Cara Pace joined United Hospice’s Executive Team in 2019 as Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in June 2020. She currently serves as a member of the Legislative/Regulatory Public Policy Committee for the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State (HPCANYS). She has more than 27 years of experience working in the nonprofit, healthcare and government sector. Cara has served in key executive leadership roles in nonprofit organizations successfully managing large, complex and diverse portfolios. During her career, Cara has developed more than $100 million in new business revenue for the organizations she has served totaling more than $1 billion in contracts. To date, she has secured $1 million in grant revenue for United Hospice to expand end-of-life care to Hispanic/Latino and underserved communities.
Ms. Pace consistently receives high recognition from her partners in government and the private sector for her innovative and compassionate approach to serving communities in need. She is a well-respected leader in the Greater New York Metro Area nonprofit community and has strived to achieve the highest standards throughout her professional career.
Ms. Pace received her undergraduate degree from Rockefeller College, State University of New York at Albany and earned her Master of Public Administration at the Marist College School of Business. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the State University of New York at Albany, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and previously served on the Advisory Board for Marist College School of Business. In addition, Ms. Pace has also taught graduate courses at the Marist College School of Business.
Dr. Chmielewski is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. After completing his BA in Theater and English at Brandeis University and his MA in Education at Columbia University Teachers College, Dr. Chmielewski embarked upon a career change and earned his MD from SUNY at Buffalo. There he received the David K. Miller prize in Medicine, “for demonstration of Dr. Miller’s approach to caring for the sick—competence, humility, humanity.” He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Center, and then completed his fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Chmielewski has lectured in New York City as well as at the local, state, and national levels on his areas of professional expertise and interest, which include the management of pain and other physical symptoms, the medical management of emotional and psychosocial symptoms in the seriously ill, provider-patient-family communication, biomedical ethics, and end-of-life care.
Judi comes to UH with a wealth of clinical and administrative experience in pediatric and geriatric care. She has held management positions in both acute and long term care settings, and is certified in wound care and hospice/palliative care. Judi graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a BS in Nursing followed by a Master’s degree from Columbia University School of Public Health.
Danielle (Dani) Byrnes has over 20 years in the nursing field. Some of her nursing experiences include long term care, home care, school nursing as well as Hospice care. Dani not only has a BS in Nursing, but she also holds a degree in Dietetics (nutritional care) food service administration from SUNY Morrisville. She started out with UH in 2010 as a case manager for the nursing homes, then moved into the admissions position. In 2012, she obtained her Hospice and Palliative Care Certification. She was awarded the Harvey A. Pachter Staff recognition award for Exemplary Service and during Rockland County Nurse Recognition Day was nominated for “Excellence in Practice.” She became Director of Nursing for UH in November 2015.
Elizabeth Alvarado, LCSW-R, ACHP-SW is a bilingual/bicultural visionary leader, clinician, mentor and educator across health care delivery systems and community program services that support transitional care planning for high risk underserved populations. In 1997, she obtained her MSW from Fordham University. In 2003, training from Albert Einstein/NYU in Medical Bioethics. She has dedicated most of her professional work across prestigious New York City healthcare systems that include New York Presbyterian Hospital, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, HHC Bellevue, Metropolitan and Harlem Hospitals. Elizabeth has successfully facilitated the organizational growth and expansion of quality psychosocial services at VNSNY Hospice and Metropolitan Jewish Hospice. Her areas of expertise include medical social services, gerontology, oncology, palliative care, hospice, case management, health homes and discharge planning.
Currently, she is the Director of Counseling Services for United Hospice responsible for staff support and program development for social work, spiritual care, bereavement, complimentary therapies and volunteer services. She enjoys teaching at Fordham University Graduate School for Social Service and the Silberman School for Social Work at Hunter College. Elizabeth has been a Regional Faculty Advisor at Boston University School of Social Work Online Program since 2012.
Arthur has over 34 years experience in the home health care industry and has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Scranton. Prior to coming to UH, Arthur was the Chief Financial Officer at Visiting Health Services of New Jersey, Inc. and Passaic Valley Hospice in Totowa, New Jersey. His career there spanned over 29 years and he was responsible for the entire business operations of the organization, similar to his current position at UH. Arthur has also served on the Board of Trustees for two non-profit organizations affiliated with Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey.
Donna Branca joined UH in 2013 and holds a BS in Marketing from St. Thomas Aquinas College. Donna is a versatile Marketing & Communications Management Professional with many years of experience developing and launching integrated marketing communications programs that increases brand awareness for organizations. She also has specialized skills in digital & social media marketing, lead generation, vendor management, and website development. Donna has held numerous marketing communications positions at both for profit and nonprofit corporations including IBM Corporation, Sharp Electronics, Verizon Wireless and ARC of Rockland. Donna received a Certificate of Achievement for completing The Executive Education Training Program for Nonprofit Professionals from Fordham University in April 2016.
Regina grew up in New City and earned a BFA at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Turning Art into income led to a diverse path most influenced by the birth of her first daughter in 1991 at all of 2lbs. 3 oz. Thrown into life and death decision making, Health Care Advocacy became a calling. When an opportunity in Communications arose at Nyack Hospital, and wanting to give back, Regina began a 25-year career in Healthcare Communications, Marketing and Development.
Regina’s creativity was most apparent in her work on major regional fundraising events, from conception to completion. Fierce attention to detail and rock solid belief in mission made Not-for-Profit Development a joyful and successful career, raising millions of dollars, meeting like minds along the way and forming lasting friendships.
Regina was honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals HV as the 2019 Outstanding Fundraising Professional, is a Leadership Orange Alumni, 2016 OC Woman of Achievement, recipient of the inaugural Latinos Unidos 2018 La Hoy Community Award, serves on the Orange County Arts Council Board of Directors and on committees for Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson and the Salmagundi Art Club in Manhattan. Regina joined United Hospice as the Director of Development in December 2019.
Laura Clines joined UH in 2018 with an extensive background in Human Resources. After earning a BA from SUNY Purchase, she has since gained a myriad of experience in talent management, employee and labor relations, compensation, compliance, organizational design and strategic planning. Laura’s non-profit experience spans over thirty years having worked for organizations supporting the independence and wellbeing of children, adults and families who face intellectual, developmental, behavioral health and chronic medical challenges. Most recently she held the position of Senior HR Business Partner at Jawonio, Inc. Laura is thrilled to join the dedicated team of skilled, caring professionals at United Hospice.
Joan O’Brien has a BA in Economics from SUNY Purchase. Joan joined UH in 1996. Joan believes in giving back to the community and volunteers with the W.S.H.S, an animal rescue organization. Prior to joining UH, Joan worked for 13 years with Saks Fifth Avenue.