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.
Tim Bowen brings nearly 30 years of hospice experience to his position as President and CEO of Care Synergy, an organization formed in 2014 by three premiere Front Range not-for-profit hospice providers to create a care delivery model that is better and more efficient than any single provider could build. Under Tim’s leadership, the Care Synergy operating model will enable its members—Pathways Hospice in Fort Collins, The Denver Hospice, and Halcyon Hospice and Palliative Care in Mead—to grow to meet the communities needs for quality, compassionate end-of-life care.
Tim is responsible for ensuring that Care Synergy fulfills its mission to provide care, comfort and compassion to the individuals, families and communities the member organizations are honored and privileged to serve, achieving that goal by living 6 Core Values: Innovation, Positivity, Excellence, Collaboration, Openness and Growth.
Tim came to Care Synergy in February 2015 after 15 years as President of Haven Hospice, a large community-based hospice and palliative care provider serving 18 urban and rural counties across much of North Florida. Haven Hospice expanded significantly during Tim’s tenure, broadening its clinical services to include five freestanding hospice care centers, a palliative care service and in-house home medical equipment business while growing to care for more than 750 hospice patients and families each day. Haven Hospice won the prestigious Circle of Life Award presented annually by the American Hospital Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) to healthcare providers that demonstrate excellence and innovation in end-of-life and palliative care.
Tim began his career as a medical social worker and progressed in management and leadership positions with both not-for-profit and for-profit hospice providers at the local, regional and national level. He was Director of Patient Care for Hope Hospice in Fort Myers, Florida; National Director of Hospice Development for Olsten Kimberly Quality Care; National Hospice Director for Staff Builders Healthcare Services; and Hospice Director for Mid-Peninsula/Pathways Hospice in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tim has been an active leader and advocate for hospice throughout his career. He co-founded the National Hospice Executive Roundtable, a group of chief executives of leading not-for-profit hospices from around the country who share best practices and benchmarking data with the goal of improving patient care while positioning members to provide referral sources and payors with differentiating qualitative and quantitative measures. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the NHPCO’s Hospice Action Network and he has served on a number of other NHPCO groups, including the Council of States, Standards and Accreditation Committee and Managed Care Advisory Committee. While at Haven Hospice, Tim served two terms as President of the Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association and chaired a number of committees over the years.
Tim earned 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.
With more than 20 years in healthcare human resources management and extensive experience in community-based hospice, Jane E. Bedrosian comes to Care Synergy from affiliate member Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care to serve as the parent organization’s first-ever Vice President of Human Resources.
In her new position, Jane is responsible for integrating the human resources functions of each of the four Care Synergy affiliates—The Denver Hospice, Halcyon Hospice & Palliative Care, Pathways and Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care—including development of universal human resources policies, employee handbook, compensation and benefits policies, pay practices, and recruitment and retention initiatives. The goal is to create a robust and comprehensive human resources foundation so that as Care Synergy continues to welcome new affiliates of all sizes into the organization, they can transition seamlessly into the new human resources structure.
Jane previously served as Vice President of Human Resources for Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, which she joined in May 2015. Jane came to Colorado Springs from Visalia, California, where she had served for nearly two years as Vice President of Human Resources for the Kaweah Delta Health Care District, a $500 million healthcare organization with more than 4,000 employees and 300 physicians. The eight-campus hospital district is anchored by a 581-bed hospital and includes a network of community-based health clinics, senior living, hospice, home care, home infusion and private duty nursing.
She joined Kaweah Delta in 1994 as a Recruiter and Human Resources Coordinator and was subsequently promoted to Human Resources Manager, Director of Recruitment and Director of Human Resources.
Jane is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Hospital Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) of the American Hospital Association and a member and past member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR).
While living and working in Visalia, Jane personally experienced the quality of care provided by the Kaweah Delta Health Care District Hospice. Through the hospice she became a certified bereavement counselor and later served on the board of directors of the hospice.
A native Californian, Jane graduated from Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Organizational Development.
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.
Melinda Egging, CHC, a veteran hospice advocate with a breadth and depth of administrative experience, was named President of The Denver Hospice and its palliative care program, Optio Health Services, on March 22, 2018, after having filled the role on an interim basis since August 2017.
With more than 15 years of progressive experience with not-for-profit hospices in Colorado, Melinda is responsible for administration and supervision of all day-to-day organizational services and operations for The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services, the oldest and largest end-of-life care and advanced care provider in the region. Her specific responsibilities include mission fulfillment, the 24-bed Inpatient Care Center at Lowry, Palliative Care, The Grief Center for adults and children, Quality and Education and Business Development and Strategy.
At the time she was asked to assume interim leadership of The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services, Melinda was Vice President of Quality, Compliance and Risk for Care Synergy and its affiliate members. Four leading front-range not-for-profit hospice providers—founding members The Denver Hospice, Halcyon Hospice, Pathways and Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care—have come together under the Care Synergy umbrella to create a care delivery model that is better and more efficient than any single provider could build.
Melinda was promoted to Care Synergy from her position as Director of Quality and Compliance for The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services. In that role she led development and measurement of quality standards, oversaw process improvement initiatives and supervised the quality, education and health information departments. She began her career at The Denver Hospice as Health Information Regulatory Manager, where she was responsible for regulatory oversight of hospice and home health services. In that position Melinda led the successful transition from paper charting to electronic record management.
Prior to The Denver Hospice, Melinda served as Chief Compliance Officer/Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement for Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Palliative Care, a multi-site hospice provider headquartered in Pueblo, Colorado. While at Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Palliative Care, Melinda was a key member of the team that opened the organization’s first inpatient hospice unit and she led the effort to attain accreditation by CHAP, the Community Health Accreditation Program, the national, independent accrediting body for community-based healthcare providers.
Melinda received her Bachelor’s in Business Industrial Psychology from Troy University, Troy, Alabama. She is Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) by the Compliance Certification Board and has a Healthcare Risk Management Certificate from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Melinda is a member of the American Health Information Management Association and the Healthcare Compliance Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of the Rockies and on the Regulatory Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Washington, D.C.
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.
Chris joined Colorado VNA in May of 2015 after an extensive search by the Board of Directors. Chris has widespread experience in home health and healthcare administration. His deep expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, business development, electronic medical record implementation, and Lean performance improvement and operations management. Most recently, Lee served as the General Manager of SCL Health Solutions, LLC, SCL Health’s home health service line. In this position Chris was responsible for the acquisition, integration, and expansion of a home health agency in Denver. SCL Home Health expanded by over 40% under his leadership while also decreasing readmissions for complex patients discharged from SCL’s Front Range hospitals.
Outside of Colorado VNA, Chris serves on several boards and committees including the Edmundite Southern Missions, Colorado Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging and the Homecare Association of Colorado. While part of Exempla Healthcare, Chris held leadership positions including serving on the team that opened Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a minor in computer science from St. Michael’s College.
Ron Feret brings a dozen years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer in hospitals and physician practice management to his position as Chief Financial Officer for Care Synergy. With a depth and breadth of experience in financial analysis, decision support, strategic and business planning, performance monitoring and acquisitions and due diligence, Ron will lead the development and operations of a fully integrated financial back office and comprehensive financial planning infrastructure to deliver on Care Synergy’s mission to provide cost-effective mission support services to member not-for-profit, community-based hospice and palliative care providers serving Colorado’s Front Range.
Ron has spent his 35-year career in the healthcare sector, working at various times for hospitals, insurance plans and large physician practices. He has worked for both not-for-profit and for-profit providers and in faith-based and academic settings.
Ron most recently served as a Chief Financial Officer with HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) in Denver for both Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. In that role he focused on performance improvement initiatives that resulted in significant year-over-year cost savings. He came to Denver in 2006 to serve as Chief Financial Officer for the Continental Division of HCA Physicians Services, a wholly owned HCA subsidiary, which employed more than 300 providers and generated annual revenues of nearly $150 million. During Ron’s tenure, the division doubled the number of providers as he built the infrastructure to support such growth and conducted due diligence on prospective physician practice acquisitions.
Ron’s first Chief Financial Officer position was with the Michigan State University HealthTeam in East Lansing where he was charged with consolidating administrative processes regarding accounting, patient financial services and contracting for the clinical activities of three medical colleges.
Earlier in his career Ron served as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for Trinity Health Plans, Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Director of Corporate Financial Planning at Henry Ford Health System, Troy, Michigan.
A native of Michigan, Ron received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wayne State University, Detroit, and earned his Master of Business Administration from the same school. He is an Advanced Member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chapter of HFMA.
He and his wife, Karen, reside in Aurora. They have two adult children.
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 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 readmissions.
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.
John M. McElligott, a veteran hospice and home health administrator and sales executive, has been appointed vice president of business development for Care Synergy. In this role, John will be responsible for developing, directing and managing the corporate sales structure, sales process and sales training for Care Synergy and its affiliate members.
Formed in 2014, Care Synergy is the region’s largest end-of-life care network. Care Synergy’s four affiliate organizations—The Denver Hospice, Halcyon Hospice, Pathways and Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care—continue to operate as distinct and independent, not-for-profit, mission-driven hospice and palliative care organizations while working together to share best practices and serve more Coloradans along the Front Range.
“Care Synergy is fortunate to welcome someone with John’s depth and breadth of experience in hospice, the broader post-acute sector and the nuts and bolts of developing and operating a first-class sales and outreach program,” said Care Synergy CEO Tim Bowen. “John has a proven record of accomplishment in a number of challenging markets in expanding awareness and utilization of quality hospice and palliative care programs.
“We’re also fortunate in that John’s experience as a hospice and home health administrator means that he understands how to work and communicate effectively with hospitals, physicians, payors, nursing homes and assisted living communities in ensuring timely access to the hospice and palliative care patients and families need and deserve.”
John comes to Care Synergy from Otterbein Senior Lifestyle, Lebanon, Ohio, where he was Vice President of Home Health and Hospice for a multi-site post-acute system serving southwest Ohio. John’s prior hospice experience also includes stints as Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Chapters Health System, Tampa, Florida; President and CEO of Big Bend Hospice, Tallahassee, Florida; Executive Director of Good Shepherd Hospice in Lakeland, Florida; and Director of Business Development for Vitas Healthcare Corporation, Miami, Florida. In the home health and private duty nursing sector, John was Corporate Vice President of Business Development and a Regional Vice President for Nurse on Call, Lake Worth, Florida; Division Vice President for TLC Staff Builders in Lake Success, New York; and Chief Operating Officer for VNA Healthcare Group at Millard Fillmore Health System in Buffalo, New York.
Earlier in his career, John worked as an Assistant Director of Planning and Marketing for what was then the Adventist Health System in Denver and as Director of Business Operations for a Denver-area physician practice.
John earned his master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver. He graduated from Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration/Accounting. Through the California Association for Health Services at Home, John is a Certified Hospice Administrator (CHA).
An active-duty military veteran, John achieved the rank of Captain in the United States Army Aviation Branch.
Dawn Darvalics is an organizational development professional with a Master of Science in Instructional Systems and over 15 years of experience leading organizational transformation resulting in improved performance. Her career trajectory includes work for national and regional hospice and palliative care providers as well as top tier global consulting firms. Her record of success lies in program and project management, product rollout and operations management. She has expertise leading and actively participating in change initiatives such as workforce restructuring, shared services and technology implementation.
Prior to working at Care Synergy as Director of Quality and Education, Dawn served as Director of Quality, Compliance and Education for The Denver Hospice. Previously Dawn worked at Aspire Health based in Nashville, TN as Sr. Vice President and Executive Director of the Aspire Institute, the company’s internal learning and development department. She focused on aligning educational programming with organizational strategies. Dawn also served as executive management consultant for Ohio’s Hospice Incorporated, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Caring Foundations where she focused on projects that integrated and optimized disparate systems and processes spanning HR, Finance, Quality, Education and Admissions.
Dawn worked at VITAS Healthcare for 10 years. At Vitas, she served as national general manager of VITAS Palliative Care Solutions. In this role, Dawn led the design and launch of the palliative care division. She was responsible for providing operational leadership and oversight for all VITAS palliative care medical practices across the company. She expanded palliative care services into new states and markets. Dawn managed centralized operations l that supported the field. She ensured that the company’s patient-centered vision and mission were at the forefront of all strategic decisions.
During her VITAS tenure, she led the development of the hospice inpatient unit enhancement program, a leadership and mentor-protégé program for hospice management teams in the South Florida region, and the implementation of VITAS’ electronic medical record system at hospice programs across the country. She also served as interim General Manager of VITAS’ Chicago central hospice program.
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. She collaborated with cross-functional teams, including finance, human resources, business intelligence and payroll, to transition companies to streamlined and efficient business processes. Dawn has extensive experience centralizing business functions in companies with decentralized business structures as well as developing training and communication strategies that accompany large-scale change management projects.
Dawn received 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.
With nearly 20 years of extensive experience in healthcare marketing, development communications, administration and operations Evan Hyatt is joining Care Synergy, as of October 2019, in the role of Director of Marketing and Communications.
Prior to joining Care Synergy, Evan led Pathways, a not-for-profit community based hospice and palliative care organization developing into one of the most highly regarded hospices of its size throughout the Rockies and the nation. Based in Fort Collins and serving Larimer and Weld counties, including the towns of Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and surrounding communities, Pathways is recognized for its comprehensive range of grief counseling and support services for both children and adults, its active corps of volunteers and its person-centered dementia care program.
Under Evan’s leadership and guidance, Pathways launched a Palliative Care consultative service, expanded clinical programs for children with life-limiting illness, was named a preferred provider by one of the region’s largest payors, was designated a Leader in Dementia Care by the Alzheimer’s Association and opened a Veterans Garden at its Fort Collins campus for solace, reflection, meditation and honoring veterans from each branch of military service. In 2015 Pathways Hospice attained Level IV status—the highest designation—in the We Honor Veterans program of the Veterans Administration and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).
Before leading Pathways as CE0/President, Evan served as Marketing and Development Director for the Pathways organization. During this time he led a successful capital campaign that raised nearly $3 million to support the Pathways for Grief and Loss program and facility and retired all existing debt.
In addition to his work with Pathways, Evan has twice worked for the City of Fort Collins, first as Building Supervisor for the Lincoln Center, a regional performing and visual arts center, then as Public Relations Coordinator and subsequently as Associate Director of Cultural Services. He also served as Executive Director of Operations for Northern and Mountain Colorado communities for Kaiser Permanente where he directed the day-to-day operations of six primary care medical office buildings and helped to grow membership in Kaiser Permanente health plans
Evan has served on the Board of Directors of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of the Rockies including the Association’s Public Policy Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Weld County, the NCMC Foundation, the Better Business Bureau for northern Colorado and Wyoming and the Loveland Business Partnership and is a member of the Northern Colorado Healthcare Sector Partnership.
Evan graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He also obtained a Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education from Colorado State University. He holds certificates from the NHPCO’s Hospice Administrator program, the Disney Institute’s Approach to Quality Service program and the Center for the Advance of Palliative Care, among others.