Arkansas Hospice

Our History


Co-Founders Dee Brazil-Dale and Michael Aureli

From its humble beginnings to the present, Arkansas Hospice has – through a sense of hard work, care and compassion – built a strong, trusted reputation throughout Arkansas.

Our roots go back to a day in 1983 when a young man named Michael Aureli wrapped his mother – who suffered from ovarian cancer – in a blanket and carried her to an emergency room, only to hear, “There is nothing more we can do for you.” Years later, Michael and his colleague Dee Brazil-Dale would go on to become the founders of Arkansas Hospice.

With the help of other concerned citizens, Michael and Dee formed a grass-roots movement focused on building a strong, nonprofit organization that would help Arkansans with life-limiting illnesses live their final days in dignity and comfort.

Those efforts resulted in Arkansas Hospice being incorporated in the state of Arkansas as a private, not-for-profit organization on January 17, 1992. It is classified federally as a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Arkansas Hospice made history again in February 2000 when it opened the first hospice inpatient center in Arkansas in a leased wing of the Eugene Towbin Healthcare Center at Fort Roots in North Little Rock.

As for Michael Aureli, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Hospice from May 1995 to June 2011, when he passed away at the age of 61 as a patient of the program he helped create. Dee Brazil-Dale retired as Executive Director of the Arkansas Hospice Foundation and Vice President of Development for Arkansas Hospice in 2006.

The organization is currently led by Judith S. Wooten, who was named president and CEO of Arkansas Hospice on July 28, 2011.

Since its start, Arkansas Hospice has grown from one location in North Little Rock to 10 offices and three inpatient centers that touch more than 40 counties. With its corporate office at 14 Parkstone Circle in North Little Rock, Arkansas Hospice is now the largest hospice organization in the state.

To read a historical look back written by Dee Brazil-Dale, please click here