University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 2/1996
Drifts don't deter home-care nurse

     As the Blizzard of '96 thrashed northern Delaware with
blinding snow and gale-force winds, Meg Maley, Delaware '86,
crept along deserted roads in a four-wheel drive vehicle that
struggled through the growing drifts.
     Wrapped in several layers of clothing and armed with a snow
shovel, she was committed to reach the homes of cancer patients
who needed medical attention.
     When she arrived at their doorsteps, patients reacted with
gratitude and amazement. "A couple of them were astounded," Maley
     They must have been new patients, because anybody who has
known Meg Maley for long knows this about her: She cares deeply
about her job and the people it touches, and nothing-not even two
feet of snow-can stop her from fulfilling an obligation to a
     Such unflagging dedication has enabled Maley to succeed in a
business that many people didn't give much of a chance in 1989.
Just three years after graduating from the University of Delaware
with a bachelor's degree in nursing, Maley founded Oncology Care
Home Health Specialists. With offices on Main Street in Newark,
Del., Oncology Care provides high-quality, specialized care to
cancer patients who choose to battle their illness at home
instead of in a medical institution.
     Meg operates the business with her husband, Bill Maley,
Delaware '84, '86M. Bill left a career in banking at J.P. Morgan
Inc. to join Oncology Care as financial director nine months
after it was founded.
     "It was a big leap," Bill says. "I was doing the books in my
off hours from the beginning, but it just grew so fast."
     The couple met at the University in 1986 and were married a
year later. As business partners, they complement each other,
with Meg concentrating on employees, scheduling and patient care
and Bill bringing a banker's eye to the balance sheet.
     "We get along great, living together and working together,"
Bill says. "Our roles are clearly defined."
     Oncology Care is capitalizing on a national trend for
outpatient and long-term care. But, unlike most home health-care
agencies, it specializes in cancer patients, offering them a full
range of services, from skilled nursing and physical therapy to
bereavement counseling and referrals to community resources.
     Maley began the business-one of only a handful like it in
the nation-with five employees. Today, Oncology Care employs the
equivalent of 25 full-time staffers who serve an average client
base of about 80 patients. Two of the company's key employees are
Mary Zimny, Delaware '83, '87M, clinical specialist; and Bill's
sister, Kara Maley, Delaware '87, office manager.
     From the beginning, the business built a reputation as one
that would consistently go above and beyond to meet patients'
needs. Not only do its employees take great pains never to rush a
visit, they also do the extras, dressing in costumes to visit
homebound patients on Halloween and arriving with armloads of
food on Thanksgiving. The company's efforts don't go unnoticed.
     "The caring is really something," says F. Eugene Thomure,
one of Oncology Care's patients. "I'm not always nice, but they
sent me a Thanksgiving turkey dinner and came out and sang
Christmas carols with the kids."
     Susan Mulvihill, clinical manager at Delaware Clinical and
Laboratory Physicians, says Oncology Care also made a major
difference in the life of her mother.
     "Meg's group is different," Mulvihill says. "My mother and
father are like two new people. My mother is comfortable at home,
and my father knows he has good-quality care for her."
     Caring for cancer patients may be a calling. "The cancer
nurse is a different breed. By nature, you have to be upbeat, and
there's a real feeling of fulfillment," Maley says.
     The Maleys maintain a close relationship with UD by
involving students in their business. Nursing students assist
Oncology Care nurses as part of a six-week rotation schedule.
Also, business administration students have conducted field work
at the company.
     Perhaps even more than technical skills, Delaware students
learn that success in life means finding a career you enjoy and
pursuing it with passion-the kind of passion that takes you into
the middle of one of the worst snowstorms of century.
     "There were some patients we just had to get to," Maley
says. "Some had chemotherapy running, some needed morphine. It
can be frightening to think you're alone."
     When Meg Maley's on the job, that's never a worry.
                                  -Marylee Sauder, Delaware '83