History of Innovation
Unity is Northeast Wisconsin’s pioneering not-for-profit healthcare provider that offers a full complement of care solutions including nonmedical home care, supportive palliative care, hospice care, and grief support. With a commitment to seamlessly adapt care to the everchanging needs of each patient and family, Unity works tirelessly to enhance quality of life through innovative services and unique programs ensuring the wishes and goals of patients and families are always met. As the only locally owned and operated advanced illness provider in the region, Unity partners with area skilled nursing facilities, assisted-living facilities, and pharmacies, ensuring seamless care in all settings. Unity is the sole organization offering inpatient hospice at seven area hospitals and is a collaboration between Bellin Health, HSHS St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center, and HSHS St. Vincent Hospital. Established as the third hospice program in the nation, Unity launched Wisconsin’s first palliative care program in 2002, the area’s first hospice residence in 2007, the region’s only Grief and Education Center in 2021, and the area’s first pediatric hospice program in 2024.
2021 – Unity Grief and Education Center Opens
Unity opens Unity Grief and Education Center, the first-of its- kind facility in NE Wisconsin offering grieving individuals of all ages a safe haven to learn about grief, share experiences and find hope.
2021 - Unity Launches Nonmedical Home Care Service
Care Companions will help adults remain independent and safe in their home by providing assistance with daily living, companionship, meal preparation and light housekeeping.
2020 - Unity Forms Wisconsin Hospice and Palliative Care Collaborative with Leading Nonprofit Hospice Agencies
Unity Hospice, Agrace, Rainbow Hospice Care, Hospice Alliance and Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice join together to formally incorporate WHPCC as a 501(c)(3). WHPCC members continue their long tradition as independent organizations. The focus of the strategic partnership is to leverage decades of expertise in community-based care in order to meet the changing needs of seniors.
2020 - Unity Launches TeleConnect
Unity received one of five “CONNECT – Socially Isolated Older Adults and How Technology Can Help” grants awarded by Bader Philanthropies, Inc. to help reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults. This $204,000 grant award funded iPads, staff training and technology licenses which Unity used to help hospice patients and grief support clients virtually connect with care teams and family members during Covid-19 social distancing restrictions. Unity’s grant work will continue throughout 2021 to reduce isolation and loneliness among older adults.
2019 - Gifted Wishes Program Launches to Grant Final Wishes of Hospice Patients
Funded by monetary donations made by Unity employees, as well as a matching $10,000 grant awarded by the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Gifted Wishes brings patients and families joy during a difficult time. Wishes granted range in size and complexity, however, each holds a uniquely special place in the hearts of those who receive them.
2019 - Unity Conducts Community-Wide Grief Services Research
Unity conducted 21 focus groups to assess and evaluate the changing needs of those grieving throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Research findings lead Unity to begin exploration in additional workplace and school grief support programming as well as space in our community to provide healing.
2019 - Unity Creates Reflections-A Journal of Legacy and Life
To assist patients in sharing their purpose, passions and experiences, Unity created a complimentary 46 page legacy journey for patients to document their personal journey through life. Unity social workers, chaplains and volunteers assist patients in capturing their treasured memories and words of wisdom for family, friends and future generations to cherish.
2018 - Patient & Family Advisory Council Formed
Consisting of family members served by Unity and Unity staff, the Council is empowered to take an active role in enhancing the patient and family experience by providing real-time feedback and creative solutions for program development.
2017 - Jack & Engrid Meng Hospice Residence Refurbishment Completed
In celebration of its 10 year anniversary, the Meng Residence received new furniture in patient rooms and common spaces, window treatments, linens, artwork, an expansion to the nurses’ station and a reconfiguration of family rooms. Our gratitude to Jack and Engrid Meng for their generous funding of this impactful project to patients and families.
2017 - Unity Resale Shoppe, LLC Opens
Unity opens the Unity Hospice Resale Shoppe, LLC, providing a meaningful and inviting place for the community to donate and purchase cherished household goods and clothing.
2017 - Unity Establishes Respecting Valor Veteran Program
With a commitment to bring the most meaningful and sensitive end-of-life journey possible to veterans, Unity formalizes its specialized care and support for veterans to include custom care plans based on the branch and era of military service as well service-related illnesses and past experiences, Veteran to Veteran Volunteer companions, veteran pinning ceremonies, Meng Residence Walk of Honor, and flag raising ceremonies.
2016 - Unity’s Certified Nursing Assistants Offer Compassionate Touch®
Made possible a private donor, Unity’s Certified Nursing Assistants received specialized training which covered gentle massage of the hands, back and feet to reduce pain, anxiety and depression among patients.
2007 - Jack & Engrid Meng Hospice Residence Opens
Unity opens the Jack and Engrid Meng Hospice Residence, the first hospice house in the area to offer around the clock skilled care in the comfort of a homelike environment with private rooms.
2006 - Unity Breaks Ground on New Campus
Unity breaks ground on a new 34-acre campus in De Pere, Wisconsin, for its Hospice Residence, Administrative Office and planned Memorial Gardens.
2002 - Unity Launches Region’s First Palliative Care Program
Unity becomes the first hospice organization in Northeast Wisconsin to offer a free-standing home based palliative care program, providing holistic medical, emotional and spiritual care to patients diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
1993 - Unity Is Established
Unity, a partnership of Bellin Health, St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Hospitals, begins to offer hospice care and grief support.
1990 - Bellin Health, HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s Hospitals Combine Efforts
Realizing that a hospital-based hospice program cannot meet all community needs, representatives from Bellin Health, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center and St. Vincent Hospital create a plan to combine efforts and resources.
1990 - Wisconsin Enacts the Medicaid Hospice Benefit
The Medicaid Hospice Benefit pays for medical, nursing, counseling, and bereavement services to terminally ill patients and their families.
1977 - Bellin Health Founds Bellin Hospice
Bellin Hospice becomes the first hospice in Wisconsin and the third in the nation after Bellin leaders visit the world’s first teaching hospice offering care in London, England.
1974 - First Hospice Established in Connecticut
Connecticut Hospice, the first hospice in the United States, is established in New Haven, Connecticut.
1967 - Dame Cicely Saunders Founds St. Christopher’s Hospice in London, England
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.