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Joliet Area Community Hospice Thrives on Support

The organization is honoring four local individuals Sunday.

In order to thrive, businesses have to change with the times. This is even true of non-profit organizations. And this is definitely true of Joliet Area Community Hospice.

Founded in 1982, Joliet Area Community Hospice now serves clients in six counties, including Will and Grundy Counties. On Sunday, they will honor one of their own - Joan Sereno, who is the executive director of the Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice.

Sereno began her life in hospice as a volunteer in JACH. When a need was identified for more services in Grundy County, Sereno heeded the call.

Sereno will be receiving the Mary Jo Smith Spirit of Hospice award.

“She was a visionary in the world of hospice,” Jodi Wulff, Joliet Area Community Hospice business development coordinator said of Mary Jo Smith for whom the award is named. “Joan is a great replica of those things.

“She completely embodies hospice.”

Sereno will be honored with three other individuals in the first annual There’s No Place Like Home benefit.  

“Typically, in the past, this event had been Run for the Roses and it was (Kentucky) Derby themes and we had honored our founders,” Wulff said.

In addition to Sereno, Dr. Raymond Orenic will receive the Dr. John McLaughlin Clinical Excellence in Hospice Care Award. Orenic, of Shorewood, has been the JACH medical director for more than two decades.

“He continues to give his time and dedication,” Wulff said. “His passion for helping people, espcieally at the end of their lives, is just remarkable.”

Lastly, Jeanette D’Arcy and Jean Streitz, who are members of the Joliet Area Community Hospice Guild, will received the Joliet Area Community Hospice Legacy Award.

The two women began their volunteering with hospice in the 1980s. They have organized , the fall fundraiser, which includes a fashion show, for JACH for many years.

Joliet Area Community Hospice provides care for terminally ill patients as well as providing palliative care, for patients who are ill, but are not terminal. In addition to treating patients in their homes or in area hospitals JACH is one of four Hospice Houses in the state of Illinois. The home, which is located in Joliet, can provide end of life care for anyone who wishes to spend their final days at hospice house. The home in Joliet has 16 beds, which is the maximum allowed by Illinois law.

Wulff attributes the success of JACH to community support.

No Place Like Home will take place at the Patrick Haley Mansion, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., May 6.

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