Help for Life's Challenges: Meet EveryStep Social Worker Jude Kuehner

A refugee family leaves their war-torn country to find safety in the U.S. They don’t speak English and are unfamiliar with the American culture and medical system.

A loved one enters hospice care. There are decisions to be made and emotions to manage as you and your family navigate this final journey.

In these and other situations, there is a trained professional who can help — a licensed social worker.

At EveryStep, licensed social workers smooth the way for clients and patients needing help as they face complex situations. Jude Kuehner is a social worker for EveryStep Hospice’s Des Moines and Perry team.          

“Each day varies greatly for me. Some days I see hospice patients and families in nursing facilities and homes, and some days I see home care patients in their homes,” says Jude. “I serve many different people with differing needs which keeps each day interesting!” As an EveryStep social worker, Jude is on the road frequently as she travels from patient to patient.

Jude says the variety of her work makes it a fascinating career, but she loves her job even more because she is part of EveryStep. “EveryStep drew me in with its culture. I had seen that they were voted a Top Workplace and that interested me, then meeting with everyone here solidified my desire to work for an agency that cares about their employees and works cohesively as a team.”

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For Jude, being a hospice social worker is not about dying. It’s about helping patients and families make the most of each day that remains. “The best parts of my job are hearing peoples’ stories and developing relationships with my patients and their families. I feel fulfilled in my work when I develop trusting relationships with them, and I can work as part of the team to bring comfort to a patient at the end of their life.”

March is National Work Month, an observation first recognized in 1963 and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The month is intended to honor social workers and recognize the work they do. Jude says she doesn’t seek recognition, but is encouraged when she feels she has made a difference.

“It brightens any day if someone shares that they feel like they’ve received help or feel more at peace.”

If you are interested in a career with EveryStep, visit for information and a list of open positions.

If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946. Or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form on EveryStep’s website at EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide assistance.