LGBT History Project: LGBT-038 Joy Ufema Counsel Collection

York Hospice House Flyer
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Joy (Ufema) Counsel was raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania. After completing high school, (Ufema) Counsel began studying to become a nurse at the Altoona Hospital, and later completed a nursing program at Harrisburg Area Community College. Throughout her career as a nurse, (Ufema) Counsel developed an affinity for caring for patients who were terminally ill.

Searching for direction after facing a roadblock in her career, (Ufema) Counsel decided to use her experience in hospice care to alleviate the suffering she had witnessed in the AIDS crisis. After proposing the idea to the mayor of York, PA, (Ufema) Counsel bought an old brownstone for one dollar and began renovations. In 1991, York Hospice House was born. Counsel used her expertise in death and dying to design the home based on a philosophy of extreme attention to detail. She wanted to create “a tone in this hospice of love and acceptance and peace.” From 1991-1995, the York House provided care to 95 dying AIDS patients.

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Gift of Joy Ufema Counsel
LGBT-038 Joy Ufema Counsel Collection
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections