As Executive Director, Marjorie Mulanax is the chief executive officer who is responsible for all programs and services of Hospice Austin. Marjorie has been with Hospice Austin since 1992 and has been the Executive Director since 1994. During that time, she has guided the organization’s growth from serving 300 patients a year to serving 2,500 patients per year. Hospice Austin today is one of the largest nonprofit hospices in the state of Texas.
In 2002, under Marjorie’s leadership, Hospice Austin was honored to receive the prestigious Samaritan Center Ethics in Business Award in the nonprofit category. In 2012, Hospice Austin received the Center’s Anita and Earl Maxwell Lifetime Achievement Award for Ethics in Business. In 2014, Hospice Austin was honored to receive Casa Marianella’s 2014 Ed Wendler Award for outstanding service to the immigrant community.
Hospice Austin has been voted Best Hospice in the Austin area in the Senior Resource Guide’s Readers’ Choice Award and our nursing staff have been honored in the Austin American-Statesman’s Recognizing Nurses campaign in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2019 and 2020, Hospice Austin was voted best hospice in the Austin American-Statesman’s Best of the Best Awards. In 2021, Marjorie received the Austin Vistage Leadership Award for her enduring impact on Hospice Austin, her Vistage group and the Austin community.
Marjorie has an MBA from Northwestern University and was named the Outstanding Student in the Hospital and Health Services Management program.
Dr. Bob Friedman has been a hospice and palliative care physician since 1995 and a family practitioner since 1983, serving urban and rural communities. As Chief Medical Officer of Hospice Austin and President of Austin Palliative Care, he continues to provide comprehensive end-of-life care while promoting best practices for the delivery of hospice and palliative care. As a member of the Hospice Austin administrative team, he is involved in clinical administration, providing guidance and direction in both hospice and palliative medicine. He is responsible for supervising and collaborating with the physicians and nurse practitioners of Austin Palliative Care.
Bob is board certified in Family Medicine and in Hospice & Palliative Medicine. He is also a Fellow with the American Academy of Family Practice and with the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. In addition, he is a board certified hospice medical director.As an educator, Bob has devoted over 20 years to providing educational programs about hospice and palliative medicine, including symptom management (physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual) and counseling in the end-of life setting. His audiences have included hospice and palliative care physicians, nurse practitioners, hospice nurses, other hospice discipline members, community physicians, community nurses and the general public.
Bob is married, with two children and five grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, including two Chihuahuas. He loves music and musical instruments and plays several instruments, including mandolin. He also enjoys cooking and traveling.
Cameron Allen, M.Div.
Director of Clinical Services
As Director of Clinical Services, Rev. Cam Allen leads operations for hospice teams caring for adults and children in the home, facility or hospital settings.
Cam started work at Hospice Austin as a chaplain in 2008. He served as a chaplain for five years before becoming the Chaplain Supervisor in 2013, and then a home team leader in 2015. He wanted to go into hospice work because, while he was in the seminary, he volunteered at a hospice and found the work meaningful, rewarding and exciting. Cam received his BA from Austin College and his Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is married to the Rev. Dr. Sarah Allen and they have 3 children. Cam enjoys eating, cooking and bowling (in that order). His proudest achievement is when people ask his 3 children what their father does and they respond, ‘he helps people die well.’
As Director of Development, Robin oversees all of Hospice Austin’s fundraising efforts, which includes major gifts and planned giving, events such as Beauty of Life and Amplify Austin, membership in Friends of Hospice Austin and Hospice Austin’s Notable Donors, grants, appeals and donations.
Robin began her career with Hospice Austin in 1996 as Director of Development, then served as Hospice Austin’s part-time Planned Giving and Major Gifts Officer before resuming her position as Development Director. She has helped the development office grow from an annual budget of $300,000 to almost $3 million.
Robin has worked in non-profit fundraising for 25 years. She began her career as a credit analyst with Bank of America and then served as Director of Special Events and Volunteer Services for the Center for Child Protection in Austin for four years before joining Hospice Austin. She has a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. Robin and her husband, David, have two children.
Briana Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CHPN
Director of Inpatient Services
As Director of Inpatient Care, Briana Rodriguez is responsible for all aspects of personnel staffing of nurses, chaplains, social workers and certified nursing assistants at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. She also oversees education, policies and procedures, as well as the day-to-day operations of the facility.
Before starting as Director of Inpatient Services, Briana worked as a field visit nurse for Hospice Austin across all five counties; she then served as Charge Nurse at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House and beginning in 2017, was the Team Leader for the Williamson County area.
Besides hospice nursing, Briana worked both inpatient intermediate cardiac care and outpatient cardiac care with a focus on coordination of outpatient cardiac diagnostic testing, interventional radiology and venous ablations. A highlight of her nursing education was the opportunity to travel to Uspantan, Guatemala with S.A.G.E (San Antonio Guatemala Endevour) a medical mission focusing on providing dental, vision, medical and surgical interventions.
She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from UT Health San Antonio (formally The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio) and is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse. Prior to her nursing career, she was wild about education working many years as a docent/educator at the San Antonio Zoo. When not tackling her football team mom duties, she loves traveling with her husband and son, and reading and playing with her Goldendoodle.
Nancy Chester McCranie, M.Div.
Director of Volunteer and Bereavement Services
Nancy McCranie began working for Hospice Austin as a chaplain in 1996. Since 2009 she has served as the Director of Volunteer and Bereavement Services. The Volunteer Department consists of a staff of two Volunteer Coordinators and more than 300 volunteers and touches almost every aspect of Hospice Austin, from direct patient care and bereavement, to administrative support and special events. The Bereavement Department consists of two full-time Bereavement staff, several part-time bereavement counselors, and numerous volunteers. The Bereavement Program offers a wide array of grief support services to the community including Camp Brave Heart, Surviving the Holidays, Grief Support Groups, Grief Webinars, individual counseling, and community bereavement education. Nancy is a frequent speaker for area groups, leading discussions about end of life issues and the process of grieving a loss.
Nancy is an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds a M.Div. degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is Chair of the Clinical Pastoral Education Committee at The Ascension Seton Family of Hospitals; on the board of The Griffin School; a member of Mission Presbytery; and Parish Associate for the First Presbyterian Church, Elgin, Texas. Nancy is married to Bill, an organic/bio-dynamic farmer and rancher who raises blueberries and beef. They have two adult sons, three dogs, two cats, a small herd of Irish Dexter cattle and a donkey named Jennifer.
As Director of Human Resources, Karen Norman ensures that all employment practices and company policies are applied fairly and consistently and in accordance with applicable laws. Karen recruits employees, coaches employees and advises supervisors in addressing workplace behavior issues. Additionally, Karen is responsible for the agency’s compensation program and for administering the agency’s benefits programs, including insurance plans, the 401(k) plan and the work-related injury program.
Karen returned to Hospice Austin in September 2001. She initially joined Hospice Austin in 1996 and was employed for two and a half years as the Human Resources Coordinator while attending graduate school at The University of Texas.
In between employment periods with Hospice Austin, Karen worked as a consultant with Ray Associates, Inc, advising clients on personnel policy issues, preparing and analyzing customized salary surveys and assisting public employers with developing and administering compensation programs. Karen also worked for the Texas County and District Retirement System and assisted this 70-employee public pension plan in establishing a human resources department by setting up systems for hiring practices, new employee orientation, performance management and benefits administration. Prior to her career in human resources, Karen was a professional accountant for six years.
Christine Reis, MBA, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
As CFO, Christine Reis is responsible for all aspects of the agency’s financial systems and financial reporting requirements, including Medicare reporting requirements. Chris develops the annual budget and ensures that billing and accounts payable activities are timely and accurate. She also is responsible for the oversight of payroll processing and for all payroll reporting requirements.
Prior to joining Hospice Austin, Chris served on Hospice Austin’s Fiscal Advisory Committee for almost seven years and served as a Hospice Austin Board Member for one year, ending her term early to become part of Hospice Austin’s staff.
Before her employment with Hospice Austin, Chris worked in various financial capacities with the state of Texas for over 11 years, ensuring effective budget management for substantial budgets with complex funding and reporting requirements. She has served as Assistant Budget Director for Administration at the Health and Human Services Commission; Budget Manager of Community Financial Services at the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation; and Manager of Budgeting, Grants and Special Projects at the Texas Commission for the Blind. She also worked as an investigator at the Office of the Attorney General where she investigated money laundering and other financial crimes. Chris began her career in public accounting and banking.
Christina Remus, RN, BSN
Director of Quality
As Director of Quality, Christina plans, organizes and directs the risk management, corporate compliance, privacy and quality programs. She also supervises the audit nurse, HIM Supervisor and serves as Hospice Austin’s Corporate Compliance Officer.
Her previous work experience includes working for Hospice Austin for the past 11 years as Partners Team Leader and Admissions Nurse. Prior to Hospice Austin, she was a Parish Nurse, Cardiac nurse, Cardiothoracic Surgery Patient Care Coordinator (Case Management) and served 9 years, active duty and reserves, as a nurse in the United States Navy.
As Chief Operating Officer, Leanne Rhoades oversees all clinical services: home care, Hospice Austin’s Christopher House and bereavement. She ensures that each aspect of clinical operations work smoothly. She guarantees that budgetary goals are set and met for staffing, durable medical equipment, pharmacy and supplies; oversees plant management, including maintenance and facility-based projects; and ensures that technology goals are met to fulfill Hospice Austin’s needs. She supervises five Hospice Austin directors and two supervisory staff members, ensuring high levels of clinical leadership by offering support, direction and guidance. She works closely with the CEO, CFO, Director of Human Resources and the Director of Quality to ensure consistency and cohesiveness with the executive staff with an ongoing focus of meeting the mission of Hospice Austin. She is responsible for ensuring that the delivery of home care, in-patient, respite and crisis care services are timely, efficient and high quality.
Leanne was the former Director of Quality for Hospice Austin, where she oversaw the quality improvement, risk management, corporate compliance and HIPAA (privacy) programs.
Her previous work experience also includes serving as the IT Director and Security Officer for Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care which operates a palliative home health, hospice and physician services program. While at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, Leanne also performed in the capacity of QAPI RN, Team Manager and Case Manager over a period of 8 years.
Lora Wyatt, RN, BSN, RN, CHPN
Director of Access and Marketing
Lora Wyatt has been the Hospice Austin Admission Team Leader for two years. Originally from Springfield IL, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMurray College in Jacksonville, IL in 1989. She has wanted to be a nurse since she was a teenager caring for her ailing grandmother.
Lora has worked as a nurse in the fields of pediatric hemotology-oncology, cardiology, dialysis, and ER medicine. She went into hospice nursing in 2005 after having a family member in hospice and found her niche! She and her husband visited Austin regularly for years and moved here from Illinois when she started work at Hospice Austin. They live in Lago Vista where they enjoy hiking, the hill country, and barbecue.
HOSPICE AUSTIN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair: Brent Annear
Vice Chair: Robert Howell
Secretary: Barbara Budde
Treasurer: Ben Welmaker
At Large: Oscar Robinson
Past Chair: Susan Franzen
Michelle Ashworth, MD
Richard Himes, MD
C. Michele Robinson Gregory
HOSPICE AUSTIN FUND BOARD
Chair: Herb Dyer
Vice-Chair: Ed Healy
President: Marjorie Mulanax
Secretary: Val Newberg
Treasurer: Laurens Fish, III
Brittany Byrd Morrison
Gene Anne Sandbach