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The people of southern Wisconsin come from many cultures and backgrounds. We have many different traditions when it comes to illness, dying and grieving. The diversity of our staff and caregivers makes Agrace more valuable to the people we serve.

Agrace values diversity, and we believe in inclusion and equity. We welcome people as they are and give everyone the opportunities and support they need to meet their goals.

Here are some of the ways we show our commitment to these values.


Opportunities to Learn, Grow & Earn

Agrace wants a staff who reflect the communities we serve and a workplace culture where everyone is treated equally and can rise to their full potential.

Growing in Your Career

We strive to build a culture of inclusion at Agrace, so all the talented people who join us can grow and succeed in their roles. Through our Leadership Education Advancement Program (LEAP) our managers strengthen the skills they need to grow into leaders. Along with tuition reimbursement, we offer scholarships for staff who would like to earn a nursing degree.


Support for Advancing as a Nurse or Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Our communities need more diverse health care workers as our population ages.

• Agrace will pay for adult students of color to complete the nursing assistant program at Madison College. You can train for a vital career as a CNA and take the first step to becoming a nurse.
• We also support our CNAs who are studying to become nurses. We want them to succeed and stay with us after they graduate.
• You can start working at Agrace as an Age at Home caregiver, even without other health care experience. After a year of learning on the job, Agrace will pay for your training to become a CNA.

Summer Work Experience for Teens

Agrace partners with UW Health and the PEOPLE Program to offer summer internships for underrepresented teens. You can work in clinical (with patients) or non-clinical areas for a few months. It’s a chance to learn about health care careers, and it also helps Agrace build a more diverse team.

Livable Wages for Our Staff

One reason Agrace has been named among the Best Places to Work by Madison Magazine four years in a row is that we invest in the well-being of our staff. We commit to paying a “living wage” to our benefit-eligible employees (those who normally work at least 28 hours a week for Agrace). With Agrace, you should earn enough to afford a basic, but decent, living for yourself and your family.

“For years, Agrace has been on a journey to improve equity and inclusion. We have come a long way, but we have more yet to do. We strive to be an organization whose workforce reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and whose staff feel empowered and included. We work to be equitable from our front-line staff to the leaders who help chart our course. Agrace leads by example, being the change so many want to see in society.”

— Lynne Sexten, Agrace CEO


Building an Inclusive & Supportive Work Culture

Bringing Your Full Self to Work

Agrace’s qualified and capable staff represents different races, ethnicities, religions, languages, cultures, abilities, sexual orientations, genders and economic levels. We aim to create a workplace that honors the diversity of our staff, patients and families. Everyone, including staff members like LGBTQ+ advocate Cass Downing, should feel like they can bring their full selves to work.

Cass’ Story

Agrace CNA Cass Downing goes above and beyond to support Agrace outside her role as a caregiver. A transgender advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, she has planned (and starred in) drag shows to raise money for Agrace's Care for All program for the past four years. She also hosts brunch drag shows at area restaurants to raise awareness for other nonprofits. Her efforts bring hundreds of people together to support worthy causes.

Cass helps others see that Agrace is a welcoming place to work, volunteer or receive care. How she does it all, no one knows!

Advancing Equity and Inclusion: We're Working Together for Change

Agrace’s Advancing Inclusion and Equity Committee steers our efforts to become a more welcoming organization. This diverse group of staff brings their unique experiences to the table as they examine and advise on diversity-related data, policies and actions. The Committee explores ways Agrace can engage with underserved and underrepresented community groups.

These leaders are our standard for inclusion and equity. In challenging us to be better, they are the essence of Agrace!


Equal Access to Opportunities and Care

When every member of our community is treated well, we all thrive. We work to learn the cultural traditions of the communities we serve and offer funding so everyone can have access to our care.

Cultural Trainings

You call on Agrace for support in life’s toughest moments. We work hard to learn about and respect your traditions about illness, dying, funerals and grieving. Recently, people have come to Agrace to teach us about differing end-of-life beliefs and traditions of several cultural groups we often serve, including the Hmong, Amish and Ho-Chunk people of southern Wisconsin. Future programs about Muslim traditions are planned, and we welcome others to contact us to help us learn more.

Care for All

Everyone deserves to have Agrace’s compassionate, high-quality care, no matter who they are, where they come from or whether they can pay. Through our Care for All program, Agrace steps in to offer our patients help paying when they do not have enough insurance coverage for their care and have no other way to pay for the services they need.

Community donors have given $15 million to an endowment fund. The income generated by the endowment allows Agrace to be able to offer "Care for All" assistance to our patients of up to $750,000 every year.


Community Partners


Interested in learning more?

If you have questions, you can call to connect with our diversity and inclusion manager.

(608) 327-7161  •  AIECommittee@agrace.org