Putnam County Sheriff and Retired Brigadier General Donald B. Smith lost the love of his life and committed to help others benefit from the compassionate care and support he and his family received from Regional Hospice and Palliative Care.
After many months of advocating on behalf of Regional Hospice and Palliative Care, Smith became the newest member of its volunteer board of directors on May 31, 2017.
Sheriff Smith first volunteered for Regional Hospice and Palliative Care after spending two weeks alongside his beloved wife of 43 years, Jane, at the Center for Comfort Care & Healing during the final stages of Jane’s battle with breast cancer in 2015.
A proactive and generous man, Smith offered his time to publicly advocate on behalf of the center’s mission as a member of the agency’s stewardship committee. At the New Fairfield Giving Circle Breakfast last October, Smith opened his heart and deeply touched every one of the event’s 450 guests at the Amber Room that morning as he shared Jane’s story and his passion for the precious time she had and the care and support Jane and his entire family received while at the center.
Sheriff Smith and his family utilized the center as Regional Hospice leadership had envisioned. He was a constant presence by Jane’s side, as well as with his work spread out before him in the family kitchen and the center’s other public and quiet spaces, and shared Jane’s last Thanksgiving together with their family and favorite holiday fixings from the center’s chef.
“He and Jane, their children and grandchildren all became family to Regional Hospice volunteers, social workers, nurses, hospice aides, our center chef and staff–it is our pleasure to welcome Don Smith into another part of our Regional Hospice family to share his insights and passion to help us serve patients and their families. Don has profound understanding and support for our mission. We are honored to have such a distinguished veteran and someone with his extraordinary background and compassion helping us to advocate for the families in our care.” Said Cynthia Emiry Roy, Regional Hospice and Palliative Care President & CEO
Sheriff Smith assumed the duties of Putnam County Sheriff on January 1, 2002. Prior to becoming the Sheriff of Putnam County, Smith served as the Deputy Putnam County Executive from 1999 - 2001.
A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Smith also earned a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and was a Fellow at the National Defense University. Smith’s numerous awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
Sheriff Smith has served in numerous leadership positions in community organizations including past president of the Westchester-Putnam Council of the Boy Scouts of America, past president of the Mental Health Association in Putnam County, and currently serves as Chairman of the American Heart Association in Putnam County. Sheriff Smith also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Security Council Foundation, which promotes the military concept and strategy of “Peace Through Strength” and currently is the Chairman of the Board.
“It is a great honor and privilege for me to join the Board of Regional Hospice and Palliative Care.
Having experienced firsthand the outstanding care for my late-wife, Jane, and the caring support for me and my family during our great time of need, I am humbled that I will be able to play a role in helping other families in their time of need by serving on the Board of Directors. I am very grateful that Regional Hospice was there for my family and truly believe that its mission and role can best be defined by looking in the dictionary under the word “love”. Commented Retired Brigadier General, Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith on his new leadership role with Regional Hospice and Palliative Care.
Regional Hospice and Palliative Care (RHPC) has served Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford & Litchfield counties with nonprofit home hospice care for over 30 years. In 2015, RHPC opened the state-of-the-art Center for Comfort Care & Healing. This family-centered hospice residence is CT’s first and only private-suite facility, servicing patients and their families from throughout the country, especially in New York State and Connecticut. RHPC’s mission is to provide exceptional end-of-life care, comfort and compassion to infants, children, adults and their families with a dedicated staff of professionals.