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In Memory

Galen W. Miller

September 4, 2013

Galen Willis Miller, 61, of Alexandria, Va. and Pawnee City, Neb., died on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, at INOVA Fairfax Hospital after a valiant battle with a severe bacterial infection.

Since 2001 until the time of his death, Dr. Miller was the executive vice president of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in Alexandria, the nation’s oldest and largest professional leadership organization representing hospice and palliative care providers and professionals. From 1991 to 1998, when the organization was known as the National Hospice Organization, Dr. Miller served as vice president and director of Professional Development, Research and External Relations.

In addition to his long history dedicated to education, research and external relations on behalf of the nation’s hospice and palliative care community, he provided leadership for NHPCO in HIV/AIDS care, access to care in underserved populations and diverse communities, issues relating to rural care provision, innovations in end-of-life care and strategic planning.

Dr. Miller also worked on behalf of NHPCO’s affiliate organizations: the National Hospice Foundation, FHSSA (formerly known as the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa) and Hospice Action Network. Dr. Miller embodied the vision of this family of organizations -- a world where individuals and families facing serious illness, death and grief will experience the best that humankind can offer -- and made it his life’s work. Many people who are critically ill throughout the nation will have benefited from Dr. Miller's skill, insight and attention to detail.

Immediately prior to joining NHPCO as executive vice president, he served as vice president of Professional Services for the American Association of Health Plans in Washington, DC.

Before he began his work on behalf of hospice and palliative care, he had served in state administrative roles for the Nebraska Department of Education and the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System where he was involved with the student organizations FBLA and PBL and served as chair of the National FBLA board. Dr. Miller has experience as a secondary school teacher, was a member of the faculty at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and held both faculty and administrative appointments at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, his master's degree from the College of Business Administration at Utah State University in Logan, and his Doctorate in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Miller supported a wide range of charitable and non-profit organizations that extended beyond his work in care at the end of life and he was a champion of educational initiatives. He also served on the board of the Community Health Accreditation Program, including a term as board chair. He also coauthored a book The Hospice Choice.

Dr. Miller is survived by his partner of 29 years, Bob Ward of Alexandria, Va. and Pawnee City, Neb. Additional family include his brother, Bob, and sister-in-law, Beth, of Pawnee City; his sister, Kathleen, and brother-in-law, Jerry, of Pawnee City; many nieces and nephews and his former wife Dr. Ramona Miller of Mahnomen, Minn. He was preceded in death by his parents Willis and Cleta Mae Miller; his sister, Karlene, and husband, Dale Wende; and his nephew, Travis Miller. Dr. Miller had numerous friends and colleagues from throughout the U.S. and across the global community.

There will be three services in his memory beginning with a service in Pawnee City at 1 p.m. Sept. 8, 2013, at the ShillingBridge Winery intended for family and friends. Services held for his extensive professional network and the broad hospice and palliative care community include a memorial service held in conjunction with NHPCO’s 14th Annual Clinical Team Conference in Kansas City at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 26, 2013, and a memorial service in Washington, DC at 11 a.m. Oct. 4, 2013, at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel.

The family requests that memorial gifts be made to Pawnee City Community Foundation or the National Hospice Foundation.

Contact: Gretchen Gerding
Phone: (970) 491-5182