(512) 342-4700

Our Team

C. DeSha McLeod, MBA, CHPCA
Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, DeSha McLeod is responsible for all programs and services of Hospice Austin. DeSha has spent the majority of her career in health care. Before joining Hospice Austin in October 2021, DeSha was the CEO of the Community Hospice of Modesto in California, where she worked for 8 years. While there, she managed the nonprofit’s $36 million budget, 16-bed inpatient unit, and staff of 296; developed a palliative care program, expanded its pediatric care programs, oversaw all fundraising activities through the Community Hospice Foundation; was responsible for the durable medical equipment division and seven thrift stores through CHI Management Inc.; built and fostered partnerships with area school districts and gained funding to support expanded bereavement services for children and teens; and created an independent counseling program for individuals with family, mental health and behavioral issues. Under her leadership, Community Hospice of Modesto was awarded one of the Best Places to Work for four consecutive years.

Prior to her tenure with Community Hospice of Modesto, DeSha served as Chief Operations Officer, HIPAA Privacy Officer and Accountant with Camellia Healthcare in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a regional home health provider. Under her leadership, she opened the home health agency’s first hospice office; by the time she left, she had expanded the program to 14 offices across Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

DeSha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an accounting concentration and a Master’s of Business Administration from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She has earned national recognition as a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator and holds an Advanced Hospice Administrator certificate. She has been active in professional hospice and palliative care organizations, including serving as an active member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Palliative Care Council.

DeSha resides in Austin and has two daughters who are graduates of the University of Mississippi and obtained advanced degrees at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College. She and her family stay active in their alumni, community volunteer events and enjoy outdoor activities and travel.

 

Sandra Frellsen, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, HMDC
Hospice Medical Director

Dr. Sandra Frellsen has been a hospice clinical physician at Hospice Austin since 2013. Board certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine, Dr. Frellsen sees patients in their homes and at independent, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

Before joining Hospice Austin, Dr. Frellsen was an Attending Physician at Stroger Hospital of Cook County and a Consultative Attending for the Palliative Care Service. She also served as Assistant Dean of Academic Development at Rush Medical College.

She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, her medical degree from Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center and Veterans Administration Medical Center. Outside of work. Dr. Frellsen enjoys spending time with her family and dogs. Her hobbies include hiking, reading, knitting, and Scouts.

 

Kate Tindall, MD
Palliative Care Medical Director

Dr. Kate Tindall has joined Austin Palliative Care as the Palliative Care Medical Director. She is dual board-certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She completed her training, including her Palliative Medicine fellowship, at UTSW. She was most recently working as the Assistant Medical Director of the Palliative Care team for Parkland Hospital as well as Assistant Professor at the UTSW Medical School. She brings a passion for providing compassionate, patient-centered care to the seriously ill population and is thrilled to offer this care to the Austin community, where she grew up..

She has moved here with her husband, Mark, who is a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s office and their two children. Dr. Tindall is happy to return to Austin to be reunited with her family that lives here. She spends most of her time trying to keep up with her two children, but also enjoys being outdoors, reading, 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.’

 

Robin Clemons, BBA – Finance
Director of Development

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.

 

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.

 

Karen Norman
Director of Human Resources

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.

 

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.

 

Leanne Rhoades, RN, BSN, MBAHM
Chief Operating Officer

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.

 

Jamie Wilson, RN
Director of Inpatient Services

As Director of Inpatient Care, Jamie Wilson 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.

Jamie has worked for Hospice Austin for six years, first as an RN Case Manager, and then as the Red Team Leader. She put herself through nursing school by working as a certified nursing assistant for the Hospice of Wichita Falls; it was there that she developed her love for hospice care. After graduating from nursing school, she worked in Dallas for 4 years as an ICU trauma/surgical nurse. When she and her family moved to Austin, she decided that she didn’t want to work anywhere other than Hospice Austin. Jamie is married with two children, ages 12 and 14, and has three wheaten terriers.

 

Lora Wyatt, RN, BSN, CHPN
Director of Access and Marketing

As Director of Access and Marketing, Lora Wyatt manages the operations of the admissions team and guides the messaging and growth strategies for the entire organization. She is responsible for the planning, development and implementation of the organization’s marketing strategies and public relations activities, both external and internal, and facilitates access to Hospice Austin services through outreach to medical, professional and community groups.

A Certified Hospice and Palliative Care registered nurse, Lora has practiced nursing for over 30 years in the fields of ER, cardiology, pediatric oncology,  dialysis, and hospice. She has spent 16 years in hospice and palliative care nursing as an admission nurse, case manager, and in hospice management. Originally from Illinois, she and her husband moved to Austin in 2018 when she joined Hospice Austin as the Admission Team Leader. She enjoys living in the Texas Hill Country with her husband and dogs.

 

HOSPICE AUSTIN BOARD OF DIRECTORS

2022 Officers
Chair: Robert Howell
Vice Chair: Oscar Robinson
Secretary: Ray Mungia
Treasurer: Sylvia Maggio
At Large: C. Michele Robinson Gregory

Brent Annear,
Frank Cedeño
Cynthia Duggins
Joe Gonzalez
Shelton Green
Richard Himes, MD
Kathryn Hudson, MD
Jocelyn Johnson
Sue Phillips
Tami Taylor
Jetta Todaro
Tedi Wells

HOSPICE AUSTIN FUND BOARD

2022 Officers
Chair: Oscar Robinson
Vice-Chair: Laurens Fish, III
President:  DeSha McLeod
Secretary:  Jenny Hassibi
Treasurer: Scott Neuendorf

Robin Banister
Dinah Barksdale
Steve Brown
John Faught
Ed Healy
Jocelyn Johnson
Brittany Byrd Morrison
Val Newberg
Gene Anne Sandbach
Leslie Timmerman

Staff
DeSha McLeod
Robin Clemons