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Mon Apr 16, 2018, 03:01 PM

The Roanoke Times' Rife earns national recognition for end-of-life series

Times' Rife earns national recognition for end-of-life series

The Roanoke Times 2 hrs ago

Roanoke Times journalist Luanne Rife has received a national first-place award from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She won for "Final Wishes," her series of stories about navigating the end of life.

Calling the series "a journalistic tour de force," the judges said Rife shined a bright light on a dark subject. "She tells the stories of terminally ill patients in vivid and heart-rending detail," they said.

Rife spent months talking to people like Lee Graves, who was able to die at home thanks to the support of his family and hospice caregivers, and Christine Slade, whose greatest fear dying alone in a nursing home came to pass because the Roanoke region has no hospice house to care for terminally ill patients who lack a support network. The series also featured a program at Carilion Clinic designed to ensure that no one dies alone, and included the Keeleys, a family of doctors who were steeped in medical knowledge but nonetheless struggled with how best to care for their ill parents.

The series, which also won a second-place award from the Virginia Press Association this past weekend, is online at http://www.roanoke.com/news/topics/lifes_last_journey/ .

Final Wishes - A series on navigating life's last journey

Barbara Bush is the same age that my mom was when she went into a hospice. She spent her last two weeks there.

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