Affirming the Dignity of Life
The new Walter A. Craig Center for Palliative Care supports those with serious or life-limiting illnesses
Walter A. Craig, known to family and friends simply as Craig, was born in Manhattan and raised in California. Everyone who knew Craig would agree he was a special soul, one of the most compassionate and loving individuals you could hope to meet. When he passed away, he had touched countless lives and was cherished by many.
Craig was raised Jewish with many Christian influences. As a young man, he adopted the understanding and belief that religious commitment was very personal, and no one should judge another’s spiritual journey. Craig believed our goal in life should be to show kindness and inclusion to all. In fact, for more than 40 years, Craig wore a Saint Christopher necklace to remind himself that we all need to be lifted up, we all need to feel safe and we all need support and compassion. His outlook on life was to accept others for who they are and, when someone is hurting or scared, to carry them.
To celebrate Craig’s life, his family chose to make a landmark gift to Providence Mission Hospital to establish the Walter A. Craig Center for Palliative Care. They wanted to recognize and advance the exceptional care and compassion that internist Reza Dehkordi, MD, had shown Craig, his family and his many loved ones. “The interventions for Craig’s health care and the respect and honor Dr. Dehkordi showed for his wishes was inspiring,” said Craig’s sister Diane.
“Beyond hospice, which seeks to alleviate pain and suffering toward the end of one’s life, palliative care offers significant improvements to patients’ quality of life as they continue to seek treatment for a serious health condition,” shared Dr. Dehkordi.
“We want awareness of the comfort palliative care can provide to spread throughout the Hospital staff and our community,” said Diane. The family and Hospital’s aspiration is to create a model program for palliative care and ensure that this type of care is available to all patients and families who desire it.
Our Foundation is seeking to raise matching funds to advance this important work even further. To learn more and support this new center, please contact John Miller, chief philanthropy officer, at 949-364-7701 or John.Miller3@providence.org.
“Craig would have appreciated this and wanted those who are hurting or feeling hopeless to be lifted up,” shared Diane. “He would have liked to relieve fear and confusion over medical treatments and options, and wanted patients’ needs, desires and wishes to be fulfilled. Perhaps most important, Craig would want the Hospital to be a beacon of hope, no matter the patient’s ability to pay, their ethnicity, religion or orientation. That’s who he was and it was largely a result of his empathic outlook and remarkable life.”
Together, we can provide care that transforms lives, now and for years to come.