Our History

Our history begins with JourneyCare, the largest nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider in Illinois, and the result of a merger in 2015 of three entities: Horizon Hospice, JourneyCare, and Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter.  The combined entities provided clinical hospice and palliative care to thirteen counties in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

The seedlings of the organization began in 1978 when Horizon Hospice and Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter were founded in Chicago and Evanston, a North Shore suburb, respectively. Each organization was created by groups of community volunteers seeking to care for those with life-limiting illness with respect and dignity. As an example of their vision and compassion, both entities were among the first hospices in the region to serve terminally ill patients during the 1980s AIDS crisis. In 1982, another seedling was established when two new nonprofit, volunteer-driven hospice and palliative care organizations formed in McHenry and Lake Counties. Those entities would eventually merge and become known as JourneyCare. 

The roots of those three organizations took hold and continued to grow, and in 2015 Horizon Hospice, Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, and JourneyCare joined to create a new entity that offered more than 100 years of combined clinical expertise in providing end-of-life care. The merger blossomed and continued to grow as one of the largest nonprofit hospice and palliative care providers in Illinois. Retaining the name JourneyCare, it served people of all ages with patient-centered, high-quality hospice and palliative care and was also the largest of the handful of pediatric hospice and palliative care programs in the state.

Staffed by a team of expert clinicians and supported by dedicated volunteers, JourneyCare served the whole patient: mind, body, and spirit. Physicians, nurses, and certified nursing assistants worked to manage pain and symptoms while also collaborating with social workers, chaplains, music thanatologists, and volunteers to honor each patient’s personal goals, wishes, and spiritual needs. To ensure access to care for all, JourneyCare Foundation secured support from generous individuals and corporate donors, to enable JourneyCare to keep its promise to serve any person in need, including those who could not afford to pay for their care.

In 2022, JourneyCare’s hospice and palliative care functions were acquired by Addus HomeCare, which was founded in Chicago in 1979 and is one of the nation’s largest home care providers.

The sale allowed for the creation of Elea Institute, which strives to build on the collective histories and legacies of countless physicians, nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and donors who dedicated their myriad resources and compassion to provide care and comfort to people with serious illness. Elea Institute remains committed to our heritage and predecessor organizations’ original missions: ensuring all persons have access to high quality hospice and palliative care.  

1978 – Horizon Hospice was established in Chicago by a local philanthropist in partnership with a local clergyman, a physician, and an attorney 

1978 – Hospice of the North Shore was established in Evanston by a group of committed community volunteers.

1982 – Hospice for McHenry County was established in Woodstock from the vision of five women who realized the need to care for those at the end of life.

1984 – Hospice of Northeastern Illinois was established in Barrington by a small group of local volunteers. Led by an oncologist and a psychologist, the group was dedicated to the philosophy of hospice and created a nonprofit program.

1989 – Hospice of Northeastern Illinois merged with Hospice for McHenry County and Northwest Community Hospital’s hospice, widening the combined organization’s outreach.  The combined agency was renamed Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois.

1995 – Hospice of the North Shore opened an inpatient hospice unit at Evanston Hospital. It was later relocated to Skokie Hospital and expanded.

1996 – Hospice of the North Shore achieved its first Joint Commission accreditation.

2001 – Hospice of the North Shore established a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Integrated Fellowship program with Rush University.

2005 – Hospice of the North Shore opened the Robert H. and Terri L. Cohn Administration and Education Center in Glenview, moving its offices from Evanston.  It was also renamed Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter to reflect its expanded region of care.


Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois opened the Pepper Family Hospice Home and Center for Care in Barrington. Its goal was to provide an inpatient level of dignified, compassionate care and guidance to those coping with serious illness, end of life, and loss.

2011 –  Horizon Hospice opened an inpatient hospice unit at Rush University Medical Center named after their founder Ada F. Addington. The unit was the first of its kind at a major academic medical center in Chicago.

2012 – Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter expanded its Glenview campus and opened the Marshak Family Hospice Pavilion, closing the inpatient unit at Skokie Hospital.

2013 – Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter acquired the hospice assets of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 

2015 – Horizon Hospice, JourneyCare and Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter merged to form the largest non-profit hospice agency in the State of Illinois. 

2019 – JourneyCare acquired the hospice and home health services of Northwestern Medicine, expanding service to patients in 13 counties in Illinois.

2022 JourneyCare clinical operations are acquired by Addus HomeCare. Elea Institute is created.