Joliet Area Community Hospice’s (JACH) Senior Director of Development and Communications, Jackie Bersano, has announced her retirement at the end of this year. During her six-year tenure with JACH, Bersano has passionately represented the organization at countless fundraising and networking functions in the community, has brought in new supporters to JACH’s numerous fundraising and friend-raising events that she has planned and directed (e.g. JACH Annual Dinner, 5K Family Fun Run/Walk, Timmy’s Garden Walk, and Golf Outing), and most recently has spearheaded a $3.5 million Remembering from the Heart Capital Campaign for the addition and renovation of the JACH Hospice Home inpatient unit.

Bersano’s support of the long-standing Hospice Guild for their Puttin’ on the Glitz Fashion Show and Ladies’ Card Party has been irreplaceable. Behind the scenes, Jackie writes and edits much of what is seen by the public as ‘Joliet Area Community Hospice’: in newspaper ads, articles, social media, brochures, appeals and flyers. Earlier in her time with the agency, she had overseen the Volunteer Department at JACH and is a trained volunteer herself, often working in the gardens surrounding the office and inpatient unit as the seasons change.

“Jackie has played a key role in our organization’s growth and her support of our patient-centered culture has been invaluable,” said Mary Sheehan, CEO of Joliet Area Community Hospice. “As a new member of the Joliet community when I joined JACH, it’s been Jackie who has guided me through what I need to know, what groups I need to join, and has made important introductions – all in order for our agency to be successful.”

Jackie’s devotion to Joliet Area Community Hospice is evident in the long hours worked without complaint, in the education and JACH history freely shared with new staff and volunteers, and in her sunny disposition toward all who come into contact with her.  JACH is losing a valued member of the team with Jackie’s retirement and she will be truly missed. Everyone at JACH wishes her a wonderful retirement and adventure-filled days ahead.

Contact: Debra Robbins Director, Marketing/Community Relations
(815) 300-7562
E-Mail: [email protected]

Palliative Care Proves Beneficial for Shorewood Family Dealing with Serious Illness
New Lenox, IL (Nov. 21, 2019) — A year ago October, Don Budd of Shorewood was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Without warning, he and his wife Tania were faced with serious decisions about his medical care and how his illness would impact their family. His life quickly became a blur of doctor visits for cancer treatment, surgery and chemotherapy.
“My family was under so much stress,” Don, 46, explains. “We were struggling to come to terms with my diagnosis. I was very ill from chemotherapy, and my wife was taking on a lot by being a caretaker, a parent to our kids and working her job as a nurse. We just didn’t know where to turn for help.”
Don’s wife of 23 years, Tania, 45, is a nurse at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. Even with her expansive healthcare knowledge, they struggled to find support for their family and proper pain management for Don. Tania finally discussed her concerns with Silver Cross Palliative Care Advanced Practice Nurse Fran Flynn, R.N., B.C.-C.N.S., who oversees the inpatient palliative care team at Silver Cross Hospital. Since Don wasn’t receiving inpatient care, Flynn guided her to an community-based palliative care program available through Joliet Area Community Hospice.

What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. Services are provided by highly trained doctors, nurses and specialists with the goal of improving the quality of life for the patient and their family.
Palliative care is appropriate at any age and stage of a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment. It addresses pain management, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. Palliative care team members communicate regularly with the patient’s doctors and other healthcare workers who are providing care or therapy.
“Palliative care has been so helpful to my family and has given us hope. Don is finally getting the home nursing and pain management care needed,” Tania said. “The social worker assigned to our case has guided us to places that can give us the emotional support our family needs. We have a son and daughter, ages 21 and 24 years old, and we are concerned with how they are handling their father’s illness – the palliative care team has gone above and beyond to find them the support they need.”
Every year, nearly 1.6 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospice and palliative care providers, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Common diagnoses include cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, kidney disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and more. Best of all, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that patients with a serious illness, who received palliative care, lived longer than those who did not receive this care.
Palliative care benefits people who may be experiencing declines in their health, are unable to manage the daily tasks of living alone, experience intense pain on a day-to-day basis, have frequent hospital admissions or have had a prolonged length of stay in the hospital without any sign of progress.
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Silver Cross Hospital would like to raise awareness to the importance of these services and for those people coping with life-limiting illnesses. It is helpful to note that palliative care is different than hospice care. While both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort, palliative care can begin at diagnosis of a serious illness and continue through active treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease has stopped.

Palliative Care Offers Choices to Those with Serious Illness
Don said palliative care has given him the confidence to be an advocate for his own healthcare and make his own choices. An arborist by trade, Don owns a tree service company and was able to work throughout his busy season this year – doing something he loves.
“If it weren’t for the nursing and pain management services I received through palliative care, I wouldn’t have been able to do the job I love. The amazing support I have received from my healthcare team has made me realize I don’t have an expiration date. I accept that the cancer will end my life at some point. I just want to be as comfortable as I can be, doing the things I love – palliative care is giving me that chance,” said Don.
Don and Tania spent this past summer taking trips in their camper to state parks in the Midwest. In fact, he’s feeling so good he and Tania are planning a long drive to the Florida Keys.
“There’s one more thing I would like to do if it’s possible – renew my wedding vows with my wife in Las Vegas,” said Budd.
For more information, visit or for outpatient palliative care, visit

About Silver Cross Hospital 
Silver Cross Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Truven Health/IBM Watson 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years, received a 5-Star rating for high quality and patient satisfaction by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Grade by The Leapfrog Group. With over 4,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 302-bed acute care hospital and 5 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital in 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. In 2017, Silver Cross provided over $39 million in charity care and other community benefits. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit  Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.

About Joliet Care Community Hospice
Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) is a not-for-profit, community-based, state licensed and Medicare/Medicaid certified agency serving Will, Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle, Livingston and increasing portions of Cook, DuPage, and Kankakee Counties. JACH provides quality hospice and palliative care for adults and children diagnosed with life-limiting and/or terminal illnesses. JACH is one of a handful of Illinois hospices with a dedicated Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care Team for seriously ill children from birth to 21 years old. The 16-bed Hospice Home inpatient unit in Joliet provides care for adults and children with symptoms that cannot be managed at home and short-term respite for hospice patients whose caregivers need time away from caregiving. Since JACH’s opening in 1982, over 32,000 people have received the quality care that JACH is known for. The mission of Joliet Area Community Hospice is: Real People. Real Care. Your Family.  Real knowledgeable, professional, compassionate people providing real quality care to you and your family. For more information about
Community-based palliative care, please visit or call 1-800-360-1817

We are fine tuning all the many details of our capital project to construct a 12-room addition and renovate the existing hospice home inpatient unit

    • Inaugural Snowflakes and Icicles Character Breakfast
    • Annual Family Fun Run 5K
    • Timmy’s Hugs and Hearts Garden Walk
    • Rock Around the Course Golf Outing
    • We Honor veterans Level 4 achievement
    • Coming events: Dia de Los Muertos
    • Lights of Love Memorial Tribute and Tree Lighting Ceremony
    • Bereavement Groups
    • Peace of the Heart Kids Camp
    • Friends of Hospice Fundraisers

For a list of all of the events and updates we have please view the 2019 Fall Reflections newsletter from the link below.

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No one in need of the services JACH provides is ever turned away due to their inability to pay. With the top priority being “quality patient care,” JACH makes every effort to meet the physical, psychological, environmental, social, spiritual, and emotional needs of the patient and his or her family as they face the end of life.

  • Remembering from the Heart Annual Dinner
  • Bill and Margaret Benoit and IL Rep. Natalie Manley honored with Heart of Hospice Awards
  • Bereavement Groups
  • Hospice Home Inpatient Unit addition and renovation ground breaking
  • Friends of Hospice fundraisers

For a list of all of the events and updates we have please view the 2019 Summer Reflections newsletter from the link below.

View Full Newsletter

It may not be new to any reader that the United States population is aging.  The aging of baby boomers is giving rise to the “graying of America”, with people age 65 and older expected to nearly double from where it is today to 95 million by 2060.  It may also not be surprising that the occurrence of dementia in individuals increases with age, however you may not be aware that the prevalence of dementia with age increases exponentially between the ages of 65 and 90, with dementia incidence doubling every 5 years from 65 to 90 years old.

Anticipating the significantly increased number of older adults with dementia who will require specialized care by family and healthcare professionals, the State of Illinois passed the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Services Code, effective May, 2019.  This regulation requires health care agencies, facilities and hospices to have a trained Alzheimer’s Services Supervisor who is responsible for the oversight of programs relating to these conditions and to provide significant training to new and existing staff on them as well.

Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) has responded to this new law, with Certified Dementia Practitioner Bonnie Leto, LSW as JACH’s new Alzheimer’s Services Supervisor.  A six-hour training for new employees and annual three-hour trainings for current employees began this summer.  JACH training curriculum covers understanding dementia, effective communication with individuals with dementia, assisting people with dementia in performing their activities of daily living, problem solving with individuals with dementia who exhibit challenging behaviors, and fundamentals of dementia care, safe environments, and managing the activities of individuals with dementia.

At JACH, Alzheimer’s Disease/advanced dementia is one of the top four diagnoses of the adults cared for in its hospice program. Hospice staff trained in this new curriculum will be able to more expertly care for patients with dementia, and will continue to be a valuable resource to family members and caregivers on how to best care for their loved one.

To learn more, please contact Joliet Area Community Hospice, the community’s choice for quality hospice, palliative care and grief support services and a proud United Way agency at 815-740-4104.