Tom Moreland brings Catholic values to his work at Saint Jude Hospice Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 -- 12:00 AM
Tom Moreland

MADISON -- “It was a defining moment of my life. God was leading me to care of the dying,” said Tom Moreland, founder and CEO of Saint Jude Hospice, in a recent interview.

Moreland was talking about his work with the Missionaries of Charity at an AIDS Hospice in San Francisco, Calif. He served there for two summers while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas.

Caring for the sick and dying

He said that all of the Missionaries of Charity are “miniature Mother Teresas.” They told him that when they cared for sick and dying persons, “they were caring for Jesus Christ himself.”

Moreland said, “They taught me to see Jesus in everybody. I learned that it is a special privilege to take care of people in their most vulnerable moment. Every person they feed, clothe, and care for — whether it’s a heroin addict, a prisoner, or an AIDS patient — is Christ to them.”

Saint Jude Hospice

Saint Jude Hospice: A Catholic hospice serving in the Diocese of Madison.

Purpose: To care for those who are terminally ill and their families.

Locations: The Madison office is located at 6333 Odana Rd., Madison, WI 53719. Another office is located in Baraboo and there is a support center in Platteville.

Counties served: The hospice team goes to private homes and nursing homes in the Wisconsin counties of Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Walworth, Sauk, Columbia, Marquette, Waushara, Adams, Juneau, Monroe, La Crosse, Vernon, and Crawford.

For more information: Call 855-836-7733 or visit


The birth of Saint Jude Hospice

Working with the Missionaries of Charity inspired Moreland to found Saint Jude Hospice as a visionary way to change the face of end-of-life care.

Saint Jude Healthcare opened in the fall of 2008 in Iowa, and in March 2009 Saint Jude Hospice opened in Oakdale, Minn. The summer of 2010 saw the opening of a location in Madison.

Saint Jude Hospice continues to grow with expansion into the states of Arizona, California, Kansas, Nebraska, and other locations in Wisconsin. Its corporate office is in Clive, Iowa, near Des Moines.

Follows Catholic directives

Saint Jude Hospice has received letters of support from bishops in five dioceses, including Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison. Although Saint Jude Hospice cares for those who are terminally ill and their families — no matter what their faith background may be — the hospice calls itself Catholic and adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERD) promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Saint Jude Hospice follows the ERD in the care for all of its patients and families. “We strive to be witnesses of faithful Catholic healthcare and to integrate this mission within the local community,” said Moreland. “We take very seriously the implementation of the ERD at the bedside and ensure it in a variety of ways.”

Moreland explained that all Saint Jude Hospice employees sign a commitment to follow the ERD. He said that many health care professionals — including Catholics — have not heard of the Ethical and Religious Directives.

All staff members receive formation and training in the directives, and they discuss on a regular basis how they are being implemented.

Dedicated to its mission

Saint Jude Hospice also has a vice president of mission, Matthew Kemnitz. “We feel it’s so important that we have made a significant investment in having someone take on that role,” said Moreland.

Kemnitz helps all those involved with Saint Jude Hospice to carry out its mission, as stated: “Rooted in our Christian love and guided by the Holy Spirit, we serve all people in the midst of loss and vulnerability due to a terminal illness. Our ‘radical, loving care’ will bring healing to those when their hope has changed from a cure to comfort.”

Furthermore, the hospice’s philosophy of care states, “Strengthened by faith, empowered by our values, and led by our ‘servant hearts,’ we will deliver the highest quality care. We will practice ethically and are always in compliance with state and federal regulations. We are obedient to the local bishop and adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.”

Saint Jude Hospice is a member of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and recently had Fr. Tad Pacholczyk meet with the hospice’s senior staff at a retreat.

In addition, Moreland, Kemnitz, and a priest working with Saint Jude Hospice are studying to obtain the National Catholic Certification in Health Care Ethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Faith motivates him in business

Moreland said his Catholic faith motivates what he does as a Catholic businessman. He said, “It’s great to see more young Catholic entrepreneurs. While we need more vocations to the priesthood and religious life, we also need more Catholic business leaders who are not scared to bring faith into their business.”

That’s one reason why Moreland is a member of Legatus, an organization founded by Tom Monaghan, owner of Domino’s Pizza and the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise.

Legatus is an international organization of practicing Catholic laymen and laywomen, comprised of CEOs, presidents, managing partners, and business owners, with their spouses, from the business community and professional enterprises. The mission of Legatus is to “study, live, and spread the Catholic faith in our business, professional, and personal lives.”

Saint Jude Hospice is a for-profit business. However, Moreland said he gives back the “fruits of my labor” to charities in all the dioceses in which the hospice serves.

“I don’t define success by how much money I make, but by how much money we give away,” he said. For example, a recent highlight for him was giving money to a homeless shelter in Des Moines, Iowa.

Moreland believes Catholic business owners can be helping the New Evangelization in the Church. It means bringing the message of Christ to the world, and that includes bringing Catholic values into businesses.

During October, which is Respect Life Month, Moreland said it is important to respect life from the beginning to the end of life. “It is so important to respect life and to make good moral and ethical decisions at the end of life,” he said.

On a personal level, Moreland is married to his wife, Katrina. They have a daughter, Mercedes, born this year.

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