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, CHPCA is one of the founders of Americare Hospice & Palliative Care and has been serving as the organization’s Administrator since its inception in 2005. As a doctoral-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 a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Grand Canyon University in 2020. 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 member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.
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 Director
Patricia DeckerHolloway is an interfaith chaplain and grief counselor, completing her Chaplain residency program in Clinical Pastoral Education, (CPE) at Banner University Medical Center- Phoenix in 2020 and Supervisory Educator Training program in CPE pastoral ministry in 2021 at the ICPT Institute in Orlando, Florida. She has over 25 years of work experience in healthcare both administratively and clinically in laboratory science. Patricia volunteered in 2018 for Americare hospice as Vigil volunteer, Patient Care volunteer, and Office volunteer. As the Volunteer Program Director, she oversees the daily operations of the department, attends IDG meetings, and recruits and trains volunteers to specialize in patient companionship, spiritual care, and bereavement. Patricia holds a master’s degree in Theology, and certifications in Grief Counseling by the Grief Recovery Method Institute. Patricia obtained the Health Care Ethics Certification for Chaplains through the National Catholic Bioethics Center in April of 2022. She is currently working on her doctorate, in Pastoral Counseling through GIBI Institute, in Phoenix, Arizona.
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.