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Flooded with Road Closures, Baraboo Care Team Rises to the Challenge

Jacci Shauger needed her big truck to get to patients in flooded areas

The first hospice patient Jacci Shauger planned to visit on August 29 was very restless, and his breathing was changing. She knew he was near death. “I really needed to get to that family,” says the Agrace nurse case manager.

But it was no ordinary day.

When the skies opened over southern Wisconsin in late August with epic rain and tornadoes, the challenges of making home hospice visits multiplied for Jacci and the rest of Agrace’s Baraboo-based care team. Over the next few weeks, they worked creatively and diligently to safely care for more than 100 hospice patients spread out over four hilly rural counties.

“I took my huge pick-up truck because they had four tornadoes in that area the night before, and there were still a lot of trees down, besides the flooding,” Jacci explains. “A lot of the roads were closed.”

One of them was the road to the patient’s home. “I could see the house, but I couldn’t get there,” she says. Turning back, she came across some National Guardsmen who told her about an unmarked road that was open. The 17-mile detour added to her grand total—125 miles for that one visit!

“I didn’t know whether the family had water or electricity, so I called ahead to see if they needed anything—jugs of water, medicine or food,” she explains. “They said, ‘His breathing has changed.’ I reassured them and kept triaging over the phone, but in that situation, they need you. They need you.”  

When Jacci arrived, she found that while the patient had comfort medications, his family was hesitant to give them to him. “I did some medication teaching and got the doses increased, because he needed more,” she says. “He died the next day, at home.”

Amy Clark

To visit her patients on August 29, RN Case Manager Amy Clark would have needed an ark. Trapped in her yard near Montello by fast-rising floodwaters and downed trees, she managed her patients’ needs by phone while other team nurses visited them in person. “You can tell families whatever you need to on the phone, but it’s better to physically show them,” she believes.

She learned one of her patients had had no electricity for days. “His daughter said rain was leaking in through the microwave and the ceiling fan. At first, I thought she meant he was hallucinating those things, but it was really happening!” Amy says.

Denise Budurov

They tried to evacuate him by car, but they got a flat tire,” explains Denise Budurov, clinical team manager. “We couldn’t get an ambulance to him right away, either. It was very, very challenging because the road was washed out.” As soon as the water receded, he was moved to Agrace’s inpatient unit in Madison for safety.

For Jacci, the spirit of the families she visited was most impressive. “It’s part of the area up here,” she notes. “The farmers, they’ve been through tough times. I’d get to a house and they’d say, ‘Come in, we’ll make you a sandwich.’ They’re tough—and they make do.”


Agrace Adds More of Southwestern Wisconsin

Agrace is growing again, adding Lafayette, eastern Grant and western Iowa counties to our service area, and opening an office in Platteville in January. Adding these counties to our service area brings local residents better access to high-quality end-of-life and palliative care, a move passionately supported by our staff who hail from and currently live in these areas.

Local volunteers needed in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties

As Agrace enrolls patients in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties, we need local volunteers who can make companionship visits to our patients and their families. If you know anyone who might like to help, please encourage them to email volunteer@agrace.org or call us at (608) 327-7163. Thank you!


Age at Home by Agrace off to Strong Start

Tasha Robinson

Agrace΄s new, private-pay senior care service, Age at Home, has grown even faster than we thought possible.

Age at Home provides non-medical home care backed by Agrace’s 40 years of caregiving expertise. Our staff assist clients with tasks that become more challenging as people age: personal care, housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, medication reminders and more.

“Our caregivers have brought comfort and relief to dozens of clients in Dane County—people who were often unsteady, exhausted and stressed before they reached out to us,” says Tasha Robinson, care team manager for Age at Home. “People have been so excited that Agrace is now offering senior care in Dane County. I’ve been absolutely floored by the positive response we’ve received.”

Revenue generated by Age at Home helps support Agrace’s nonprofit hospice and palliative care programs.

Learn more about this service at AgeAtHome.org or call (608) 327-7456.


New Program Seeks Volunteers Who Are Veterans

Army vet and Agrace volunteer Tom visits Nels, a Navy veteran

When a hospice patient is also a veteran, their military service can affect their end-of-life goals. Agrace’s Vet-to-Vet visits support veteran patients by giving them time with a volunteer who can relate to their service and is a willing listener. These visits often build trust and give veterans more personalized care.

Agrace recently developed a detailed, new volunteer training process for Vet-to-Vet visits, and we are seeking new volunteers with military service. Volunteers like Tom Cornelius.

One year on Veterans Day, Tom, an Army veteran, was asked to deliver a meal to hospice patient Nels Quam. As is Agrace’s custom, Tom took along a veterans’ certificate and pin to present to Nels, a Navy veteran who lived in Janesville at the time. During their visit, Tom and Nels learned they were the same age, had served in the same conflict at the same time and shared the same birthday. What a coincidence!

Joanne Dodge, a retired RN and Air National Guard medic who served in Operation Desert Storm, visits Bob Nelson, who joined the Army right after high school and sang in the choir during basic training in Alaska

Agrace needs new volunteers who are veterans and would enjoy visiting other veterans nearing the end of life. Our new Vet-to-Vet volunteer training will teach them the unique needs veterans may have at end of life, and ways they can support them. Emily Corron, Agrace volunteer coordinator, says, “When we held our first training this fall for current volunteers, we were overwhelmed with their positive response!”

If you know a veteran who would enjoy this type of interaction, please ask them to call (608) 327-7147 to learn about joining the Agrace Vet-to-Vet Volunteer Program.


Upcoming Grief Support Groups

Agrace grief support groups are open to anyone who is grieving, even if their loved one did not have hospice care. Below is just a sampling of our upcoming programs. Learn about these and other groups offered in 2019.

To ask about or register for any Agrace grief support group, call (608) 327-7118.

Fees listed for each group are waived if your family member had hospice care in the past 12 months; fees for others can be lowered, if needed.


Grateful for Agrace? Say it with Appreciated Stock

Are you passionate about supporting Agrace financially, with gifts other than cash? Both you and Agrace can benefit when you donate appreciated property, such as stocks or bonds.

You receive a tax deduction for the full, current fair market value of the donated property.

You avoid the capital gains tax and other expenses that would be incurred if you had sold the property for your own benefit.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Agrace does not pay capital gains taxes on the sale of stock. More of your gift stays with Agrace, supporting the work that matters to you.

If you are interested in making a gift of stock, anonymously or otherwise, please contact Courtney Polster, development manager for the Agrace Foundation, at (608) 327-7139. You can share this transfer information with your financial advisors:

Agrace HospiceCare Inc.
Federal Tax ID number: 39-1319537
BMO Harris Bank
Joel Haraldson
770 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53201
(800) 472-0060
DTC# 0443
Account # 3BA-213936


Volunteer Kathy Kopp Wins Auto Raffle

Kathy Kopp

Kathy Kopp of Madison, a volunteer at Agrace’s Madison–East thrift store, was the grand prize winner of the 2018 Agrace Auto Raffle. Her reaction to winning a new ride donated by Zimbrick Honda? “I was thrilled! We are a family of Honda owners, and to actually win the Civic was beyond exciting.”

Cash prizes were awarded to Melissa Lendborg, an Agrace nurse, and Jon Petras of Sauk City. The raffle raised $39,180 for Agrace’s Care for All Endowment.


There’s Still Time to Light Up a Life

Art & his dad, Arthur

When Art Remington learned he had only months to live, he wanted that time to be filled with the love of his family. Without a safe place to live while on hospice, he turned to Agrace’s Care for All program.

Funded by your donations, Care for All paid for Art to live at Agrace for two months, receiving the comfort of hospice care with his dad and siblings nearby for support.

If you believe in “care for all,” please visit agrace.org/lightup. Your gift of any size will help!


Agrace Events Put the Fun in Fundraising

Thank you to all who attended, sponsored or otherwise supported these recent special events!

A Night at the Circus, Baraboo
88 guests
$38,600 raised*

Golf Open,

142 golfers
$82,000 raised*

Race for Agrace, Madison
691 runners
$46,000 raised*

Mystery in the 815, Rockford
150 attendees
$25,000 raised*

Butterfly Gala,

325 attendees
$160,000 raised*


* gross revenue



Drink in the Joy at Sips & Sounds (& Suds!) in Janesville

Please join us March 9, 2019, at the Pontiac Convention Center in Janesville for Sips & Sounds (& Suds). From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., sample wine and microbrews from all over Wisconsin, plus hors d’oeuvres and desserts and music by Gary the Band. Advance tickets are $60, or $75 at the door. Register online or call (608) 314-2927.
Proceeds support patients served by Agrace.