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Agrace HospiceCare News

Congressman Paul Ryan Visits Agrace


Congressman Paul Ryan visited the Agrace Center for Hospice & Palliative Care in Janesville on September 4 to tour the new 12-bed hospice inpatient unit and learn more about this valuable community resource.

Agrace Myers-Ryan-Roth-compressedCongressman Paul Ryan with Agrace President & CEO Lynne Myers (left) and Jayme Roth, assistant director of building operations & community outreach for Agrace.

 It was a privilege to visit Agrace’s new inpatient facility in Janesville. The impressiveness of the facility was surpassed only by the professionalism and compassion of Agrace’s staff.

"I appreciated the opportunity to discuss with patients, family members, and employees the wide array of services Agrace provides to those facing a serious illness. Agrace’s presence in Janesville and their expertise will provide meaningful benefits to Rock County residents during trying times and I thank them for their steadfast commitment to serve our community.”   --Congressman Paul Ryan

High School Seniors Encouraged to Apply for New Agrace Minority Certified Nursing Assistant Scholarship

MADISON, Wis. – Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care today announced the launch of a new Minority Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Scholars Program. The program offers a scholarship opportunity for high school seniors of color to complete their studies toward a Nursing Assistant Certificate at Madison College. It funds CNA education, training and certification, and provides the opportunity for a CNA job with Agrace once the scholar’s certification is complete.

Students selected to participate in the program will receive full tuition, books and supplies as well as hands-on training with Agrace’s clinical staff to enhance the students’ professional and personal development. The cost of the certification exam is also covered.

The Agrace Minority CNA Scholars Program, supported by the Agrace Educational Institute, honors Agrace’s commitment to being an inclusive environment that welcomes diversity. Agrace is a local, nonprofit palliative care and hospice agency offering specialized pain and symptom management and other services to help increase patients' comfort and reduce their stress during any stage of a serious illness.

“What makes the Agrace Minority CNA Scholars Program different are our networking, mentoring and tuition advancement features, which are all commitments to support both the student’s success and Agrace’s desire to prepare students for leadership roles,” said Alia Dayne, diversity coordinator at Agrace. 

“In Wisconsin, minorities make up less than 5 percent of registered nurses. We are growing our diverse employee population by investing in education and encouraging more minorities to enter the health care field.”  According to Dayne, studies show that as more minorities become nurses, people in underserved areas get better access to health care.

Full details and the scholar program application can be obtained by calling Alia Dayne at Agrace at (608) 327-7236 or visiting The deadline to apply is November 7, 2014.


Founded in 1978, Agrace is a nonprofit, community-supported hospice and palliative care agency dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to patients and families facing the challenges of serious illness. With offices in Madison, Janesville and Baraboo, Agrace serves nearly 650 patients every day in southern Wisconsin.



Agrace Names Marcia Whittington Chief Development Officer

MarciaWhittingtonMADISON, Wis. – Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care has named Marcia Whittington Chief Development Officer, effective immediately. Whittington returns to Agrace after serving as Vice President of Institutional Advancement for Edgewood College. Agrace is a nonprofit palliative care and hospice agency that has provided end-of-life care and related services to people in southern Wisconsin communities for more than 35 years.

As Chief Development Officer, Whittington will lead all Foundation activities and programs, including Agrace’s charitable and capital campaigns, annual fundraising appeals, planned giving, grants, special events, donor development and the three Agrace thrift stores.

“With her strong commitment to Agrace’s mission and past successes within our organization, we are thrilled to have Marcia Whittington return to Agrace as Chief Development Officer,” said Lynne Myers, Agrace president and CEO.  “Marcia’s leadership will strongly position the Agrace Foundation to be able to support the many services Agrace provides that are not reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance companies. Donations to Agrace defray costs for these services as well as patient-care services provided to uninsured or underinsured patients.”

Whittington has more than 20 years of development and fundraising experience within the Greater Madison non-profit community. Prior to her recent turn at Edgewood College, she served as Vice President of Foundation and Holdings at Agrace. In that role Whittington was responsible for raising more than $40 million, including two capital campaigns and nearly $4 million in annual giving. She has also served as CEO of Gilda’s Club, and has worked with both the Meriter Hospital Foundation and the UW Foundation.

Whittington resides in Waunakee.  She is active in her church and her children’s school.  She currently serves as Vice Chair for TEMPO Madison Board of Directors, is an active member of Madison Downtown Rotary, Associated Fundraising Professionals, Meeting Professionals International, The Wisconsin Cancer Council and is a past board member of Goodman Community Center and the Madison Area Continuing Care Consortium, Inc.

For more information about Agrace, call (608) 276-4660 or visit


Founded in 1978, Agrace is a nonprofit, community-supported hospice and palliative care agency dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to patients and families facing the challenges of serious illness. With offices in Madison, Janesville and Baraboo, Agrace serves more than 650 patients every day in southern Wisconsin.


Agrace Employee Receives National Guard Patriot Award

Gabe-LaPierre-IA-Article-ph(left to right): Gabe LaPierre; Frederick McCormick, Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve Wisconsin Committee; Dawn Barrett; Denise Gloede.As printed in Wisconsin Health News, August 19, 2014

MADISON, Wis. – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves, an agency of the Wisconsin Department of Defense, has awarded Agrace HospiceCare employee Dawn Barrett the Patriot Award in recognition of her extraordinary support of Agrace employees serving in the Wisconsin Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

Barrett was nominated for being highly supportive of the of the Wisconsin Army National Guard and her Reserve Component employee, Chief Warrant Officer Two, Gabriel LaPierre. LaPierre has been employed by Agrace since August, 2013. During the 12 months as a registered nurse on Agrace’s Care Access Team, LaPierre has also served as a Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot with the Wisconsin Army National Guard. “During my short time with Agrace,” said LaPierre, “I have been absent for military training for extended periods of time. The consideration giving to me in coordinating these weeks away has been outstanding.”

During the same presentation ceremony, Denise Gloede, vice president, Agrace clinical services, accepted a certificate of appreciation on behalf of Agrace from ESGR complimenting the organization on the support shown toward all servicemen and women.

Agrace provides specialized care and support to patients and their families facing serious illness. For more information about Agrace, call (608) 276-4660 or visit

Founded in 1978, Agrace is a nonprofit, community-supported hospice and palliative care agency dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to patients and families facing the challenges of serious illness. With offices in Madison, Janesville and Baraboo, Agrace serves nearly 650 patients every day in southern Wisconsin.


Volunteers needed at Agrace Thrift Store in Janesville

Judy Purcell for Thrift PRAs printed in the Janesville Gazette, written by Shelly Birkelo, August 15, 2014

JANESVILLE—Karen Collas greeted shoppers at the front of Agrace Thrift Store, where she provides volunteer customer service.

Josie McIntosh was sorting and pricing donations for sale on the floor.

Ellen Ward busied herself in the stock room.

The three Janesville women are among 50 store volunteers.

Twenty more volunteers, 16 and older, are needed, especially for weekend shifts, said Judy Purcell, retail business manager of Agrace thrift stores in Janesville and Madison.

Volunteers are asked to work four-hour shifts once a week Monday through Friday or a shift every other weekend during a minimum six-month commitment, she said.

Customer service and merchandise volunteer options are available, Purcell said.

Those who choose to provide customer service operate the cash register, answer the phone and help customers.

Merchandising involves receiving, sorting and pricing donated items, stocking merchandise on the sales floor and helping create displays, she said.

Volunteers play an important role with Agrace because 100 percent of shop proceeds support the patients and families served by Agrace hospice and palliative care, Purcell said.

The resale shops also support Agrace grief services, clinical education, volunteer training and charity care, she said.

Personal stories of people who used Agrace programs and services led Collas, McIntosh and Ward to volunteer at the Janesville store that opened May 17 at 2043 Humes Road.

It was a natural fit for Collas, a retired teacher, to volunteer after losing a neighbor who received Agrace services.

"Her daughters spoke highly about the compassionate support Agrace provided and how comforting it was to them. I've never heard a bad word about it," she said.

The nonprofit health care organization provides services to patients and families throughout southern Wisconsin.

McIntosh, who is a retired nurse, said Agrace helped a family member.

"I saw what this organization did and how it helped, so I wanted to help," she said.

Agrace cared for Ward's husband for two weeks before he died two years ago.

"They put me at ease," she said.

Ward didn't think she'd ever be able to repay Agrace for what it did for her and her husband. She is volunteering at the store so others can receive the help they did.

"I love it," she said of the staff and volunteers.

"It's a gracious organization and I enjoy it," Ward said of her volunteerism.

Chelsea Smith, Janesville Agrace Thrift Store manager, agreed: "There are a plethora of opportunities with ongoing training."

"They are ambassadors for Agrace," Purcell said.



To learn about Agrace Thrift Store volunteer opportunities, stop at the store, 2043 Humes Road, and speak with Manager Chelsea Smith, call 608-314-2922 or visit

Volunteers complete a phone interview process, submit an application and attend an orientation to learn more about Agrace and the ways volunteers contribute to its mission. After references are returned and background checks verified, Agrace will schedule shifts and and training.

Volunteer opportunities range from customer service to merchandising.