Houston Taylor, local Hospice nurse, named a ‘Real Hero’

  • Wed May 14th, 2008 8:00am
  • News

Houston Taylor ... named a ‘Real Hero’ for his efforts to bring Medicare-supported hospice care coverage to the San Juan Islands.

Red Cross breakfast today at Northern Lights Casino

Houston Taylor, a Shaw Island resident who leads the Skagit Hospice team serving San Juan County, has been named a Real Hero by the Anacortes/San Juan Islands chapter of the American Red Cross.

He is being honored today at the Real Heroes Breakfast in the Northern Lights Casino in Anacortes.

San Juan Island EMS nominated Taylor for this award. A group from the islands is attending the event to acknowledge Taylor’s accomplishments.

“Houston is a tremendous contributor to both Skagit Hospice and the community,” said Wendy Lewis, director of clinical services at Skagit Hospice.

“He personally shepherded the creation of the Skagit Hospice team in San Juan County. At the same time, he made himself available 24 hours a day to anyone in the county who needed medical hospice service.”

The Real Heroes Breakfast is an annual American Red Cross event that celebrates “ordinary people who do extraordinary things” for their community by acts of personal courage, humanity and community spirit. The award recipients are selected by an independent panel based on nominations from the community.

‘He took it on’

EMS nominated Taylor for his tireless efforts to provide hospice care to San Juan County patients.

When Taylor saw a need for hospice care services in the San Juan Islands, he did not say, “Someone should do something about that.” He took it on.

Taylor approached Skagit Hospice for the training he would need to deliver care to islanders on his days off, and he labored tirelessly for more than a year to provide education on end-of-life issues and support for family, patient and physician to manage symptoms.

After encouraging Skagit Hospice to begin the process that would allow him to serve San Juan County under its Certificate of Need, Taylor continued to demonstrate the need that has now meant that Skagit Hospice will soon begin a Medicare-approved hospice service for the San Juan Islands.

Taylor is one of 14 other local “Heroes” who will be celebrated at the event.