Through personal experience, philanthropist and longtime JourneyCare supporter Bob Lee recognized the importance of advance care planning and became an advocate for community outreach that highlights the importance of education and awareness on advance care planning.
JourneyCare’s Advance Care Planning community initiatives are supported through Bob’s 2001, 2007 and 2012 Rides for 3 Reasons and Jan Gierlach’s 2017 Ride for 3 Reasons.
Dr. Judith Nerad was raised in Illinois, studied Nutritional Sciences in college and graduate school, then went to medical school. She specialized in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and practiced Infectious Diseases at Stroger Hospital and the CORE Center, taking care of HIV- infected patients. In 2012, she began working part time in hospice care. By 2013, she transitioned to practicing only hospice care, inpatient and team-based care.
Dr. Nerad is board certified in Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and has the Hospice Medical Director Certification. she also have a Master’s of Science in Nutritional Sciences.
She's married with two teenage daughters, and has a Golden Retriever.
Debbie Lee is an MSW graduate of Loyola University School of Social Work, and has 30 years' experience in the social work field. Twenty-nine of those years have been in hospice, and 25 of them with Journeycare and its legacy organizations. She has a passion for hospice work, and for mentoring the next generation of hospice social workers via professional presentations, clinical supervision of students and new staff, and writing.
Rhonda Wehner joined the organization as Coordinator of Jewish Care Services in 2006. She educates others about hospice, palliative care and its benefits, as well as how our Jewish Care Services program can add another element of care to Jewish patients and families. The program works hand in hand with a person's hospice care team, offering Rabbinic presence if so desired, providing Jewish volunteers and guidance with understanding Jewish law with regard to medical care. "Being a teacher brings me great joy," Rhonda says, "and my role is all about teaching, whether it is our staff, the staff in the facilities we visit or—most importantly—teaching the members of the greater Jewish community about palliative care and hospice."
Cathy McCann shared her and her husband, Adin’s, experience in caring for their daughter on her blog, Sadie’s Journey. After losing Sadie in 2013, the McCanns launched the Sadie McCann Fund, which works to help other families raising daughters living with Aicardi syndrome, the same rare genetic disease that affected their little girl.
Patty Ryan is a Harper College graduate in Legal Technology (Paralegal), who has worked in Healthcare for the last 10 years. She has worked for JourneyCare in Barrington for three years as the Team Care Coordinator for the Amber and Ruby teams.
She loves being part of her teams and has a deep respect for what all the disciplines are doing together for a pain free and peaceful passing of our patients.
Lola Ladimir is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and has worked for Journey Care for two years as a bereavement counselor. Lola is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy and is a certified yoga teacher (CYT). In her free time, Lola enjoys planning what to do with her free time, frequently says “yes” to learning opportunities, and is confident she will figure out how to cross new bridges when she gets there.
Beth Briggs, MT-BC received her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from The University of Dayton. She has worked throughout Carroll and Harford County, Maryland and York County, Pennsylvania facilitating music therapy services in hospitals and clients’ homes. Beth started working at JourneyCare upon moving back to Illinois six years ago. In that time, she earned Hospice and Palliative Care Music Therapy certification through The Center for Music Therapy in End of Life Care. Beth enjoys visiting JourneyCare’s adult and pediatric hospice patients and families, and utilizing music improvisation techniques whenever possible. She and her husband enjoy keeping up with their three young children.
Mary Flores and Lisa Petersen joined the JourneyCare Volunteer Services team in 2016. They both took on brand new positions. Lisa currently is the supervisor of volunteers at the Chicago CareCenter. Mary supervises the training and onboarding of new volunteers. Together they co-coordinate the volunteer recruitment efforts of the largest non-profit hospice in Illinois. They both became Certified Volunteer Administrators (CVAs). That is a professional certification which advocates for ethical practices so that organizations can maximize the impact of volunteer involvement to achieve their mission. As lifelong volunteers, they are passionate about helping others find the perfect way to get involved. Lisa’s earned her bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and Gender and Woman’s Studies from University of Wisconsin at Madison. Mary earned her degree is in Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL. They both enjoy traveling and building connections with new people everywhere they go.