In 1981, a group of volunteers recognized the need for specialized end-of-life care in the greater Dubuque community and began work to develop a local hospice. Hospice of Dubuque was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1982 and continues to be governed by a voluntary Board of Directors comprised of community members.
Betty Takes, Kay Frommelt, Judy McDermott, and Ruth Turnis were the first volunteer nurses for Hospice of Dubuque. They implemented the mission of providing compassionate care for the terminally ill and their loved ones, which continues to guide all organizational and patient care decisions. These four nurses conducted volunteer classes for community members, and together, they began serving the residents of Dubuque County in May of 1983. The first staff member, Barbara Zoeller, was hired in 1987. Medicare and Medicaid certification was attained in 1990. In response to the needs of our tri-state community, Hospice of Dubuque became licensed to serve families in Illinois in 1995 and in Wisconsin in 1997. Today, more than 70 staff members and 120 volunteers carry out the mission of compassionate care.