Executive Leadership Team
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sarah Bealles was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer in March, 2012, after serving as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer since December, 2011. Sarah joined JourneyCare in January 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. Previously, she was with Agrace HospiceCare in Madison, Wis., where she led all facets of hospice strategy and operations in her roles as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer,Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Clinical Officer. Sarah has also advocated for the hospice industry nationally through her work with the Community Hospice Partnership. Her background includes leadership experience in healthcare, financial services and the nonprofit sector, with expertise in strategic planning, governance, operations, risk management and business development. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Alaska, Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Dr. Martha L. Twaddle
Senior Vice President of Medical Excellence & Innovation
Nationally recognized hospice and palliative care expert Martha L. Twaddle, MD, FACP, FAAHPM joined JourneyCare as Senior Vice President of Medical Excellence and Innovation in May, 2014. In this position, Dr. Twaddle works jointly with JourneyCare’s President and CEO Sarah Bealles to provide strategic leadership, advance quality and clinical innovation, forge new strategic relationships and build a high performing medical team to further JourneyCare’s mission.In addition to her work with JourneyCare, which is her primary focus, Dr. Twaddle leads a palliative innovation practice, lending her expertise and vast experience to strengthen and define palliative care’s role in the transforming healthcare system. Dr. Twaddle’s work, both locally and nationally, focuses on developing effective palliative care models and that best serve patients and families across all care settings. Prior to forming her practice, Dr. Twaddle led medical practice for Midwest CareCenter, where she continues to serve as a medical advisor. Dr. Twaddle was named one of the 30 most influential leaders in the nation in hospice and palliative medicine in a 2013 national poll conducted by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Dr. Twaddle earned her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and completed a residency in internal medicine through Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she was chief resident and is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine. She is on the attending staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospitals, NorthShore University Health Systems, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, and Northwest Community Hospital. Dr. Twaddle’s Full Bio
Chief Operating Officer
Kelly Fischer, BSN, CHPN, CHPCA, was named JourneyCare’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) in September, 2012. In her role, she manages a comprehensive array of programs and services for the agency, with a focus on fiscal stewardship and providing excellent clinical care. Previous to this, Kelly served as a consultant for hospice programs, nursing homes and long term care facilities, evaluating and revamping clinical practices and programs, while assessing strengths and weaknesses and transforming operations. She also founded Bear Courage, LLC, in Madison, Wis., a statewide pediatric palliative home care program coalition. Her over 15 years of clinical leadership experience includes positions as Director of Home Care and Long Term Care Partners Team with Agrace Hospice and Palliative Care in Madison, Wis.; a senior living administrator and a hospice case manager. A native of New York City, Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University (AZ) and a diploma in nursing from Flushing Hospital and Medical Center School of Nursing in Queens, NY. Kelly is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (CHPN), and is an active member of the Hospice and Palliative Care National Association (HPNA) and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). She was honored in 2011 with the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium’s (ELNEC) Award of Excellence for Pediatric Palliative Care.
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Kathy Erickson directs the marketing and community outreach efforts for JourneyCare. She also coordinates all internal and external communications, including branding and public relations. Kathy brings more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, senior housing, marketing and sales to JourneyCare. Prior to joining JourneyCare, Kathy was the Principal of Mature Market Solutions, LLC, a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on the mature market. Before starting her own business, Kathy held key leadership positions in sales and marketing with such respected companies as Brookdale Senior Living, Alterra Healthcare Corporation and The Prime Group. She also worked in public and nonprofit organizations pioneering care coordination and adult day care. Kathy attended Eastern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Gerontology.
Chief People Officer
With over 25 years as a human resources executive, Greg Belback was promoted to JourneyCare’s Chief People Officer in March, 2014, as an expansion of his prior role as Vice President of Human Resources. In this new position, Greg focuses on strategic planning to drive a culture of process improvement, service and operational excellence and consistent executive of the JourneyCare model. He continues to oversee organizational development, employee engagement and wellness initiatives, compensation and benefits, performance management, recruitment and retention. Prior to joining JourneyCare in 2012, Greg was Senior Director of Human Resources with AseraCare Hospice and Home Health, and has held leadership positions with Dreyer Medical Clinic, Career Education Corporation and NovaCare Inc. A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Greg achieved a Certificate in Organizational Development and Consulting from Benedictine University. He is also certified as a facilitator for DDI’s Learning Systems, DDI’s 360 Leadership Mirror, the MBTI Masterclass Qualifying Program and completed the Center for Dispute Settlement Mediation Training. Greg holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Society of Human Resources Management and is a member of the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC).
Vice President of Information Technology
Syed Haque was named JourneyCare’s Vice President of Information Technology in May, 2014. His responsibilities include leadership of all facets of operations, information technology, and analytics within JourneyCare, enabling system wide interoperability, integration and implementation. Most recently, Haque was Director of Software Engineering at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, where he led system analysis, architecture, software engineering, and design disciplines for end-to-end delivery of the key initiatives. He also held Lead positions with DTE Energy, Ford Motor Company, Daimler Chrysler and Compuware Corp. Haque earned an MBA in organization management from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a master’s degree in computer engineering from Wayne State University. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt, PMP and Sun Certified Enterprise Architect.
Jason Leppin was named JourneyCare’s Foundation Director in March 2013. He oversees all aspects of fundraising for the not-for-profit agency, including planned giving, major gifts, endowments, grants, memorials, special events, appeals, communications and capital campaigns. Leppin joined JourneyCare in 2012 as Senior Director of Development. Previous to this, he was Associate Director for Corporate and Donor Relations for Benedictine University for five years, and held sales positions with AT&T Mobility and Tanita Corporation of America. He is a graduate of Illinois State University.