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.
Hospice 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 its start up in 2005. Dr. Pendergrass is leading the team as our Hospice Physician, 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 since 2000. She also works part time as a Hospitalist at Banner University Medical Center.
Christine Minch, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC is one of the founders of Americare Hospice & Palliative Care and has been serving as the organization’s Executive Director since its inception in 2005. As a doctorally-prepared and board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner, she is also a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator. Christine obtained the Health Care Ethics Certification through the National Catholic Bioethics Center and leads the hospice team on a conscientious approach to end-of-life care based on moral principles and ethical directives. Her formal education includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University in 2001, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2014, and as her highest professional degree, a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Grand Canyon University. Christine’s professional background includes considerable experience in healthcare leadership and management, along with advanced nursing practice in internal medicine, and nursing specialties in critical care, geriatrics, home health, hospice, and palliative care. She is an invited member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, as well as a participating member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. She is fluent in Tagalog and conversant in Spanish. Christine practices part time as a Nurse Practitioner at a local internal medicine practice.
Clinical Director and Inpatient Unit Manager
Evangeline Sabado, MSN, RN, CHPN, HCS-D, FNP-C is the Clinical Director and Inpatient 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 since 2009 and has a certification in hospice and palliative care nursing. She has a Master’s in Nursing and practices as a Family Nurse Practitioner part time. 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
Oscar Montiel is an interfaith chaplain and bereavement counselor. Certified by the Grief Recovery Method Institute, he specializes in grief counseling and grief workshops. Oscar oversees the bereavement program that offers support to the families of our hospice patients and serves in the integral role of interfaith chaplain. He provides spiritual support, memorial services, and fosters a connection with the patient’s faith community and/or church.
Volunteer Program Coordinator
Marta Davis has been the Volunteer Program Coordinator for Americare Hospice since 2007. With over 20 years of volunteer 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.
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 also holds a certification in Grief Counseling by the Grief Recovery Method Institute.