This year marks a special milestone for The Hospice of East Texas as the not-for-profit organization celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Founded in 1982 with the financial support of the Junior League of Tyler, Inc., and contributions from East Texas Medical Center, Trinity Mother Frances Health System, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, The Hospice of East Texas brought care, comfort, dignity, and understanding to those with a life-limiting illness, regardless of their financial circumstances or life situation. Serving only Smith County in the beginning, this organization now lives up to its name, reaching across 23 counties and 15,000 square miles to serve more than 2,225 East Texans and their families each year.
As a member of The Hospice of East Texas board of directors and a past board chairman, David Nelson serves the organization to ensure that the volunteer spirit remains a cornerstone of the organization’s philosophy and that private philanthropy continues to be an essential element to providing extraordinary care at no direct cost to patients and families.
“The staff and volunteers are proud to have served the East Texas community for thirty years, providing medical, emotional, and spiritual care for those with life-limiting illnesses,” Mr. Nelson said. “Each day over 300 patients are cared for and their families are also helped with making many decisions and are provided bereavement and grief counseling.”
Outside of his service to The Hospice of East Texas, Mr. Nelson is a member of the board of directors for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and a member of the Encouragement FM Radio (KVNE & KGLY) board of directors. For many years Mr. Nelson has been active with the grocery ministry and the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign through the Salvation Army. He was also the Grand Marshall of the 2011 Texas Rose Festival Parade.
“One of the best things you can do with your time is to be involved with organizations that help change lives for the better. A little bit of your time can make a big difference, and your investment is paid back many times over,” Mr. Nelson said.
Born in Tyler, Mr. Nelson has lived in the community for 28 years. He is a graduate of Lyman High School in Longwood, Florida, and he earned his bachelor of science degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Mr. Nelson and his wife, Terri, have been married for 30 years and have one adult son, Matt. Mr. Nelson and his wife are members of Marvin United Methodist Church where Mr. Nelson serves as a Sunday school teacher and has held numerous board positions.
“My wife and I feel blessed to live in the Tyler community where so many people give their time, talents, and resources freely,” Mr. Nelson said.
For more information about The Hospice of East Texas, please visit www.hospiceofeasttexas.org.