was pioneered in America in the late 1970s and early 1980s by dedicated volunteers who envisioned a better way to provide care to the dying. This new model focused not only on pain management, but also on spiritual counseling, personal dignity and grief support for the family of the hospice patient.
This year, Helios will honor one of our own hospice visionaries: Dr. Yoshiro Matsuo. Dr. Matsuo was instrumental in bringing hospice care to New York. Forty years ago, he met with a group of community leaders at Fox hospital to discuss the need for the hospice model of care to be brought to Oneonta and the surrounding counties. In a matter of months, this passionate group of volunteers led by Dr. Matsuo had founded Catskill Area Hospice, now known as Helios Care.
In honor of Dr. Matsuo’s vision and tireless advocacy for hospice in the Catskills, Helios Care is proud to announce the Yoshiro Matsuo Compassionate Care Award. This annual award will be granted to individuals in any caregiving discipline who embody the selfless spirit that Dr. Matsuo brought to his work in hospice care. The award is available to any person who lives or works in Delaware, Otsego or Schoharie counties; who strives to assist people in need in any capacity; and who consistently demonstrates the qualities exhibited by Dr. Matsuo. The award recipient can serve people in any discipline. Honorees will receive a generous monetary award and their name will be on a plaque at the Helios Care office.
The first winner of the Yoshiro Matsuo Compassionate Care Award will be announced in December of this year as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Helios Care. Helios Care is seeking nominations of people you know who consistently work to help other people and do so in a compassionate and selfless manner.
Dr. Matsuo was not only one of Helios’ original founders but served as its medical director on a volunteer basis for 25 years. Prior to beginning his medical career in the Oneonta area, Dr. Matsuo served on active duty in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Valley Forge Army Hospital where he primarily treated wounded combat veterans returning from Vietnam. Upon discharge from active duty, Dr. Matsuo remained in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years before retiring as a colonel. Dr. Matsuo practiced as a respected physician in the Oneonta area for over 50 years. He was well known for his selfless compassion, quiet kindness, benevolence and sense of duty to his community.
Completed nomination forms can be mailed to Kathryn Dailey, director of development, Helios Care, 297 River Street Service Road, Oneonta, New York 13820; sent electronically to [email protected]; or dropped off at the Helios Care offices during regular hours. The deadline for completed nomination forms is October 31, 2023.