About Madrone Hospice

A History of Madrone Hospice

In 1984, a hospice program was envisioned by a small group of community members. A committee led by Edna Barr met in Bob Kaster’s Law Office to create Madrone Hospice, Inc. The first volunteer training was offered in 1985. In 1987, Rosalind Sumner collaborated with Mary Lou Smith and the Soroptomists to host the first Art Auction to raise funds for Madrone Hospice.

In the early years, Board Members trained volunteers to support dying patients and their families. It soon became obvious that a transition to paid staff was critical for growth.

Here are our major milestones:

  • 1984: Madrone Hospice was created
  • 1987: Madrone Hospice held the very first Art Auction fundraiser
  • 1990: The McConnell Foundation funded a one time grant, and the board hired Dan Jacobs as Executive Director
  • 1991: The original Hospice Shop was opened by volunteers, including Audrey Wells and Mary Hedge
  • 1994: Audrey Flower was hired as Executive Director
  • 1995: Hospice was licensed and hired a team of professionals
  • 1999: The Madrone House was completed
  • 2002: Heartisan Boutique opened
  • 2009: Began operation of Madrone Senior Services
  • 2012: Audrey Flower retired, Terrie Berentsen hired as Executive Director
  • 2012: Served 1000th patient in the Madrone House

Dr. Rich LaCom (Medical Director) and Mary Lou LaCom (Director of Patient Services), along with volunteers and a small team of professionals including Jean Fasig and Catey Olivolo, all wore many hats as they developed Madrone Hospice’s services. During our first year of licensure, we provided hospice care to 19 patients and their families. In 2012, we provided care to 216 individuals.


We owe our growth and advancements to the support of the community.  Thank you to all who help us achieve our mission of providing quality compassionate care to the people of Northern Siskiyou County.