Pamela Heinrich MacPherson has been a community advocate for end-of-life care for over three decades. A native of Burlington, Vermont, her first understanding and respect for dying and death came from her maternal grandmother, one of the area’s early female professionals and funeral directors.
In 1964, Pam graduated from the Jeanne Mance School of Nursing, where she was drawn to end-of-life care issues. She later received training as a Hospice Volunteer and served as Hospice Volunteer Coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle County (VNA) from 1988-2004, a position to which she brought passion and dedication.
Retirement from the VNA in 2004 allowed her to give more time and energy to community resources related to quality care at the end of life. Sitting vigil with dying individuals in their home, at McClure Miller VNA Respite House or in the hospital holds life’s deepest meaning for her. As a founding member, Pam’s involvement with VNA’s Madison-Deane Initiative (MDI) has spanned two decades. MDI is an organization that seeks to change the face of dying through education of the general public and healthcare professionals.
Pam is married to Bruce R. MacPherson, M.D., a retired pathologist and professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. They have three adult children and reside in South Burlington, Vermont.