Meet The Team
Americare Hospice & Palliative Care services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hospice team actively participates in the plan of care of the patients and considers pain and symptom control a priority. The Interdisciplinary Group (IDG) makes up the team of health care professionals to meet the medical, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient.
The Hospice Physician oversees the team and makes home visits.
Nurses manage the patient’s case and visits routinely, and as often as needed, to provide symptom management and address medical needs.
Hospice aides help the patient with bathing, personal care, grooming and comfort.
The Social Workers counsel the patient and family through emotional issues related to the life-limiting illness, provide community resources, and address financial and legal issues.
The Spiritual Counselor ministers to the patient and family as preferred to meet their spiritual needs.
Volunteers can read to the patient, keep the patient company while the caregiver runs an errand, or simply socialize with the patient.
The Bereavement Team provides grief support to surviving loved ones, allowing their eventual return to routine life an easier transition. Bereavement support may effectively prevent living relatives from experiencing grief-related illnesses in the first year after the death of a loved one.
Hospice Medical Director
Dr. Cheryl Pendergrass, M.D. has been the Hospice Medical Director of Americare Hospice since start up in 2005. Dr. Pendergrass has been leading the team as the Hospice Physician for the last seven years, making home visits to our patients and at the in-patient unit to manage their pain and symptoms. Not only does Dr. Pendergrass direct the overall plan of care for our patients, she is also a resource to our other Hospice Team Physicians and the interdisciplinary team. Dr. Pendergrass is an alumni of the University of Arizona College of Medicine and has been practicing Internal Medicine for 15 years. She also works part time as a Hospitalist at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Administrator and Clinical Director
Christine Minch, BSN, RN-BC, CHPN, CHPCA, is one of the founders of Americare Hospice and is currently the Administrator and Clinical Director. As a board-certified Registered Nurse, she carries a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, certification as a Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse and Administrator, and a certification in Home Care Coding Specialty – Diagnosis. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner with goals of specializing in palliative care. As a member of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, she has completed their Health Care Ethics Certification Program. She is also a member of the Arizona Nurses Association, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Christine graduated from Arizona State University and has been a nurse for 12 years, beginning her career in the intensive care unit and eventually finding her passion in hospice nursing.
Assistant Clinical Director and In Patient Unit Manager
Evangeline Sabado, RN, BSN, CHPN, HCS-D is the Assistant Clinical Director and In Patient Unit Manager of The Villa. Evangeline graduated with her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Arizona State University in 2008, and since then has had nursing experience in stroke nursing, cardiac nursing, home health, hospice, and RN clinical supervision. Evangeline has been with Americare Hospice for four years and has a certification in hospice and palliative care nursing. Staff training, policy compliance, quality assurance, and performance improvement are some of the most important responsibilities she has in her dual role.
Bereavement Program Coordinator and Interfaith Chaplain
Barb Nasco is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and has been the Bereavement Program Coordinator for Americare Hospice since start up. With passion and expertise, Barbara provides grief counseling to the bereaved family members and caregivers for 13 months following the date of the patient’s death. With over 18 years of facilitating grief recovery seminars and outreach programs, Barb assists the patients and families impacted with the loss of a loved one, and other losses not limited to death, to be equipped with the tools needed to cope with grief. Barb was certified by the Grief Recovery Institute in 1994, followed by certification in chaplaincy in 1996. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pyschology.
Volunteer Program Coordinator
Marta Davis has been the Volunteer Program Coordinator for Americare Hospice since 2007. With over 12 years of volunteer management experience, Marta has a gift for inspiring volunteers to dedicate themselves to helping others. She has recruited and trained volunteers to specialize in patient companionship, spiritual care, and bereavement. One of her most valuable programs is the Vigil Volunteer Program in which patient care volunteers receive additional training to be present at the bedside of those who are near death. Besides coordinating office volunteers, she is also involved with the volunteers at The Villa hospice in-patient unit, arts and crafts projects given as gifts to our patients, and pet therapy.
Rev. Fr. Michael D. Accinni Reinhardt is a priest of the the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, and comes to Americare Hospice with much experience in parish leadership, counseling, teaching, and pastoral care to the sick and dying. Prior to his years as a priest, Fr. Accinni Reinhardt taught Language Arts and Journalism at the high school level, and worked in radio as a writer and broadcaster. He also has experience as a case manager for which he worked for Yavapai County just prior to attending seminary. Fr. Accinni Reinhardt earned his undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Secondary Education prior to his time at St. Meinrad Seminary where he spent five years and received his Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Divinity degrees. Fr. Accinni Reinhardt is grateful for his many experiences in parish ministry and internships as a hospital and hospice chaplain that have lead him to discern the focus of his ministry to the pastoral care of the sick and dying at Americare Hospice. The most rewarding part of his ministry is bringing Christ to the bedside in the person’s hour of need. Fr. Accinni Reinhardt has completed the certification in Bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center and is currently serving as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Phoenix.
Ethics Committee Chairperson
Rev. Mr. Richard Petersen, M.D. is the Ethics Committee Chairperson for Americare Hospice. Dr. Petersen has been practicing medicine for over 40 years and was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix in 1997. He is currently working part time at Chandler Regional Medical Center and assigned to St. Timothy Catholic Community. Dr. Petersen is certified in Health Care Ethics by the National Catholic Bioethics Center and has served as a member on the Diocesan Medical Ethics Board to assist the Bishop on the ethical issues of health care. He is currently serving as the President of the Catholic Physician Guild for the local Phoenix chapter of the Catholic Medical Association. To assist in addressing ethical issues at end-of-life care, Dr. Petersen advises and educates the Ethics Committee and the Americare Hospice team on the application of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
Catholic Mission Coordinator
Bobi Martinez is the Catholic Mission Coordinator for Americare Hospice. As a practicing Catholic, Bobi functions as a liaison between the local parishes of the Catholic Diocese and the Catholic patients enrolled in our hospice care. She facilitates pastoral visits when patients wish to see their local parish priest; arranges Holy Communion to be taken regularly to the home-bound; and coordinates volunteers to pray at the bedside. In addition, she offers educational presentations on hospice to parishes and organizes volunteer training meetings for the Sacred Support Program. With a background of extensive Pro-Life work in the Valley, Bobi found the transition to hospice work seamless as she understood the advocacy of respecting God’s gift of life pertinent to our terminally ill patients. Bobi continues to serve as the Volunteer Life Issues Coordinator at Christ the King Catholic Church in Mesa.
1212 N. Spencer St, Suite 2,
Mesa, AZ 85203
Office: (480) 726-7773
Fax: (480) 726-7790