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HDA Class of 1995

Jean Coghlan Griswold

Health Services Entrepreneur

Douglass College 1952, Graduate School of Education 1956


Jean Coghlan Griswold is founder and director of Griswold Special Care, a nonmedical home care company that provides high-quality, affordable services to the chronically ill, physically disabled, and the elderly. After graduating, she became Douglass College's assistant director of admissions. She then worked as a guidance counselor at Westfield High School and geriatric counselor at the Lutheran Home for the Aged. She began Special Care in 1982 from her dining room; at its 25th anniversary in 2007, the company boasted 98 locations in 17 states. In 1987, Griswold set up a separate organization, Financial Health Services, to process insurance claims for custodial care, and she established a fund to subsidize low-income clients. She gained national attention after being featured in Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, and on NBC's Today. She has won numerous awards, including Working Woman's 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year honor. Griswold, who is confined to a wheelchair, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969. Her story was published in the 2001 book Women of Spirit, edited by Katherine Martin. In 2003 and 2004, she was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


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