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    • Friend of St. Luke's Awarded the "Heart Of Hospice" Award From Pennsylvania Hospice Network

Friend of St. Luke's Awarded the "Heart Of Hospice" Award From Pennsylvania Hospice Network

Friend of St. Luke's Awarded the "Heart Of Hospice" Award From Pennsylvania Hospice Network

Heart of Hospice Award 

(l-r) Linda Moller, Director of Hospice,
St. Luke’s University Health Network;
Tina Bradford, friend of Bob Agentis;
Bob Agentis, PHN Heart of Hospice awardee;
Dr. Ric Baxter, Chief of Palliative Care,
St. Luke’s University Health Network;
Rev. Anne Huey, Director, Spiritual Services
Manager; St. Luke’s Hospice,
take a moment at the PHN Conference
to celebrate Bob’s Heart of Hospice award.

Bethlehem, PA. (5/5/2014) -- In 2013, when Bob Agentis’s wife of 47 years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Bob and his wife Judie knew they had a short amount of time remaining together. Judie’s final days were spent being cared for by the staff at the freestanding St. Luke’s Hospice House in Upper Saucon Township. During Judie’s brief battle with the disease, Bob lost 30 pounds in as many days. 

“I didn’t want to leave her side,” Bob said.  “I knew her life was coming to an end, and I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible.  I ate whatever was at the Hospice House, or was in the vending machines, if I remembered to eat at all.”

One week after Judie passed, Bob visited the St. Luke’s Hospice House to commemorate the day.  He returned to St. Luke’s Hospice House bearing trays of food as a way to thank hospice staff and to show support to the hospice families who were sitting vigil with their loved ones.

Thus began the work of the Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation and “Judie’s Table.”   In addition to feeding scores of people at the St. Luke’s Hospice House, the Foundation has created an endowment to help fund early diagnostic cancer screenings for the unscripted and uninsured, and to increase awareness of and education about pancreatic, liver and colon cancers. 

Over the next few months after Judie’s death, Bob began meeting with and partnering with some of the finest restaurants in the Lehigh Valley. Once a week, Bob arrives with lunch to serve at least thirty people.  Families and staff at St. Luke’s Hospice House have enjoyed delicious meals including crab cakes, paella, grilled chicken sandwiches and quesadillas, pasta dishes and desserts from The Apollo Grill, Blue, Emeril's Chop House, Shula's Steak House, Melt, The Hanoverville Road House, The Brick Tavern Inn, Tapas on Main, Mesa Modern Mexican, Pacifico, The Villa, Mario's Pizza, Sugar Babe Cupcakes, Yianni's Taverna, Billy's Downtown Diner, Sotto Santi, The Mint, Martellucci's Pizzeria, Bechdolt's Orchard, The Bethlehem Dairy Store, The Borderline, Bonefish Grill, Sal's Brick Oven Pizza, Prime Steakhouse, Braveheart Highland Pub and Stefano's Restaurant.  Bob invites the restaurateurs to help him to deliver the food each week so they can see the difference their gift makes in the lives of these families. 

When staff and family members were snowed in during a winter snow storm and unable to leave the facility, Bob arrived in his 4x4 to deliver home-made clam chowder and cobbler. 

Once Bob delivers the week’s meal, the magic really begins.  Staff members go from room to room and invite family members to come to the kitchen for a meal.  As different families gather, they begin talking, sharing and supporting each other.  Bob’s hospitality opens the door and through the sharing of a meal and connecting experiences, the healing process starts for many.

Bob’s initiative and heart were recognized statewide, when in early April, he was recognized at the Pennsylvania Hospice Network (PHN) conference with the “Heart of Hospice” award for his work with the Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation.  The PHN “Heart of Hospice” Award is designed to recognize an individual volunteer demonstrating exemplary generosity and spirit towards the hospice community.

Upon learning he was the state-wide award recipient, Bob said, “I am honored to receive this award, but the true heroes and the true heart of hospice is with the nurses, volunteers and staff of hospice.  They are the angels providing hope and help to families.”

St. Luke’s Hospice is profoundly grateful to Bob Agentis and to the area restaurants that partner with Judie’s Table, said Judy Putnam, St. Luke’s Hospice House patient care manager.  “Bob truly has a heart for hospice,” she said. “He gives back in so many ways and has been such a positive voice for hospice.  His actions lift up patients, families and staff at the most difficult time in their lives.  He is making a difference…one meal at a time.”


See video from WFMZ Channel 69 News - click here


St. Luke’s Chief of Palliative Care and St. Luke’s Hospice Spiritual Services Manager Named to PHN 2014 Executive Committee

Hershey, PA -  The 2014 Pennsylvania Hospice Network (PHN) Board of Directors announced at its April conference that Ric Baxter, MD, FAAHP, Chief of Pain Medicine/Palliative Care, St. Luke’s University Health Network, has been elected to serve as the President of the PHN Board of Directors and elected Rev. Anne G. Huey, MDiv, MSHS, BCC, Spiritual Services Manager, St. Luke’s Hospice, as Vice President.

In addition to his responsibilities as St. Luke’s Chief of Palliative Care, Dr. Baxter oversees the Hospice/Palliative Medicine Fellowship for St. Luke’s Family Medicine Residency Program.  He trained in Mind/Body Medicine at Mind/Body Institute, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and completed Acupuncture for Physicians at The Academy of Pain Research, San Francisco, CA.  He is board-certified in family medicine and holds added qualifications in hospice and palliative medicine.

Newly-named PHN Vice President Rev. Huey currently supervises the spiritual care programs through St. Luke’s Hospice and provides end-of-life education in the community.  She earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master of Science in End of Life Care from The George Washington University.  She holds board-certification as a chaplain since 1989 and has thirty years of experience in the ministry and more than two decades of working with hospice programs.

Other PHN board members include: Judy L. Connelly, RN, MSN, Director, VNA Hospice, Western Pennsylvania as Treasurer and Rev. Jim Ingalls, BA, MA, Mis, Chaplain, VNA Hospice of Philadelphia, Temple University Hospital Palliative Care as Secretary.  These board members will serve as the Executive Committee of the PHN Board of Directors.


About PHN

PHN’s mission is to promote excellence in palliative and end-of-life care and is dedicated to fulfill the vision that patients, families and communities will expect, identify and receive excellent palliative and end-of-life care from quality hospice programs.

The Pennsylvania Hospice Network is a state wide not-for-profit organization established in 1979 and incorporated in 1980 to provide an organizational structure for hospice programs within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Today, PHN membership represents more than 200 organizational and individuals interested in hospice, palliative and end-of-life care.


Contact

Denise E. Rader
Director, Network Media Relations
St. Luke's University Health Network
484-526-4104
Denise.Rader@sluhn.org