The Elizabeth Hospice is the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in the region, caring for nearly 500 adults and children each day.

Our Story

Our 38-year tradition as the premier provider of medical, emotional and spiritual support to the seriously ill and their families has served San Diego and South Riverside Counties since 1978, providing services to more than 90,000 patients and families regardless of their ability to pay.

In addition, the Center for Compassionate Care of The Elizabeth Hospice provides comprehensive counseling and grief support services to the community-at-large, regardless of the type of illness or death experienced.

Our Mission

To enhance the quality of life for those nearing the end-of-life journey and for those who grieve.

Our Vision

The Elizabeth Hospice aspires to a world in which every life ends with compassion, dignity, and peace.

"We encourage people to live, really live, before they’re gone. People think that hospice is about dying, but it’s really about celebrating life.”

- Elizabeth “Betty” Bulen, Founder of The Elizabeth Hospice

Our History

In 1978 few knew the word hospice. Fewer still recognized its potential to alleviate suffering; but one woman held a vision of what this philosophy of care could mean to her community. This nurse, Elizabeth “Betty” Bulen, invited three of her friends, Betty Benz, Ann Elizabeth Warren and the late Kay Austin, to work with her in establishing an organization of compassionate volunteers devoted to offering care to the terminally ill and their families. To strengthen their vision, Betty Bulen and Betty Benz paid a visit to St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. Inspired, they came home to organize the first agency meeting and develop an inaugural Board of Directors.

They named this new entity recognizing that not only did each of them have “Elizabeth” as part of their names, but that the name means “devotion to God’s service.” Following incorporation later that year, they offered their first volunteer training. The strength of their vision attracted others and in less than a year, 20 Elizabeth Hospice volunteers were meeting the special needs of 8 patients in North San Diego County.

Clearly this was a young organization that meant business. They carried their model of hospice care to ever-increasing numbers of families, energetically fundraising and educating the community. Betty Bulen visited Washington, D.C. and enrolled The Elizabeth Hospice as a founding member of the newly organized National Hospice Organization. The founders and the Board were thrilled to receive federal non-profit status less than a year after incorporating.

Today, The Elizabeth Hospice cares for adults and children throughout San Diego and South Riverside Counties and is the region’s oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider.