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COLUMBIA, Mo. – As a palliative care nurse at Boone Hospital, Jackie Reed saw families dealing with the declining health of loved ones have to make difficult financial decisions.

Her experience led her to team up with another nurse, Dorreen Rardin, to co-found Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia, a home for end-of-life care “where the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of guests and their families are met with compassion, love, and respect.”

In the latest episode of “Show-Me MO Success,” the University of Missouri’s Business and Community Extension podcast, Reed talks about starting the 501c3 nonprofit and the assistance she received by participating in the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, a University of Missouri Extension program.

“Working in palliative care, when we were trying to help family members begin hospice, a lot of family members realized that they did not have enough resources to be able to take their loved one home and be cared for there,” Reed says. “When they realized that they weren’t going to have enough family members or enough support, they would often have to look to a nursing home. That was something a lot of children have promised their parents that they would never do – to put them in a nursing home.”

Nursing homes can be expensive, and Reed says that a lot of people do not realize that while Medicare pays for the cost of a hospice nurse to come into a home, it does not cover the room and board costs of a nursing home. This realization can be devastating to families already distraught over caring for a loved one with critical health needs.

“Show-Me MO Success” host Luke Dietterle also interviews Elizabeth Anderson, an extension and engagement specialist for MU Extension. Anderson and Reed talk about how the Neighborhood Leadership Academy helped with project planning. Reed also received a competitive mini-grant through the program.

When Missouri residents or neighborhood groups want to create more livable communities, Anderson says, they can gain new knowledge and skills from the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, which emphasizes community-building principles, project planning, organizational leadership and personal leadership skills.

“This will be the fourth year that NLA, which has a 20-plus-year history in St. Louis, will be available statewide in Missouri,” Anderson says. “One way to increase positive outcomes in peoples’ lives is training up new leadership and helping people advocate for themselves and what they want their communities to look like.”

NLA is offered by University of Missouri-St. Louis in partnership with MU Extension. Registration for the fall NLA cohort closes Aug. 31. A limited number of scholarships are available. Learn more at

MU Extension has programs to benefit Missourians throughout the state. This podcast features faculty members and their clients discussing the impact of these programs on communities and businesses in Missouri. Podcast listeners will hear how to reach out to MU Extension to access resources.

“Show-Me MO Success” is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music. Scan the QR code below or go to to listen to ways you can improve your business and community with the help of MU Extension.

Sarah Rielley, Senior Coordinator
University of Missouri Extension–Business and Community