Dr. Joan Hoshauer Madison ’51, P’81
The life’s work of Joan Hoshauer Madison '51, P'81 exemplifies the selfless, caring deeds honored by Bucknell’s Service to Humanity Award.
Madison grew up in Williamsport and Edinboro, Pa., and enrolled at Penn State University before transferring to Bucknell as a sophomore. She majored in biology and served as a lab assistant to Professor Roy Tasker along with Lois Eberhart '50. After her graduation, Madison attended Temple University School of Medicine, along with Eberhart and six other members of her class. In her Bucknell lab, she also worked with Gilbert Friday '52 who also went on to Temple Medicine and introduced her to her future husband, James F. Madison, whom she married a few days after her medical school graduation in June 1955.
Madison became board-certified in allergy and immunology in 1972 and was a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She was a member of the Vermont Medical Society and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and served on the admissions committee at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. A member of the state medical society's EXCEL (excellent care at end-of-life) Committee and the Vermont State Pain Initiative, Madison received the state medical society Award for Community Service in 2003.
In December 1996, Madison's husband died of pancreatic cancer, and because he was so appreciative of the care he received from hospice, he wanted any donations in his memory to be used to establish an educational program to teach all caregivers, especially doctors, how to care for the dying. Her activities were redirected toward fulfilling his dying wishes and keeping up with the homefront alone.
She retired from practice in 1997, and with help from hospice, started with the Madison Memorial Lectures, a series of free talks for both the lay and medical community. In the next year, after her close friend and colleague Dr. Robert Deane also died of pancreatic cancer, she helped establish the Madison-Deane Initiative. Over the next 20 years, Madison-Deane brought well-known experts in palliative care and hospice for annual talks to both the community and medical professionals.
Their volunteers also visit churches, senior citizens' groups and nursing homes to share information on advance directives, palliative care and hospice. In 2003, Madison-Deane received a grant to make a documentary video, Pioneers of Hospice: Changing the Face of Dying, which has been distributed worldwide and won a National Hospice Video Award.
Madison has served on boards for United Way and the Shelburne (Vt.) Historical Society and has been a gardening volunteer for 30 years at the Shelburne Museum.
Madison's greatest source of pride is her family, and she was blessed to have a supportive husband and the constant support of their three children, their spouses and four grandchildren. Very special memories for her include attending Bucknell Reunions with her father, Dr. John Hoshauer '26, P'51, G'81, and oldest son and daughter-in-law, as they were lucky enough to be on the same five-year Reunion schedule.
She is very proud that her oldest son, John '81, a Corning chemical engineer, is now on the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association Board and that his wife, Karen Seymour-Jones Madison '80, now retired from Corning, served on the Bucknell University Alumni Association Board of Directors.
In August 2020, she celebrated her 90th birthday with her family in the Adirondacks and was presented with a new "Joan" Deere tractor so she can continue to mow five of their 20 acres to help her son maintain the homestead.