Our Story

A true pioneer in end-of-life care, Unity has the distinction of having opened the state’s first hospice care program in 1977, the state’s first palliative care program in 2002 and the area’s first hospice residence in 2007.

 
1967 - Dame Cicely Saunders (1918-2005), a nurse, medical social worker and physician, recognizes the importance of her patients' emotional and spiritual needs, as well as physical symptoms, and founds St. Christopher's Hospice in London, England.  It is the first research and teaching hospice linked with patient care.

1974 - The United States' first hospice, Connecticut Hospice, is established in New Haven, Connecticut.


1977 - Inspired by the changing attitudes in London toward alleviating human suffering, leaders from Bellin Health travel to England to learn from Dame Saunders' experience and wisdom.  In June, Bellin Health founds Bellin Hospice, the first hospice in the State of Wisconsin and one of the first hospices in the nation. 

1990 - Realizing that a hospital-based hospice cannot meet all community needs, representatives of Bellin Health, St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center and St. Vincent Hospital meet to formulate a plan to combine efforts.
  
1993 - Unity, a partnership of Bellin Health, St. Mary's and St. Vincent Hospitals, begins offering hospice and bereavement care to the community on March 1.  A staff of 18, assisted by 85 volunteers, serves the daily needs of 30 patients in a 25-mile radius of Green Bay.

2002 - Unity begins offering palliative care.  It becomes the first hospice organization in Northeast Wisconsin to offer a free-standing palliative care program, providing holistic physical, emotional and spiritual care to all patients diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.

2006 - Unity breaks ground on a new 34-acre campus in De Pere, Wisconsin, for its Hospice Residence, Administrative Office and planned Memorial Gardens. 

2007 - Unity opens the Jack and Engrid Meng Hospice Residence, the first end-of-life care facility in the community.

Today - Unity's staff of more than 235 employees and nearly 300 volunteers serves the needs of nearly 500 patients each day in a 13-county region in Northeast Wisconsin.