Changing the Way We Die Wins USA Book Award

By: Nov. 18, 2013

Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End of Life Care and The Hospice Movement won the highest honor in the health: death and dying category of the USA Book Awards. This year's category winners were awarded to mainstream and independent titles alike. Changing the Way We Die, by Sheila Himmel and Fran Smith, will publish in 2014, and works to chronicle the quiet revolution happening in the way we die. Almost half of all Americans now die in hospice care, often at home, and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand.

Once viewed with suspicion as a New Age indulgence or fringe religious practice, hospice has become a $14 billion-a-year business and arguably the most successful segment of health care in America. In Changing the Way We Die, award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel investigate what hospice means to today's aging population and their families. It's the first book to take a sweeping look at the hospice landscape, reporting the stories of patients, caregivers and cutting-edge researchers, as well as the corporate giants that increasingly own this market.

More than 76 million baby boomers are starting to turn 65 and 97 percent of Americans want to be better informed about end-of-life care. Changing the Way We Die is a vital and uplifting resource for readers facing life's most challenging moments.

What People are Saying about Changing the Way We Die:

"This beautiful book opens the lid on one of the most important treasures in our lives-how we can change the way we die. The book reminds us that we often can choose to enter the embrace of hospice, with its deep roots in the heart of compassionate care. Hospice in the United States has been a movement as well as a practice. Dedicated, sensitive professionals and volunteers bring love and care to those who are facing death, in their homes, hospital rooms, and freestanding hospices. The words of patients and hospice people that fill Changing the Way We Die reflect great wisdom and self-honesty."
-Joan Halifax, Ph.D, author of Being With Dying

Fran Smith has written for O: The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Salon, Good Housekeeping, and many other newspapers and websites. A former John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and Pulitzer Prize winner, she lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

Sheila Himmel is a Psychology Today blogger and the coauthor of Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia. A recipient of many awards, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.