Our Organization and History

Hospice of Jefferson County, Inc. was founded in 1985 by a group of concerned professionals and community members who saw a need in the region for an organization that could support patients who desired to spend their final days at home, and the family members who cared for them.


Hospice started as a volunteer organization, and has remained true to the volunteer spirit to this day. Its first office was located in a room at the former New York State Air Brake and housed a staff of less than ten. After becoming certified and eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the staff and caseload grew, necessitating a move to larger quarters at 714 Washington Street, Watertown. In 1994, the agency settled into its next office at 425 Washington Street.

Today Hospice consists of a staff of 41 nurses, social workers and counselors and a large group of volunteers. Over the years Hospice has cared for more than 5,000 patients and their families in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. Although its address may have changed several times, one thing that has never changed is Hospice's unwavering commitment to help people live their final months of life in dignity and comfort.

Hospice is governed by two boards, one which oversees the operating agency and the other which manages the Foundation. The Boards and their committees meet regularly and play an active role in the management of the organization. The Boards embrace accountability and transparency, and ensure that the agency operates according to the highest ethical standards.

The newest chapter in the organization's history is an eight-bed residence and office building on Gotham Street in Watertown. This facility allows Hospice to provide care to patients who lack round-the-clock caregivers, as well as respite for families who may need some help from time to time.


Hospice Foundation

The Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation created to provide financial support for Hospice of Jefferson County. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, some of whom also serve on the Board of Hospice of Jefferson County. Through its fundraising efforts, the Foundation is able to ensure that all patients, regardless of means, receive the same high level of care. In addition to providing operating support to Hospice (insurance reimbursements do not cover the full cost of care), the Foundation provides grants to individuals, underwrites the bereavement program, and maintains the assets of the agency. It will be the purpose of Hospice of Jefferson County, Inc. to ensure that Hospice services remain strong and fiscally viable to serve as an integral component of our communinty's health care system.

The Foundation encourages community support for Hospice through events such as the Hospice Regatta, golf tournaments, and auctions; through planned giving; through memorial gifts; and through Annual Campaigns.

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Our Staff and Board of Directors

Hospice Staff

CEO: Diana Woodhouse, Ph.D., RN

Director of Patient Care: Kate Simpson, RN, BSN, LNC

Director of Finance: David Sanford

Director of Volunteers: Nancy Morrow

Director of Marketing & Community Relations: Kathy Arendt

Residence Manager: Jennifer Medina, RN, BSN

Social Work
Rachael Golas, LMSW, Supervisor
Stephanie Boone, LMSW

Bereavement Coordinator: Brittney Fields-McIntosh, LMSW

Admissions Coordinators:
Nicole Schultz, MSW, Hospice Navigator
Andrea Paratore, RN, Resource Nurse

Executive Administrative Assistant: Sarah McConnell

Foundation Administrative Assistant: Sommer Bartlett

Health Information Management: Katie Burns

Medical Director: Robert Kasulke, MD

Hospice Physicians:
Stephen Grybowski, MD
Jill Laureano-Surber, MD
Joseph Wetterhahn, MD

Join Our Team

  • You people are the best of the best.

  • I can't find adequate words to say how wonderful Hospice was to my husband and me. They brightened my day and gave me the courage to meet each day. I learned to lean on and love each and everyone. God bless them all!

  • Everyone on the Hospice team was wonderful. They were gentle, loving and very good with my mother. I learned so much from them.

  • What a great team I had! Everyone I dealt with was very professional.

  • I do not know how I would have handled or survived the care without the help of Hospice. They were there for me at all times.
  • The professionalism, compassion and respect for our child and our family are sincerely appreciated.
  • Your care was excellent. Thank you for all you did for my husband.

  • The whole team was exceptional. We could not have asked for better care for our loved one.

  • I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtfulness during this most difficult time. Your services were wonderful and very helpful. My sincere thanks to all of you.
  • Your nurses went over and beyond the call of duty to help us.
  • I can't find the words to say how good the hospice team was, even helping after my wife's death.
  • Words can't express how much I appreciate what all of you did for my husband. You guys just made it work so well.

Foundation Board of Directors

President: Jeff Cole

Vice President: Emily Sprague

Secretary: Christina Stone, Esq.

Board Members

Brian Ashley

Holly Bush

Eric DeLaGarza

Patricia “Bunny” Gorman

Dana Keefer

David Kellogg

Bryan Mehaffy

Father Donald Robinson

Steve Yelle

Hospice Board of Directors

President: Maureen Cean

Vice President: Julie Soule, MS, CNS, RN

Treasurer: Elizabeth Bush

Secretary: James Stillerman, MD

Board Members

Rob Bloom

John Deans

Wendy Hinman

Lisa McCarty

James Montgomery

Barbara Morrow

Linda O’Connor

Kate Skipton, MD

Peter Walton

Jeffrey Wood

1398 Gotham St.
Watertown, NY 13601

Phone: 315-788-7323
Fax: 315-788-9653

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