The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) has gifted $4,500.00 to the Judith Adele Agentis Palliative Care Nursing Education Fund at St. Luke’s University Health Network.
The scholarship was established by the Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation (JAACF), a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, nonprofit founded to comfort hospice patients and their families.
“It with great honor, especially at a time like this, for GLVR to help further palliative care here in the Lehigh Valley,” said GLVR’s 2020 President, Jack Gross.
Each year, the president of GLVR selects an organization or charity of choice. Gross chose JAACF.
“Judie was like a mother to me,” Gross said. “She died at St. Luke’s Hospice from pancreatic cancer. After Judie’s passing, her husband of 47 years realized he had lost 35 pounds, as the only food available to him was from a vending machine. Bob Agentis [Judie’s husband] began delivering nutritious weekly meals from Lehigh Valley restaurants to the hospice house, and soon, he founded JAACF.”
“JAACF is committed to supporting educational opportunities to expand the impact of pain management through palliative care. It is our mission to help assure the highest standards in compassionate Palliative Care,” added Bob Agentis, Founder and Chairman of JAACF. Bob is also a retired member of GLVR who helped Gross get his start in real estate.
“Throughout the pandemic, our palliative care teams worked around the clock, tending to their patients and keeping them in good spirits,” shares Dr. Erin Bendas, DO, MA, Section Chief, St. Luke’s Palliative Care. “We are so fortunate that this fund was established to support the growth and development of these talented and devoted nurses, who are so passionate about the care they provide. It is this kind of generosity that powers our work.”
The education fund provides scholarships for nurses to participate in professional certification programs, attend conferences and seminars, and earn continuing education credits in the field of palliative care. Kimberly O’Connor MS, RN, Susan Rodriguez BSN, and Chris McCausland BSN have begun their Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing Certification with support from the Foundation’s newly-established fund.
The scholarship funds help nurses pursue Palliative Care Certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing through the Hospice and Palliative Care nursing association (HPNA). JAACF’s goal is to build an endowment fund that will support annual education opportunities within the palliative care program. The long-term goal is to establish a fund for a Palliative Care Advanced Practice Fellowship Program at St. Luke’s—which would be the first of its kind in the region.
“We look forward to future opportunities to expand its educational assistance,” added Agentis.
JAACF’s mission is helping others cope by delivering hot meals, hope, and fellowship for patients and their families at St. Luke’s Brian D. Perin Hospice House. JAACF has delivered more than 20,000 meals to families and loved ones at the hospice house.
Contributions can be made payable to the JAACF Palliative Care Nursing Education Fund and sent to St. Luke’s Development Office, 801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Or by calling the office at 610-954-3067.