The volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly and serves as the governing body of Yolo Hospice. Day-to-day efforts of Yolo Hospice are handled by our professional staff and by our pool of enthusiastic volunteers.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Yolo Hospice, and would like to know more about the organization, Board members would be happy to speak with you. To reach them, please contact: Janene Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Dresang brings more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience to his post, including 15 years as a senior leader in healthcare. Prior to his role at Yolo Hospice, Craig was the vice president for community development and programs for Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter in Chicago, a $30 million healthcare organization that ranked in the top 20 nation-wide for quality inpatient care, and was recognized as one of Chicago’s top 100 workplaces.
Under Craig’s leadership, Midwest CareCenter raised $13 million to build the State of Illinois’ first LEED® Gold certified hospice residence, which was awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for successfully incorporating design, construction and operational practices to achieve cost-efficiency, energy savings and environmental sustainability.
“Much like Midwest CareCenter, Yolo Hospice was founded 35 years ago by grassroots volunteers and has, over time, become the region’s gold standard for hospice care,” Craig says. “As the first established hospice in the Sacramento Valley, we have the longest track record as experts in end-of-life care. In fact, our most recent physician satisfaction survey shows that 100 percent of our referring physicians are satisfied with the care we provide to their patients. I am truly excited to be part of this very special community treasure.”
A long-time resident of Davis and columnist for the Davis Enterprise, Marion came to Yolo Hospice as a patient volunteer. After eight years volunteering with one patient at a time, and writing occasional articles related to Yolo Hospice, she joined the Board in 2013. She says she used to avoid meetings, but not at Yolo Hospice where she believes passionately in the work being done and the people who do it.
Lynn Hillier Gore
Lynn was a patient volunteer with Yolo Hospice for six years before joining the Board. She has long-time Davis connections, working for UC Davis for 35 years. She was inspired to volunteer her time with Yolo Hospice after her family experienced their loving, attentive support during her father’s death. Her activism and interest in end-of-life care began in the 60’s with her involvement in the women’s movement. Overlaps between feminist efforts and the medical field led her to see that eldercare and end-of life models needed transformation too.
Sharon has been working in health care for nearly 30 years in a variety of roles, especially as an educator. She particularly enjoys teaching about disease, treatment and safety, as well as organizing community projects. In 1997, she was introduced to hospice through the end-of-life experience of her mother, who was well-served by a Bay Area hospice. That motivated Sharon’s deep commitment to pay her experience forward by educating others about the support services hospice offers to them and to their loved ones.
Sharon joined Yolo Hospice first as a patient care volunteer and then as an employee until November 2012. She brings to the Board a strong interest in fundraising. Nothing would please her more than to help keep Yolo Hospice self-sustaining over the long term.
RoseMarie brings extensive experience in finance and fundraising to our Board. Until retirement in 2004, she managed departmental budgets at UC Davis. She also served for 10 years on the board of the Winters Health Care Foundation, and prepared and sold flowers for special events in Winters, where she lives. In 2002 Yolo Hospice cared for her father during his last illness, and she feels a desire to give back and to spread the word that Yolo Hospice serves not only Yolo County, but also patients from several surrounding counties.
Tom Frankel, Attorney
A retired attorney in Yolo County, Tom has volunteered for nonprofit organizations since 1967. In 1998 he became a patient volunteer for Yolo Hospice. A year later he joined the Board, where he served six years, three as President. He rejoined the Board in 2013, and continues as a patient volunteer. He describes Yolo Hospice as a “phenomenal organization.” During his many years of of service, he has traveled to hospices around the country, learning about regulations, finance and management.
Nancy Bramberg, Attorney
Nancy Bramberg had no special knowledge about hospice and no experience with Yolo Hospice when a friend asked her to consider joining the Board. Since getting to know the staff of Yolo Hospice, she describes herself as “bowled over by their intelligence, commitment and kindness.” In addition to serving on the Board, she has taken the training to become a patient volunteer and hopes to share her pet therapy dog with patients. Before retirement, she was an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation on behalf of injured workers.
Jackie is a nurse with an unusually broad range of administrative experience. She was the clinical director of the Department of Health Nursing for the City of San Francisco, and later became a court monitor for federal Judge Thelton Henderson. That position led to her current employment as Chief Executive Officer for Health Care for the statewide prison system.
Her work includes managing a unique 16-bed hospice program at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville, the first and biggest unit of its kind in the U.S. She has been touched by the efforts of this facility to provide the same compassionate end-of-life care to prison inmates as is available to people who are not incarcerated. She brings to Yolo Hospice a strong business background, as well as her clinical perspective, including an unswerving commitment to quality care.
Virginia Joyce, M.D
After many years as a surgeon with a special interest in breast disease, Virginia is currently the Assistant Chief Medical Officer for the Sacramento Sierra region of Sutter Health. Personal and professional activities brought her in contact with Yolo Hospice, where her patients reported a positive experience. She feels that the organization is “supportive and very effective.” Her clinical understanding and medical expertise are valuable assets to the Board and to the Clinical Advisory Committee on which she serves.
Colleen Perry, FNP
Colleen has been in nursing for more than 30 years, first in critical care, then as a nurse practitioner, and now as Director of Nursing at CommuniCare Health Centers. When she was a student nurse in the 1970s, new ideas were emerging about how to treat dying patients. Colleen was immediately drawn to the hospice philosophy of offering people the opportunity to spend their final days among those they love and trust, instead of being placed in unfamiliar hospital surroundings.
Colleen offers extensive experience in leadership and public relations, and she uses her skills to get the word out about Yolo Hospice. She says, “I think that we’ve got to get more comfortable with end of life issues. The last days of life are such a special time.”
Emily Murdock, RN, PHN
Emily’s first experience of Yolo Hospice was as a nursing student. After earning her degree, she worked for one year at Yolo Hospice as a case manager, before taking her current position in urgent care at UC Davis’ Health and Wellness Center. Previously she managed Outdoor Adventures at UC Davis, where she supervised and organized hundreds of volunteers and worked with grant-funded programs to reach under-served populations.
Two experiences cemented her connection to hospice. When her grandfather died, she says, “It was remarkable how hospice could come in and be our advocate and let us be family.” When she worked in a cardiac ICU, one of her first patients was an elderly man who wanted to die at home but did not get his wish. Emily hopes to promote hospice as the compassionate norm in such cases. She would like to encourage more young nurses to choose hospice work, and she is eager to help raise funds to keep Yolo Hospice strong.
Pete has been a Yolo Hospice volunteer since 2011. He has an additional personal connection to Yolo Hospice because his late wife Mary was one of our patients. Pete is a long-time Davis resident who worked for more than 30 years with Hunt-Wesson Foods Inc. Pete also served as a 1st Lieutenant Infantry in the U.S. Army, Vietnam era, and has been an integral part of our We Honor Veterans program. He has provided special service as a volunteer for our veteran patients who appreciate having a volunteer with this shared experience.
Madalon was the Founding Executive Director of the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). She moved to the Davis area in 2015. Madalon was an early American voice in the hospice movement, serving as the director of education and research at Forbes Hospice, and eventually founding the Pennsylvania Hospice Network. She is the co-author of Nursing Care of the Terminally Ill, the first American textbook on hospice care. She has received numerous national and educational honors in recognition of her caring work, including HPNA’s Leading the Way Award and the University of Pittsburgh’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Keith Volkerts is on his third role with Yolo Hospice as a Board member. He served as Yolo Hospice’s CFO for seven years and as Executive Director from 2013-2014. He also worked in the past with Napa Valley Hospice and Adult Day Services and was the owner of Physician Billing Specialists. Keith and his wife Lynn are long-time supporters of Yolo Hospice, including as administers of the George and Lena Valente Foundation, established by Lynn’s late parents. Keith brings a strong knowledge of finance and hospice to the Board as well as extensive background with Yolo Hospice.