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.
Chief Operating Officer
Kelly Fischer 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),
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 Financial Officer
With over 30 years as a financial executive, Michael Grembowski joined JourneyCare in April 2013 as Chief Financial Officer, where he oversees strategic planning, finance, accounting, information technologies, the company’s facilities and contracting. Most recently, he was Group Chief Financial Officer at School Specialty in Appleton, WI and has held financial leadership positions at Hands2Mind in Vernon Hills, IL; Reed-Elsevier in Barrington, IL; Caremark International in Northbrook, IL, Baxter Healthcare in Deerfield, IL, Tribune Company in Chicago, IL and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, IL. Michael earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Michigan State University and is certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Jason Leppin was promoted to JourneyCare’s Foundation Director in March 2013. He oversees all aspects of fundraising for JourneyCare, 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.
Vice President, Human Resources
With over 20 years as a human resources executive, Greg Belback joined JourneyCare in January 2012 as Vice President of Human Resources, where he oversees strategic planning, organizational development, employee engagement, employee development, compensation, benefits,performance management, employee relations, recruitment and retention. Most recently, he was Senior Director of Human Resources at AseraCare Hospice and Home Health in Fort Smith, AR and has held leadership positions at Dreyer Medical Clinic in Aurora, IL, Career Education Corporation in Hoffman Estates, IL and NovaCare, Inc. in King of Prussia, PA. Greg earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Loyola University of Chicago. He is certified as a facilitator for DDI’s Learning Systems, DDI’s 360 Leadership Mirror, the MBTI Masterclass Qualifying Program and has completed the Center for Dispute Settlement Mediation Training. He 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).