History of WPO

A Brief History of the Widowed Persons Outreach: 

June, 1992, Letty Geiger, Director of Senior Services at Sibley Hospital, Julie Potter, Coordinator, Sibley Senior Association, Pearl Isenberg, Widowed Persons Service of Montgomery County, Sharon Lerner from the William Wendt Center for Loss & Healing (formerly the St. Francis Center), Roberta Douglas from IONA Senior Services, Anne Towne from Hospice Care of DC, Ellen Sanford from the Washington Home, and two Sibley Senior Association members, Jean Belnap and Annie Footman, met to discuss the possibility of Sibley Hospital forming a Widowed Persons Service Chapter.

It was decided that Sibley Hospital would provide coordination of the program, recruitment of volunteers, space, a dedicated phone line, and publicity. lONA would be an information and referral source. St. Francis Center would provide training of the volunteers.

Planning meetings continued throughout the summer, culminating in a community meeting on September 30, 1992. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the community interest in starting a WPS chapter, and recruit volunteers.

The community response was enthusiastic, and a Steering Committee was formed. 

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