On January 6, 1977, a small group of medical, business and religious leaders gathered at Mt. St. Mary’s seminary to discuss a major gap in health care services in Greater Cincinnati: a lack of end-of-life care. By August, the nation’s fourth-oldest hospice, Hospice of Cincinnati, was incorporated and ready to start caring for patients.
Cornelia “Connie” Dettmer, MD, was the ringleader behind this effort. A radiation oncologist, Dr. Dettmer had become concerned about what happened to her patients once they were considered terminal.
Originally a general practitioner, Dr. Dettmer had always believed medicine should consider the whole patient. “Hospice also looks at all faces of the patient: physical, mental, psycho-social and spiritual,” she said. “That really appealed to me.”
Cincinnati Public Library’s oral history video series, Exceptional Cincinnatians, explores the lives of Cincinnati’s doctors, artists, activists, journalists, and the everyday citizens who have made a difference in our community.
You can a video profile about Dr. Dettmer on YouTube at the following link: Exceptional Cincinnatians: Dr. Cornelia M. Dettmer – YouTube