Ed Ellis, a chaplain with Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County and Ohio’s Hospice, is not originally from the Miami County area. But for more than 30 years, he has called Miami County home.
Born in Marion, Ohio, Ed grew up in several communities in the greater Toledo, Ohio, area. “My father was a United Methodist minister, and we moved a couple of times,” he said. “He was appointed to several different congregations while I was growing up.”
As a teenager, he attended a few faith development retreat events, and he felt a call to ministry at Camp St. Marys in St. Marys, Ohio.
Ed graduated from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Duke Divinity School at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He completed Clinical Pastoral Education through the former Hospice Chaplaincy Council at Upper Valley Medical Center.
“Through the years of my undergraduate and seminary education, I served in several different settings,” he said. “They were intentionally designed to help me practice a call to ministry with a focused appreciation for the medical field’s compassionate attention to patient and family well-being.”
Ed felt called to become a chaplain and began his career with Hospice of Miami County 30 years ago. “The invitation to join the Hospice of Miami County team was an important blessing that came to me at the right time,” he said. “I was finishing a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education.”
At the beginning of his career, he recalls sharing office space in a house located on West Stanfield Road in Troy. Since then, Hospice of Miami County has served patients from several different office spaces throughout the years. However, through careful planning and with the expansion of services, the hospice provider has served patients in hospital rooms within Upper Valley Medical Center and then at a dedicated inpatient care center with the hospital.
In 2013, Hospice of Miami County joined Hospice of Dayton and Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties to form a strategic partnership to combine strengths, resources and expertise to ensure the long-term success of their shared hospice mission. That partnership resulted in the formation of Ohio’s Hospice, a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices.
Through community support and its partnership with Ohio’s Hospice, Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County opened its state-of-the-art Hospice House in 2021.
“The construction of our new Hospice House was the fulfillment of a desire of many Miami County residents,” Ed said. “So many times, throughout the years, I listened as I heard families ask, ‘When will we have a local facility that provides the level of inpatient services available at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton?’”
He explained that Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, has been trusted to provide comfort, care and dignity to those facing a life-limiting illness or injury.
“Through the dedication of a caring and interdisciplinary staff, we have sought to honor our neighbors with focused attention toward medical, psycho-social, spiritual, and bereavement care,” he said. “Our attention to children’s bereavement care through the provision of a summer camp program has been a highlight of our organization.”
In recent years, his role has expanded to serve Ohio’s Hospice as a chaplain coordinator with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “I enjoy the opportunity to provide education and support to our Chaplain Team through welcoming new employees, and assisting them with orientation,” he said.
He also has had the opportunity to be a part of the Ohio’s Hospice medical education program. Ohio’s Hospice is committed to educating medical students, residents and fellows about hospice and palliative care. It has a long-standing relationship with the hospice and palliative medicine fellowship program at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. In 2021, Ohio’s Hospice partnered with Kettering Health to create its own Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program.
“I am so pleased that Ohio’s Hospice has been dedicated to a medical education program. I have been invited to participate in further interdisciplinary work through sharing visits with physicians who are exploring both hospice and palliative care specialties,” Ed said. “The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program contributes so strongly to a valuable vision of preparing those who will serve in the field for many years to come.”
Ed is honored and privileged to be a part of the care team that serves patients and families at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County. “We are prepared to support them in the life-shaping moments that are inherently important,” he said. “We dedicate ourselves to provide a supportive presence with them through even the most difficult occasions.”