The Care Synergy Model

 Care Synergy’s Affiliates operate as distinct not-for-profit, mission-driven hospice, home health, and palliative care providers. At the same time, Affiliate members work together to share resources to meet the needs of the communities we serve along the Front Range to ensure quality, compassionate, and timely care.

We believe this model, developed over the past six years, has become the best organizational model in the country for not-for-profit hospice, palliative and home health care providers. The model has allowed affiliate organizations to leverage best practices, learn from each other, and thrive and grow in serving individuals and families in their communities.

Care Synergy Benefits Affiliates By

  • Expanding and making available quality programs and services available for more Coloradans
  • Sharing and adopting best practices to improve clinical care and patient/family outcomes
  • Achieving efficiencies and economies of scale not available to stand-alone not-for-profit community-based hospice and palliative care providers
  • Enabling Care Synergy affiliates to build effective and broad-based relationships with local, regional and national payors and health systems

We help affiliates succeed in the fast-changing health care industry.

The Care Synergy Team & Board

The Care Synergy team and board is made up of industry leaders and individuals with extensive management and field experience in medical, healthcare, nursing, social work, hospice, and palliative care. The unparalleled support and services provided by Care Synergy is rooted in each team member’s shared passion to advocate and care for the community.

Senior Leadership Team

Tim Bowen: President and CEO - Care Synergy

Tim Bowen is the President and CEO of Care Synergy, a non-acute network of four legacy not for profit hospice, home care and palliative care organizations serving more than 1500 patients/families each day along the Front Range in Colorado. Prior to Care Synergy, Tim was the President of Haven Hospice, a regional hospice organization based in Gainesville Florida.

He has more than 35 years’ experience in the hospice, home care and palliative care industry in management and leadership positions in both not for profit and for-profit hospice corporations on a regional and national basis. Over his career, Tim has successfully developed more than thirty-five de novo hospices, built and operated eight freestanding inpatient hospice care centers, as well as facilitated the acquisition and merger of numerous hospice and home care organizations.

Prior to Haven Hospice, Tim was the National Hospice Director for Staff Builders Health Care Services and National Director of Hospice Development for Olsten Kimberly QualityCare both for profit publicly traded corporations.

Tim holds a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of San Diego.

He has been an active member of the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and the Council of Hospice Professionals since 1988 serving on various committees, including the Standards and Accreditation Committee as well as the Managed Care Advisory Committee.

Throughout his career, Tim has served in numerous leadership positions in state hospice associations including the Board of Directors for the California State Hospice Association and the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association, where Tim served as President of the association for two terms from 2001-2003. Currently, Tim serves as a board member for the Home Care and Hospice Association of the Rockies.

Tim co-founded the National Hospice Executive Roundtable, an industry group of thirteen chief executive officers from preeminent legacy not for profit hospice, home care and PACE organizations located across the country.

Crystal O'Brien, PHR: Vice President of Human Resources - Care Synergy

O’Brien joins Care Synergy with more than 15 years of progressively senior roles in human resources, most recently as the vice president of human resources for InnovAge of Denver.

She holds a B.S. in human resources management from Colorado State University and is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Before leading human resources for InnovAge of Denver, she was vice president of human resources for SitusAMC and MountainView Financial Solutions.

Tim Bowen, CEO and president of Care Synergy, said O’Brien “brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in building, managing, engaging, empowering and coaching employees and teams to achieve high levels of performance.”

Care Synergy is a nonprofit organization supporting affiliated home health, palliative and hospice care providers including The Denver Hospice, the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Pathways in northern Colorado, and Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care.

The organization provides services along the Front Range of Colorado from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins. Every day, Care Synergy affiliates serve more than 1,200 hospice patients and more than 1,000 home health and palliative care clients.

In the role of vice president of human resources, O’Brien will collaborate with the affiliates to develop and implement effective, innovative strategies to meet the business needs of the organizations and grow the impact of their services.

John Blaschke: Chief Information Officer - Care Synergy

With nearly 20 years of extensive experience in information systems management, process improvement, customer service, managed care organizations and provider markets, John M. Blaschke joined Care Synergy in October 2015 as the organization’s first Chief Information Officer.

With hands-on experience with both hardware and software, an intimate knowledge of the managed care sector and a strong customer satisfaction orientation, John is charged with creating a world class IT platform to support Care Synergy’s growing family of community-based hospice providers as they continue to grow and transform to meet their not-for-profit missions in an increasingly competitive and integrated healthcare marketplace.

Prior to coming to Care Synergy, John spent more than 13 years at the TriZetto Corporation, a leading national healthcare IT solutions firm based in Denver that provides regional and national managed care organizations with core administrative IT services ranging from claims processing and eligibility to care management, utilization management and disease management. At TriZetto, John most recently served as Associate Vice President and General Manager, in which he was responsible for all aspects of product and service support for a large regional health system located in Texas. During his tenure at TriZetto, John was responsible at various times for hardware and software support, application management services, account management, sales management, consulting services and customer service.

John’s background also includes substantial experience in IT consulting, including more than a half-dozen years with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). His consulting clients numbered both local and national health insurers; his responsibilities included site system integration, consumer-facing web portals and benefits support. John also led new technology deployment, process improvement and system innovations for his clients.

Earlier in his career, John guided a process re-engineering initiative for a national emergency physicians management group that included deployment of new systems to support better work flow efficiencies leading to increased customer satisfaction. He also worked for Colorado’s Medicaid program on an initiative that examined opportunities to improve efficiencies and obtain better rates through an open competitive bidding process.

John received his Bachelor’s in Economics from The Colorado College in Colorado Springs and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, with an emphasis in Health Policy & Management.

John, his wife, and children reside in Littleton, Colorado.

Dawn Darvalics: President - Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care

Dawn Darvalics is a healthcare executive with over 18 years of experience in hospice and palliative care. Dawn’s career includes working for national hospice and palliative care providers, non-profit community-based hospices, and international consulting firms including KPMG and Arthur Anderson.

In the role of President at Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, Dawn is responsible for advancing the organization’s mission to care for all in need of expert hospice and palliative care services in the Colorado Springs area. Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care is an affiliate member of Care Synergy’s network of non-profit home health, palliative care, and hospice organizations across Colorado’s Front Range. Prior to being named President of Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, Dawn worked at Care Synergy and The Denver Hospice, leading quality, compliance, and education initiatives.

Dawn began her career in end-of-life care at VITAS Healthcare where she served for 10 years. At Vitas, Dawn was the national general manager of VITAS Palliative Care Solutions. In this role, Dawn launched the palliative medicine division. She was responsible for standing up palliative medicine practices across the company and overseeing operations including centralized practice support. Prior to that Dawn served as Interim General Manager of VITAS’ Chicago Central Program, led the implementation of VITAS’ electronic medical record system across the company, and was Associate General Manager of the South Florida region.

Prior to joining VITAS, Dawn worked for Arthur Andersen and KPMG Business Consulting’s change management and performance improvement divisions. She focused on large-scale change management initiatives, such as enterprise resource planning software and shared services center implementations.

Prior to arriving in Colorado, Dawn worked at Aspire Health based in Nashville as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Aspire Institute, the company’s internal learning and development department. She focused on aligning learning and development with organizational objectives. Dawn also served as an executive management consultant for Ohio’s Hospice Incorporated, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and Caring Foundations where she focused on improving the quality of care through operational optimization.

Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration and a Master of Science degree in Instructional Systems from Florida State University. She is a Certified Project Management Professional and PROSCI Change Practitioner.

Ernesto Lopez: President - Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and President - The Denver Hospice

Ernesto Lopez is an accomplished healthcare executive with over 20 years of healthcare leadership experience. Most recently he served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Hospice of Washington County in Maryland; a community based, non-profit hospice and palliative care organization. Prior to that, he served in the same capacity for a large non-profit, faith-based hospice provider that is part of the AdventHealth System; and is considered the largest Medicare provider in the country. Lopez’s healthcare experience also includes hospital Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer for two different community-based hospitals within the AdventHealth Network of Central Florida.

Lopez earned a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Miami. He has been an active member of several designated and professional associations including the American College of Healthcare Executives through which he has attained Fellow status (FACHE) as wells as being selected as a Thomas C. Dolan Diversity Scholar this past year.

Lopez is passionate about the work and mission of The Denver Hospice and is excited to be a part of the Denver community.

Evan Hyatt: President - Pathways

With over 20 years of experience in healthcare leadership, administration, operations, marketing and communications and fundraising and development communications, Evan Hyatt is the President of Pathways.

Hyatt previously served as CEO/president of Pathways from 2008 through 2016, and is re-joining the organization following a role as the Vice President of Marketing and Development at Care Synergy, Pathways’ supporting organization.

Hyatt began his career with Pathways as its marketing manager in 2001 when the organization was known as Hospice of Larimer County.  At the end of 2016, he left Pathways to become the Executive Director of Operations for Kaiser Permanente in Northern Colorado.  Then, following a brief stint with Banner Hospice, Hyatt joined Care Synergy in 2019.  Altogether, he has more than 18 years of experience in hospice and palliative care at Pathways and Care Synergy.

In the role of president, Hyatt will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Pathways as well as collaborating with its board of directors to guide the mission, strategic objectives and growth of the organization. 

Dr. Pradeep Rai: Chief Medical Officer - Care Synergy

Dr. Pradeep Rai, MD, joins Care Synergy as Chief Medical Officer and also assumes the role of Medical Director at The Denver Hospice (TDH). In his capacity as CMO, Dr. Rai will oversee clinical operations across Care Synergy’s network of hospice, palliative care, and home health affiliates, including TDH, Pikes Peak Hospice, Pathways Hospice, and the Colorado Visiting Nurses Association (CVNA).

With over a decade of healthcare leadership and quality assurance experience, Dr. Rai has previously served as Medical Director for prominent organizations such as Magnolia Medical, Team Select Home Health Care, and Pro Health One. His professional credentials include being a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine (DABAM) with certifications from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (FMCSA) and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP). Actively engaged with key medical associations, Dr. Rai contributes to the advancement of healthcare standards through his involvement with the American Medical Directors’ Association and the Colorado Medical Directors’ Association.

Dr. Rai’s educational background is highlighted by specialized training in burn surgery at Jacobi Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Care Synergy’s President and CEO, Tim Bowen, expresses gratitude for Dr. Rai’s appointment, noting his leadership experience, commitment to clinical excellence, and compassionate care, which uniquely qualify him to lead the exceptional team of physicians and nurse practitioners at Care Synergy.

Tricia Ford: Senior Vice President of Operations - Care Synergy

Tricia Ford, an accomplished healthcare leader with more than 25 years of hospice experience covering operations, sales, business development and management, is Care Synergy’s first Senior Vice President of Operations. In support of Care Synergy’s shared services model supporting member not-for-profit hospices, Tricia is responsible for strategic planning, direction and management of patient care-related shared services, group purchasing and group contracting, as well as other initiatives that benefit Affiliate members.

Prior to joining Care Synergy, Tricia worked with a variety of hospice, home health and post-acute providers as a consultant and independent contractor, specializing in supporting aging in place and preventing hospital re-admissions.

Tricia previously worked as a Vice President for the fast-growing New Century Hospice, for which she was responsible for hospice operations at six New Century locations in Colorado, Texas and Louisiana. She also helped lead and manage the transition when the company was acquired by another provider. She joined the growing New Century from UnitedHealth Group’s Optum Hospice and Palliative Care, where she served as Chief Operating Officer for eight years. With responsibility for strategic planning and creating an infrastructure to build a national hospice and palliative care organization through acquisition and de novo initiatives, Tricia had responsibility for an 800-employee workforce and revenue and profitability across the division. She also managed Optum’s relationships with two not-for-profits, The Dream Foundation and the National Hospice Foundation, with which Optum worked and to which Optum directed memorial contributions made in the name of its hospice patients.

Earlier in her career, Tricia was Executive Vice President of GeriNet, a leading healthcare organization that specializes in providing post-acute care for frail and vulnerable patients in skilled nursing facilities and home environments, and its Hospice Touch subsidiary. One of the largest hospice providers in Orange County, California, Hospice Touch was one of the first hospice programs in the nation to integrate with managed care organizations and physician medical groups. Tricia assumed her first operational role as Western Regional Vice President for Odyssey Health Care, in which she was responsible for a six-state region with revenues of $57 million and nearly 600 employees.

Tricia began her hospice career as a Hospice Sales Representative for Vitas Healthcare in Dallas, Texas, and subsequently was promoted to Director of Admissions & Sales for start-up programs and then was named Director of Admissions & Sales for Vitas’ long-established anchor program in Dallas.

Throughout her career, Tricia has been actively involved in not-for-profit organizations serving the communities in which she lived and worked. She currently serves on the Executive Leadership Council of Colorado State University, her alma mater. In previous professional postings Tricia represented her employer on the Hospice Advisory Board of the Dream Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the National Hospice Foundation of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

A graduate of Colorado State University, Tricia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies–Geriatrics from the college of Health and Human Sciences.

Brad Alley: Chief Financial Officer - Care Synergy

Alley brings more than 25 years of financial management experience across the healthcare, aerospace, and maritime industries. Most recently, Alley operated as the senior director of financial planning and analysis for United Rotorcraft at the Air Methods Corporation. At United Rotorcraft, he led the development of the company’s long-range plan and strategy including its financial reporting and annual budget process. He was previously acting as chief operating/financial officer for i4-Insight, a Lloyd’s Register Company.

From 2015 to 2021, Alley served as a regional vice president of finance and operations at InnovAge PACE where he oversaw operating, performance, and administrative management for the company’s Colorado region. His responsibilities included direct profit and loss (P&L) management, compliance, operations, quality, and customer service accountability for delivering senior healthcare services through the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) program. PACE provides nursing home eligible seniors with wrap-around healthcare services that allow seniors to live independently in their own homes and communities for as long as it is safely possible.

Patricia Mehnert, RN, MN, CHPCA: Vice President of Quality, Compliance and Education - Care Synergy

Pat Mehnert has a master’s degree in nursing and nearly 25 years of experience in hospice and palliative care. She has held various quality, compliance, and clinical leadership roles in addition to clinical nursing experience at the bedside for many years.

Pat has been director of Corporate Compliance and Risk Management for Care Synergy for a little more than two years. As Vice President of Quality, Compliance, and Education, Pat will be combining the oversight of Quality, Compliance, and Education in order to work collaboratively with all affiliates to identify and implement best practices and continually improve in these areas. Pat also will be providing in-depth statistical analysis of the metrics and results of the publicly reported scores, complaints, and patient/family satisfaction surveys; be accountable for the oversight of and improvement in all publicly reported quality and outcomes initiatives in hospice and palliative care; and make recommendations for updating policies and procedures.

Robin Doerr: Vice President, Marketing, Development and Special Projects - Care Synergy

Robin Doerr joined the Care Synergy team in 2023. Robin directs the company’s marketing, communications and development efforts. In addition, she is responsible for launching the new Colorado Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Program for Care Synergy.

Robin has more than 25 years of sales, marketing and operations experience across multiple industries with for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Robin has served in various leadership capacities with responsibilities that have included strategic planning, brand identity development, marketing, communications, public relations, retail customer service management product development, sales, operations, new business development, capital campaign development, development, advocacy, investor relations and government affairs.

Robin has been recognized with over 15 national industry advertising and communication awards including an Emmy for TV/video development.

Robin earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors oversees operations for Care Synergy’s affiliate members and how to best serve Colorado’s front range. The board meets regularly with executive management to set strategic goals and ensures growth and sustainability of the organization.

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    Brad Baumgartner

    Executive Committee,
    The Denver Hospice Representative

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    Adam Bergquist

    Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Representative

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    Tim Bowen

    Serves on All Committees

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    Nancy Botiller

    Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Representative

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    Cindy Bragdon

    Pathways Representative

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    Kay Cowling

    The Denver Hospice Representative

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    Karen Dawson

    Governance Committee, Quality Committee (Chair),
    Pathways Representative

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    Adele Phelan

    Governance Committee (Chair),
    The Denver Hospice Representative

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    Gary Premer

    Board Vice Chair, Executive Committee
    Finance Committee,Investment Committee (Chair),
    Pathways Representative

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    Ben Price

    Board Chair, Executive Committee,
    Governance Committee,
    Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Representative

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    Rodney Rice

    Board Treasurer, Audit Committee (Chair),
    Executive Committee, Litigation Committee,
    The Denver Hospice Representative

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    Brandon Schulze

    Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care Representative

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    Sr. Mary Colleen Schwarz

    Board Secretary,
    Governance Committee,
    Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care Representative

Putting People Before Profits

Our network of nonprofit, community-based care organizations puts people before profits, while striving to be responsible stewards of the finances that affiliates’ patients, donors and health care partners entrust to them.

View Our 2021
Annual Report to the Community
View Our 2020
Annual Report to the Community

Service Area/Community

As the region’s leading end-of-life care network, we serve families and communities from the Rocky Mountain foothills to Bennett, from Colorado Springs to the Wyoming border. Caring for Coloradans is important – we aid families in dealing with end-of-life decisions by providing the best care, whether in-home or at one of our Inpatient Care Centers, promising support, excellence, and compassion through personalized palliative, hospice, and bereavement services.

Careers

Interested in a career with us? Click on the facility below to see what opportunities are available.

Service Area/Community

As the region’s leading end-of-life care network, we serve families and communities from the Rocky Mountain foothills to Bennett, from Colorado Springs to Wyoming. Caring for Coloradans is important – we aid families in dealing with end-of-life decisions by providing the best care, whether in-home or at one of our Inpatient Care Centers, promising support, excellence, and compassion through personalized palliative, hospice, and bereavement services.

Careers

Interested in a career with us? Click on the facility below to see what opportunities are available.

Nate Lamkin, LCSW, ACHP-SW: President - Pathways

Nate Lamkin, an experienced hospice administrator with expertise in grief and bereavement, will lead Pathways as its President.

Nate joins Pathways in Northern Colorado from Care Dimensions in Boston, the largest not-for-profit hospice and palliative care provider in Massachusetts. As Senior Director of Patient and Family Support Services and a member of the Care Dimensions senior leadership team, Nate was responsible for the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of Care Dimensions’ extensive array of support programs and services, including the highly regarded Bertolon Center for Grief & Healing and the departments of social work, chaplaincy, volunteer and complementary therapies. Nate also provided programmatic oversight of several specialty programs, including Care Dimensions’ Pediatric Hospice program, and served as chairperson of the Ethics Committee and the Committee for Diversity & Inclusion. Nate joined Care Dimensions in 2010 as a social worker and later was promoted to Director of Bereavement Services & Program Development. Even as a member of Care Dimensions’ senior management team, Nate continued his grief and bereavement work, leading support groups and serving as a community resource on grief and healing.

Prior to joining Care Dimensions, Nate managed the Social Work Department of the nationally recognized Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He began his work at Dana-Farber as a clinical social worker providing support to patients and families served by the Neuro Oncology and Gastrointestinal Oncology departments.

Nate started his hospice career in 2000 as a social worker with Beacon Hospice, a regional provider serving much of New England. After a brief stint as a nursing home administrator, he returned to hospice to serve as executive director of two start-up hospices, which he led through initial licensure and certification to rapid growth and expansion.

While looking forward to immersing himself in the Northern Colorado community, Nate was deeply involved in the Greater Boston community. He served on the Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Center for Unexpected Infant and Child Death, which serves families that have experienced the unexpected death of an infant or child under the age of three. Nate also chaired the Advisory Board of Camp Kesem-MIT, the local chapter of a nationwide organization that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. Nate was selected in 2016 as one of the one hundred by Mass General Cancer Center. The one hundred each year honors 100 Everyday Amazing individuals and groups who are taking action in the fight against cancer in inspiring and often revolutionary ways.

Nate graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Health and earned his Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, New York. Nate is licensed by the State of Colorado as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has attained certification from the National Association of Social Workers as an Advanced Certified Hospice & Palliative Social Worker.

Nate’s wife Leah is a licensed architect and they have two school-age daughters.

Strengthening our Colorado Network of Nonprofit Providers!

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