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facing women and children,” she the county, including pain management services, bereavement support said. As vice president of the Samuel and emotional support for families Goldwyn Foundation, she helped and caregivers—in short, anything to rebuild the Hollywood Library that would allow families to provide after a fire, founded a model for dying loved ones at home. “This is what most people daycare center in Los Angeles, and supported after-school programs want,” said Nystrom. “The caring for under-privileged kids. She also presence of family members is served as president of the Beverley extremely comforting to a person who is dying. We work to give Hills Board of Education. “My parents grew up during families the confidence to be that the Depression, so for me it was caring presence.” Nystrom said 92 percent of the a privilege to have an education,” said Goldwyn, who also volunteers people who die in the Wood River with charitable organizations in Valley avail themselves of hospice services, compared with 47 percent the Wood River Valley. The organization Goldwyn was eventually invited nationally. to join the American board of the serves, on average, 42 people each United Nations Population Fund day. One of her clients just needed (UNFPA), an organization geared toward providing maternal health someone to feed their horses. care, family planning and educa- Another wants to play cribbage. “We have one client who wanted tional services at points across the globe. Thus began her many years to learn to play ‘Amazing Grace’ on of involvement in global women’s the ukulele, and then have a recording of her performance played rights issues. “The U.N. is not just a group at her funeral service,” Nystrom of leaders making resolutions that said. “So we had to look around to are then vetoed,” Goldwyn said. find someone who could teach the “There are fantastic people on the ukulele.” Nystrom worked as an emerground doing many wonderful gency-room and things.” intensive-care nurse In 2001, she was before taking time introduced to United off from her profesNations Secretary sion to raise a family. General Kofi Annan, She has also worked who asked her to on the national produce a documenboard of the Girl tary film about the Scouts of America. plight of internaAbout 35 years ago, tional refugees. She she answered a newssoon took on the role paper advertisement of promoting the calling for a volunUNFPA’s mission teer coordinator through film. position at a hospice “After all, it is the in the San Franfamily business,” she cisco Bay Area. Thus said. began her second The Family of Peggy Goldwyn career, which would Woman Film FestiUNFPA supporter land her in a graduval has brought ate school teaching 36 feature-length films to Sun Valley dealing with position in end-of-life care, and a the status of women throughout few years later at the reins of the the world. Speakers are brought Hospice & Palliative Care of the each year by the United Nations Wood River Valley. Last year, Nystrom received to participate. They have included Liberian women who organized a $50,000 Sojourns Award from to overthrow a dictator, Iraqi girls Cambia Health for her exemplary who play basketball, and an Amer- service to the Wood River Valley. The money will be used to support ican teacher and astronaut. No awards are given at the festi- the many services that Nystrom val, but a great deal of network- oversees in the valley, including ing and education takes place. This the Legacy Project, which brings year, the Family of Woman Film junior high school students into the Festival collaborated with Boise homes of hospice patients to interState University, bringing its speak- view elders in order to write the ers and films to a broader audience. stories they would like to pass on The festival’s films are now screen- to future generations. “They love to tell their stories ing elsewhere in the country, in communities that share Goldwyn’s and the kids love writing about them,” said Nystrom. passion for women’s rights. Each year for 25 years, Nystrom “Education is the key,” said Goldwyn. “When women and has organized a Hospice Memorial girls become educated, they often Tree lighting ceremony during the delay marriage, have less children holidays to honor and remember and earn money to support their loved ones. “We now have about 500 families.” names,” Nystrom said. Nystrom said since she came to Tending to the dying the valley she has seen the commu“Death is the last taboo in nity come together to engage in America,” said Carolyn Nystrom, end-of-life-care issues. executive director of the Hospice & “This is a grassroots, commuPalliative Care of the Wood River nity-based hospice. It is a commuValley in Ketchum. “But talking nity caring for people, instead of about it can make it less scary. I a government agency,” Nystrom have seen how fragile life can be, said. “Our good work couldn’t so I try to live fully each day, to not happen everywhere. We are very put things off until tomorrow.” fortunate for the partnerships and Nystrom and 85 volunteers and collaborative efforts of everyone. three paid staff members provide “I love my work. The hardest free end-of-life support for anyone in thing will be my move to retire.”

“The U.N. is not just a group of leaders making resolutions that are then vetoed.”

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Carolyn Nystrom

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Idaho Mountain Express Valley Woman  

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