Interview Date



Sister Frances Dominica begins the interview by describing one particular experience early on in her pediatric nursing career that influenced her to found Helen House, the first pediatric respite and hospice house. Helen House implemented a comfortable, homey, and respite hospice model for chronically sick children. Sister Dominica also describes some of her guiding principles of having the children and the families take an active role in shaping their experiences at the Helen House, and eventually at the Douglas House. She then describes some of the early practices of pain management as well as the influence that others in palliative and hospice movements had on her development of pediatric hospice. Sister Dominica also recalled some of the generosity and support for Helen House that the surrounding community displayed. Sister Dominica then goes on to describe some of her international experiences. She concludes with her wish for the pediatric hospice field to reexamine and reinforce the role of family in the care of sick children as well as her recommendation of watching the BBC television series' that depicted some of the stories of families and patients in the Helen House.


Pediatric Palliative Care Oral History Project


Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University in St. Louis