Meet Our Care Team

Our team is made up of individuals seeking a venue in which to care for others, impact their community, and grow in their unique skills. Whether it’s providing nursing care at the bedside, bereavement support to families months after the loss of a loved one, or administratively supporting our operation behind the scenes, we work as a team.

Take some time to get to know our directors and coordinators here:

Governing Board


Profile picture of Tammy Burns

Tammy Burns

Founding Partner

Tammy Burns

Founding Partner

Tammy grew up in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1990. She served in an administrative capacity with South America Mission in Brazil and around the United States for 8 years. In 2004 she and her family founded Arizona Homestead Long Term Care Solutions which opened and operates 3 assisted living facilities where she served as the administrator for 9 years.

Russell Burns

Founding Partner/Board Chair

Russell Burns

Founding Partner/Board Chair

Coming soon

Sam Burns

Chief Administrative Officer

Sam Burns

Chief Administrative Officer

Sam Burns, our Chief Administrative Officer, brings a lot of experience in senior care to the Agape Hospice team. He has a degree in business management from the University of Arizona, and has been working in senior care for almost 10 years. He is in charge of making sure the Agape Hospice staff is well equipped to provide high quality patient care. He is also in charge of managing relationships with other organizations in Southern Arizona that work to provide services to the senior community. He is the co-host of the Care Connection Senior Radio Show with Russell Burns, and is fluent in Portuguese.

Agape board member Ron Sable profile picture

Ron Sable

Board Member

Ron Sable

Board Member

Mr. Sable is President of Concord Solutions Ltd., a consuting practice that supports commerical, government, and non profit entities. A sought after speaker, Ron, is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Paragon Space Development Corporation, and Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the University of Arizona Eller School Center for Leadership Ethics. He also serves on the Boards of the DM 50, Merchants Information Solutions Inc., and the 390th Memorial Museum Foundation. As past Chairman of United Way for Southern Arizona, he led the transformation of that organization, to include a substantial increase in revenue during the economic down­turn. He has served as a senior executive of The Aerospace Corporation, and the McDonnell Douglas Corporation(MDC), where he was the chief corporate liaison with Congress. He followed that with the leasership of military aircraft business development for Douglas

Before joining MDC, Mr. Sable was Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Affairs. In that role he was the President's liaison with the U.S. Senate on de­fense, foreign policy, intelligence, space and arms control issues, and led the US Senate confirmation of two FBI Directors, and the Secretary of Defense. He served as an Air Force pilot (Colonel), Senior Air Force One Advance Agent, Chief of Air Operations for the Secretary of the Air Force, and is an Outstanding Graduate of the Air War College. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College (BS), with an MS in International Relations from Southern Illinois University and a Doctorat of Humane Letters (honorary) from Iowa Wesleyan, he is a graduate of the Harvard University Program in National & Internation­al Security, the Wharton School Executive Program in Finance, the UCLA Anderson School Program in Mergers and Acquisitions, the FBI Citizens Academy, and the Capito] University School of Banking. A recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Io­wa Wesleyan, Mr. Sable received the George Washington Honor Medal, the Distin­guished Flying Cross. Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal (3 OLC.) as well as the United Way "Live United Award" for outstanding community service. Ron is a li­censed commercial pilot, and is an elected member of the Tucson Airport Authority and The Arizona Town Hall. He has successfully led senior government and commercial business delegations to more than 30 countries, and his views on subjects ranging from leadership and ethics, to Board of Director responsibilities and national security, have been reflected at the United Nations, in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Fast Company Magazine, Corporate Board Member Magazine, The Arizona Star, and on NPR. He and his wife Patsy live in Tucson AZ and Wintergreen VA, and are proud supporters of the University of Arizona

Stephan Gilliland

Board Member

Stephan Gilliland, Ph.D

Board Member

Dr. Stephen W. Gilliland is the Executive Director of the Center for Management Innovations in Health Care in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He is also the Eller Professor of Management and serves as Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Ethics. He has served a number of leadership roles in the Eller College including Vice Dean, Associate Dean for Executive Education, and Department Head for the Management and Organizations Department. Before moving to Arizona, Gilliland received degrees from the University of Alberta and Michigan State University (Ph.D., 1992) and was on the faculty at Louisiana State University.

Professor Gilliland’s research examines the fairness of management practices and policies and the impact of fair leadership on employee behaviors. Through this merging of social, legal, and managerial issues, he has authored over 50 journal articles, books, and book chapters. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and the Academy of Management Journal. In 2006, Gilliland was elected as a Fellow in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). He was also the 1997 recipient of the Ernest J. McCormick Award for Early Career Contributions from SIOP.

Professor Gilliland has taught numerous courses on leadership, healthcare entrepreneurship, human resource management, business ethics, and social entrepreneurship.  He has developed and taught executive leadership programs for healthcare, public sector, utility, and mining organizations. Gilliland has consulted with small and large, public and private organizations on strategic planning and implementation and executive team development. He is Chairman of the Board of St. Joseph’s hospital in Tucson and also serves on the boards of directors of Agape Hospice in Tucson and Merchants Information Solutions, a Phoenix based provider of integrity testing and identity theft management solutions.

Richard Luebke

Board Member

Richard Luebke

Board Member

Currently serving as Chairman of the Board, Richard Luebke has long played an integral role in the operation of Pima Medical Institute. Beginning in 1983, Richard headed up marketing & recruitment, supply management, and community relations in his role as Campus Director. In 1992, Richard transitioned to Executive Director placing his focus on vision casting and strategic growth for what had become 5 college campuses in 4 different states. By the year 1999, PMI’s reach had extended to 16 colleges in 7 western states. It was then that Richard became CEO of Pima Medical Institute, directing and leading a team of some 1,000 employees. As CEO, Richard engineered governing policies, outlined budget objectives, and lead Pima Medical Institute in servicing over 10,000 adult students. Richard Luebke holds an associate degree from Mesa Community College as well as a B.S. in Physical Education from Idaho State University, class of 1976.

Executive Leadership


Profile picture Rachel Kelly Agape medical director

Dr. Rachel Kelly, DO

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Rachel Kelly, DO

Chief Medical Officer

Our Medical Officer, Dr. Rachel Kelly, DO

Coming Soon!

Zach McClain

Chief Financial Officer

Zach McClain

Chief Financial Officer

Zach McClain, our Chief Financial Officer, provides fiscal oversight and direction to Agape Hospice. Zach has a background in finance and program management as well as a degree in Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona. He is responsible for guiding the financial operations of Agape and ensuring the ideal allocation of resources to deliver world-class patient care.

Clinical Department


Kim Henry, RN

Nurse Manager

Kim Henry, RN

Nurse Manager

Coming soon...

Profile picture Stacey Wood

Stacey Wood, RN

Nurse Manager

Stacey Wood, RN

Nurse Manager

Coming soon!

Profile picture Jody Agins Agape nurse practitioner

Jody Agins, MSN, RNP, FNP/GNP-BC

Hospice Nurse Practitioner

Jody Agins, MSN, RNP, FNP/GNP-BC

Hospice Nurse Practitioner

Jody Agins received her MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Kansas. She has held faculty appointments at the University of Kansas, Truman State University and Arizona State University. Jody is board certified by the ANCC in Family Practice and Gerontology as well as wound care certified through WCEI. She is currently in private practice in Tucson, and also serves as a primary care provider for WellPoint.

Additionally, she is a healthcare consultant and president of Seminars for Healthcare Education, Inc. Jody is a clinical preceptor for Family and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner students for University of Phoenix, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University, and Arizona State University, is currently on the editorial board for Clinician Reviews and is a national speaker.

She uses her wealth of knowledge and experience to help consult and develop leaders and manager at Agape Hospice and Palliative Care. She is also an intricate part of our interdisciplinary team, providing insight and advice as we individualize each patient’s plan of care.

Susan Weber, RN

Compliance

Susan Weber, RN

Compliance

Susan is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in nursing. Considered an expert in her field, Susan has over 16 years in home health and hospice care ranging from her beginnings as a field nurse case manager through her growth to Administrator, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Nursing Officer. As a health care consultant and co-owner of a leading consulting company, she was instrumental in assisting providers in achieving and maintaining regulatory compliance, and participated in numerous successful state licensure and Medicare accreditation/deemed status surveys. She has two years of experience as a Home Health and Hospice surveyor for a leading accreditation organization and has been a featured speaker at state and national conferences.

When not focusing on her professional pursuits, Susan enjoys golfing, open water scuba diving, reading and spending time with her family and grand-dog. Susan has a love of the outdoors, physical fitness and travel. She has been an active volunteer with several organizations including The Alzheimers Association, World Vision and Tu Nidito.

Social Services


Katherine Perkins, LMSW, ACHP-SW

Social Services Director

Katherine Perkins, LMSW, ACHP-SW

Social Services Director

As Director of Social Services, Katherine Perkins is our number one problem solver. She works one on one with many of our patients making sure they get all the financial benefits they are entitled to, setting up advanced directives, and coordinating care plans with other care providers our patients interface with. For those patients she does not directly work with, she oversees our team of social workers, making sure every patient’s social service needs are met. With over 8 years of experience in social work, Katherine is a great community resource for us, and our patients.

Katherine loves working with the senior population. She had a very close relationship with her grand-parents and step-grandparents, and watched them battle terminal illness. It was during this time that she made her decision to become a social worker. Working in hospice has provided her the opportunity to work with the community she loves during their end of life process. She enjoys learning so much from the people and family’s we serve everyday. In her spare time she enjoys experimental cooking. While she admits cooking is not her strong point, she loves doing it none-the-less.

Jordana Barness, LMSW

Bereavement Coordinator, Social Work

Jordana Barness, LMSW

Bereavement Coordinator, Social Work

Jordana is one of our Agape social workers, as well as a member of the Agape bereavement program. Jordana co-facilitates our Agape Adult Grief Support Groups and also provides individual grief support to members of the community. Ensuring families recognize and understand that hospice is available as a support not only to an individual at end-of-life, but also to their family both during this journey and after death occurs, is of the utmost importance to Jordana.

Jordana recently moved back to Arizona, where she was raised. She is elated to be home after spending several years in Boston, where she became acquainted with using phrases like “wicked smart,” and learned how to drive in snow storms to visit her hospice patients.

Jordana has a passion for working with individuals and families during their end-of-life experiences, and feels incredibly honored to be welcomed into their lives at such an emotionally-laden time. She began volunteering as a hospice volunteer in Phoenix as a teenager, and knew from a young age that being a hospice social worker was her calling. Jordana is enjoying being back on the West Coast, nearer to her family. When Jordana’s not enjoying the warmer weather and friendlier traffic, she loves watching movies, reading, and cooking.

Profile picture Belinda Brauer agape bereavement coordinator

Belinda Brauer

Bereavement Program

Belinda Brauer

Bereavement Program

Belinda is in charge of the bereavement program for Agape Hospice. Her role in bereavement is to come along side the family and friends of our patients in there time of grief and help guide them through their bereavement journeys.

Belinda also teaches on death and dying for the Agape CEU training courses, as well as in assisted and independent senior living communities around southern Arizona. Prior to joining the Agape Team, Belinda worked for Brings Mortuary as their Operations Manager of Special Projects.

In addition to serving our patients and their families, Belinda is a great resource for our staff as we seek to work through the emotions involved with hospice work.

Profile picture Gary Henry Agape Chaplain

Gary Henry

Chaplain

Gary Henry

Chaplain

Gary Henry has worked in healthcare for 20+ years, 5 of those years being a hospice chaplain. The last 5 years being the most significant and rewarding years of his adult working life. Gary doesn't see his role as a job as much as he sees it as a true ministry. While Gary comes from the Christian faith, he coordinates with ministers from all faiths, ensuring that each patient’s spiritual needs are met, regardless of their spiritual background.

The hospice chaplain provides spiritual counseling and support during a time when that counseling and support is most important. Gary Henry is just the person to provide that important service to our patients, their loved ones, and those involved in the care process. Gary meets individually with patients and their loved ones, when requested, to discuss spirituality, it’s role in the dying process, and what it means for both the patient, and their family.

Gary’s interests include spending time with his wife Kim Henry, and 3 kids. He loves participating in his kids activities, which include attending wallyball tournaments, sporting events and other things important to them.

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Sven Olson

Volunteer Coordinator

Sven "Sveno" Olson

Volunteer Coordinator

“Sveno”, joined Agape Hospice in December 2015 as a Community Liaison, after a 27 year career in the Army National Guard. He enlisted as a Private and retired as a Major, completing his military service at the US Embassy in Ukraine. Sveno is passionate about serving veterans and in addition to managing the “We Honor Veterans” program for Agape, he serves on the “Veterans Hospice Partnership” of Southern Arizona and the “Veterans Heritage Project”, connecting veterans with high school students across Tucson. Sveno also serves on the Pima County “End of Life Coalition.” Sveno has a Bachelor of Scinece in Biology from Excelsior College, volunteers with youth across southern Arizona, and enjoys teaching entrepreneurship to transitioning service members.

Early in Sveno’s career, when he was not serving on military duty, he worked with Apple Computer. He served the K12 Education community as an Education Technology Consultant, for 12 years. The Agape technology platform is built on Apple Computer products, so Sveno feels right at home. An avid traveler, Sveno enjoys exploring cultures from all corners of the nation and globe. He has visited all 50 states and 79 countries around the world.

Sveno serves on the board of directors for the Health and Wellness Marketing Group of Southern Arizona, the RecFX Foundation and the Tucson Committee on Foreign Relations

Community Liaison


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Catherine Vaughan

Director of Community Outreach

Catherine Vaughan

Director of Community Outreach

Catherine is originally from New Orleans and hold a degree in communication from Louisiana State University. Her 30-year career as a hospitality professional has given her the opportunity of living and travelling in many regions of the United States and around the world. This has afforded her the valuable experience to work with many diverse & cultural backgrounds which has developed her communication skills, adaptability and a genuine & sincere spirit of service and a passion for working with everyone she encounters.

As a Community Liaison for Agape Hospice, Catherine introduces the benefits of hospice care by educating the public, families, care providers and health professionals on the benefits of receiving hospice care. “Collaborations, partnerships, relationships and above all, effective communication is what drives patient centered care.”

“Losing my husband at an early age to cancer, gave me the gift of understanding the valuable benefits of hospice not only for my late husband but for me and my entire family. And, still. It is an absolute privilege and an honor to work along side our team of professionals as well all of our healthcare partners toward providing utmost comfort care for our patients achieving the highest quality of life possible during their final chapter of their journey.”

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Rob Pruden

Community Liaison

Rob Pruden

Community Liaison

Coming Soon!