Complete Story


Gift ensures Hospice of the Western Reserve music and pet therapy programs will continue for years

Dr. Alfred Connors Jr. and Mildred LamCLEVELAND, Ohio -- Hospice of the Western Reserve will be able to continue providing music and pet therapy to patients for the foreseeable future, thanks to a generous gift from Drs. Alfred F. Connors and Mildred Lam.

Professionals use music therapy to help promote relaxation, reduce pain, encourage positive memories and allow for self-expression. Pet therapy helps alleviate loneliness, reduces anxiety and stimulates feelings of general well-being.

The Alfred F. Connors Jr. and Mildred Lam Endowed Fund for Music Therapy and Pet Therapy will include ongoing gifts from the couple during their lifetimes, as well as a final bequest from their estate.

“Quality of life matters,” noted Connors, whose parents were cared for by Hospice of the Western Reserve. “These programs provide meaning, joy and healing during a very difficult time.

“Since costs of these services are not reimbursed by Medicare or commercial insurance, they must rely on philanthropic support,” he said.

Laura Rayburn, president of the Hospice of the Western Reserve Foundation, expressed her appreciation for the generous gift.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Connors and Dr. Lam. Their legacy of caring makes it possible for us to continue to enhance the lives of our patients through these impactful programs,” Rayburn said.

Connors is professor emeritus at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a member of the emeritus staff at the MetroHealth System. Lam continues to work at the MetroHealth System.

Connors, a former board chair and longtime supporter of Hospice of the Western Reserve, will soon contribute to the organization in another way. He will serve on the board of the nonprofit Hospice of the Western Reserve Foundation, which will hold philanthropic funds while also engaging community leaders and creating greater visibility for the critical work of hospice.

The foundation, funded through donations, is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2021.

“Our goal is to make sure Hospice of the Western Reserve is here for the next 50 years and thereafter, so all families can receive the same expert and compassionate care that mine did,” explained Connors.

“I hope others will join me and Mimi in supporting the work of this outstanding organization.”

Those interested in supporting the nonprofit Hospice of the Western Reserve should contact Holly Selvaggi at 216-255-9066 or by emailing

Printer-Friendly Version

Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.