Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hospice founder Patricia Pasach lobbied for the terminally ill

TAMPA — Thirty years ago, health care providers in this country were just beginning to address how best to help the terminally ill. As with everyday illnesses, dying patients were cared for in hospitals or at home.

A growing number of people were saying that end-of-life care should be different and should stress comfort.

Patricia Pasach was one of the voices advocating for change. The owner of a successful home health service, she met with politicians at the local and state level and pushed for hospice care, just as others were doing nationwide. The result was Medicare funding for hospice services.

Mrs. Pasach, a founding board member and past president of Hospice of Hillsborough, died Saturday of cancer. She was 68. The organization is now known as LifePath Hospice.

Through the efforts of Mrs. Pasach, who owned Forest Terrace, and the heads of several other local home health organizations, Hospice of Hillsborough opened its doors in Tampa in 1983 in the cramped quarters of Northeast United Methodist Church. Money was tight and patients scarce.

"It was very much a leap of faith for everyone involved who wanted to see a better way for terminally ill patients," said Sandy Rex, the first nurse hired by Hospice of Hillsborough.

"There was only so much home health companies could do," said Rex, now a manager of quality and risk for Good Shepherd Hospice, which, with LifePath, falls under the parent company Chapters Health System. "(Mrs. Pasach) was very much an early visionary about that."

A fourth-generation Tampa native, Mrs. Pasach moved through the phases of her life with a quiet forcefulness. She attended the University of Tampa and graduated from the Gordon Keller School of Nursing.

She was an "elegant Southern woman," said daughter Gladys Baxley, one who could accomplish as much with a deft glance or a smile as others could with words. "She socialized with people of any religion, culture, age range or economic status," Baxley said. "It didn't matter to her."

After working at two hospitals and a nursing home, she became director of nursing at Forest Terrace, a home health company.

In 1970, she married Dr. Arthur Pasach. She became an owner of Forest Terrace in the late 1970s, and also owned a private-duty home health service and a physical therapy clinic.

Hospice of Hillsborough saw five patients in 1983, its first year open. The number jumped to 60 the next year. Today, there are more than 3,500 hospices in the United States.

Mrs. Pasach sold Forest Terrace in 1986 to Morton Plant Mease, and remained active on the Hospice of Hillsborough board.

She and her husband also operated a farm in Georgia, raising cattle and growing pecans.

She was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago, her family said. She died at home Saturday under the hospice care she helped make possible.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or


Patricia Elaine Pasach

Born: Jan. 29, 1943

Died: June 18, 2011

Survivors: husband Dr. Arthur Pasach; daughters Gladys Baxley, Sharon Pasach and Margaret Costa; son Lloyd Pasach; sisters Francis Estevez and Charlotte Valenti; brothers William Smith Jr., Charles Redding and Tony Estevez; three grandchildren.

Hospice founder Patricia Pasach lobbied for the terminally ill 06/22/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 11:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chris Archer, 25,000 Cubs fans and Tampa Bay's painful truth

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The biggest ovation inside Tropicana Field on Tuesday night was not for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who was returning for the first time since managing the Rays.

    "W" flags fly in the stands after the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Rays Tuesday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. A rendering of the Bucs' indoor practice facility.
  3. Poorly assembled 'Lego Ninjago Movie' waters down Lego movie franchise


    Well, that didn't take long.

    After only three movies, the Lego franchise is already a shadow of its original self, less irreverent and go-for-broke bricky. The watering down of an ingenious formula comes with The Lego Ninjago Movie, the sort we expected all along from plastic construction toys.

    A scene from "The Lego Ninjago Movie." (Warner Bros.)
  4. Irma slows curbside trash service in Pasco


    Hurricane Irma brought a hiccup to twice-weekly curbside trash service in Pasco County.

Pasco officials are asking for patience about the slow pace of residential trash service from private haulers. In some areas, trash hasn't been collected since Friday, Sept. 8, because of the volume of waste left after Hurricane Irma.
  5. Clemson reunion for Bucs' Adam Humphries, Vikings' Mackensie Alexander


    Bucs receiver Adam Humphries will have a familiar face lining up against him Sunday when he's in the slot and the Vikings have Mackensie Alexander guarding him as their nickel defensive back.

    Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries (10) makes a reception before being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive back Marcus Cooper (31) Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]