The Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation Story
Bob Agentis met Judith Kurtz at Liberty High School in the mid-1960s, and soon the two young sweethearts were married. Bob worked several jobs, including a stint at the Bethlehem Steel Co., while, Judie worked at various local firms as well. Soon, daughter Lisa was born, and Bob, an entrepreneur at heart, opened his own real estate firm. Judie was always by her husband’s side, assisting with the logistics of running a business. The couple volunteered for local charities, tended to family, spent time with the grandkids, and when time allowed, enjoyed sport fishing and golf.
In 2012, at the age of 64, Judie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She spent her last days at St. Luke’s Hospice House in Bethlehem, PA, where Bob kept vigil with his spouse of 47 years. Bob realized he lost 35 pounds, as the only food available to him during Judie’s last days was from a vending machine. He began delivering nutritious weekly meals from fine Lehigh Valley restaurants to the hospice house. Soon, he founded the Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation (JAACF), a 5013c non-profit.
Today, JAACF fills a need for delicious meals delivered to family members spending the last precious moments with a loved one. Before COVID-19 halted food delivery to hospice, Bob single-handedly (along with JAACF volunteers) delivered more than 20,000 meals to the hospice house. JAACF launched the Judith Adele Agentis Palliative Care Scholarship Fund in the Fall of 2020 to further continue education and certifications for nurses seeking expertise in palliative care. JAACF also promotes early cancer detection and education.
Through generous food donations by JAACF donors, individuals, and local restaurants, Judie’s Table provides meals to families spending precious last moments with a loved one in hospice care. Meals are also provided for the staff, who are often unable to partake in regular meals due to the hospice’s urgent duties. JAACF delivered more than 20,000 meals prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. (Stay tuned for news on when meal deliveries can resume, including when individuals may again dedicate meals in memory of a loved one.)
Judith Adele Agentis scholarship Fund
The Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation (JAACF) has established The Judith Adele Agentis Palliative Care Nursing Education Fund at St. Luke’s University Health Network. The education fund provides scholarships for nurses to participate in professional certification programs, attend conferences and seminars, and earn continuing education credits in the field of palliative care. Kimberly O’Connor MS, RN, Susan Rodriguez BSN, and Chris McCausland BSN have begun their Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing Certification with support from the Foundation’s newly-established fund. The scholarship fund assists in the pursuit of Palliative Care Certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing through the Hospice and Palliative Care nursing association (HPNA).
Since Pancreatic Cancer shows little or no symptoms until the late stages, JAACF urges individuals to be screened and provides payment for tests, i.e., CAT SCANs, X Rays, MRI’s, and Colonoscopies. This assistance includes at-risk individuals who cannot secure a medical script for the procedure or do not have medical insurance and cannot afford testing payment. Payments are secured through individual, corporate, and businesses donars. Tests are administered through participating radiology centers, both private and institutional. Under-insured patients may contact Bob at [email protected] regarding free screenings.