Cindy Nyquist, RN, MSNPresident and Founder
Cindy Nyquist, RN, MSN
President & Founder
Cindy's story begins as one of loss. By the time she was 20 years old, Cindy had already experienced the agonizing deaths of her mother, and some years later, her step-mother. As was the normal practice at that time, they each spent their last days dying alone in the hospital. Cindy knew that there had to be a better way to care for people with terminal diagnoses, and she was determined to find that better way.
After several years of correspondence with Cicely Saunders, the Founder of the Modern Day Hospice movement in England, Cindy introduced the Philosophy of Hospice to the Upper Peninsula in 1973. Cindy recognized that this philosophy was desperately needed in the U.S. to provide the necessary care to patients and their families diagnosed with a Life-Limiting Disease. Hospice care became a Life-Long Vocation for Cindy and she has inspired many to join this worthy goal.
After establishing the current day U.P. Hospice in 1973, she also established Lake Superior Hospice in 1979. Cindy is currently only associated with the U.P. Hospice and has continued to improve on this program over the years by adding many integral programs such as Palliative Care, Skilled Home Health Care, and Private Duty Services.
Cindy continues to be a local, regional, and national expert and presenter regarding Hospice and Palliative Care. You will still find her meeting personally with families when they are making the decision about whether Hospice and Palliative care is the best choice for them. She regularly shares, with anyone who will listen, that Hospice is about LIVING and
Deborah Aro-Smith, BSChief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer
Deborah Aro-Smith, BS
Chief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer
Debbie is a graduate of Michigan Technological University in Business Administration and Accounting. She has nearly 30 years experience in the healthcare finance field and is very proud to be part of this family-owned business. She was also very involved with the American Cancer Society, being the chairperson of Marquette County’s Relay For Life for over 10 years with record breaking funds raised.
Jennie Garrett-Bureau, BSExecutive Director/Administrator
Jennie Garrett-Bureau, BS
A native of Ishpeming, Jennie earned her Associates Degree in Computer Information Systems from Northern Michigan University in 1997 and her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/CIS in 2002. She was the Accounting/Billing Manager for UP Health Systems – Bell for eight years. Prior to that, she was a staff accountant for Grandchamp, McBride & Prophet a local CPA firm. Jennie began her career with U.P. Home Health & Hospice in 2015 as the Controller. She currently resides in Ishpeming with her husband and daughter.
Gina Iery, RN, MSNSenior Director of Clinical Services
Gina Iery, RN, MSN
Senior Director of Clinical Services
Gina graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing from Northern Michigan University in 2003, as well as completed her Masters of Science Degree in Nursing from Walden University in 2011, with a specialty in Nursing Leadership and Management. Her clinical background prior to home health and hospice was in adult critical care working locally at Marquette General, and also as a travel nurse around the country; examples include a small 6-bed Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit in New Bern, North Carolina, to Dartmouth University’s Level I Trauma Unit in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Gina has been with U.P. Home Health & Hospice since 2009, and is committed to providing skilled and compassionate care to those the agency serves.
Beth KampeDirector of QAPI & Education
Beth Kampe, RN, BSN
Director of QAPI & Education
Beth graduated from Northern Michigan University and has over 30 years of healthcare experience both in direct clinical and management positions. She is a strong advocate for patient empowerment in healthcare choice and decisions. Beth began her career with U.P. Home Health & Hospice in 2013.
Joanna SmailDirector of Administrative & Clinical Support Services
Joanna Smail, AB
Director of Administrative & Clinical Support Services
Joanna is a U.P. native, born and raised in Ishpeming. She is a 1999 graduate of Westwood High School and a 2001 graduate of Northern Michigan University with an Associate’s Degree in Business. Joanna began her career with U.P. Home Health & Hospice in March of 2017 as Manager of Administrative Services. In September of 2017, she was promoted to Director of Administrative & Clinical Support Services. Joanna has over 15 years of healthcare experience with past employment that has given her an extensive background in customer service, medical billing and coding.
Pierce Desjarlais, BSDirector of Information Technology
Pierce Desjarlais, BS
Director of Information Technology
Pierce is a U.P. native, born and raised in Daggett. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networking at Lake Superior State University in 2012 and moved to Marquette County in 2013 when he began working with U.P. Home Health & Hospice as the I.T. Coordinator. In 2015 he was promoted to I.T. Manager.
Leigh Harder RN, BSNClinical Manager-West
Leigh Harder, RN, BSN
Leigh grew up in lower Michigan. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Michigan in 2003. After college, Leigh moved to Colorado and began working at a hospital in downtown Denver on a cardiovascular step-down and transplant unit. She worked as a charge nurse on the unit for many years and then transitioned to work as a Kidney Transplant Coordinator at the hospital for 3 years. Leigh lived in Denver for nearly 15 years before deciding to move back to Michigan. Leigh currently resides in Ishpeming with her son and enjoys going on road trips and exploring the UP.
Elyssa Gregurash, RN, BSNClinical Manager-East
Elyssa Gregurash, RN, BSN
Elyssa graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Michigan University in 2007. Elyssa started at U.P. Home Health & Hospice in 2012 as a Primary Nurse serving patients primarily at Mill Creek Assisted Living and out of the Marquette location. Prior she worked for U.P. Health Systems - Marquette on the physical rehab floor for 6 years. Elyssa resides in Marquette with her husband and son.
Kori Bjorne, BS, MADirector of Community Services
Kori Bjorne BS, MA
Director of Community Services
Kori graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Northern Michigan University in 2001 and her Master of Arts in English in 2003. Her career began as Grants Director for Finlandia University in 2004, spending five years there and eventually becoming the Director of Foundation and Government Relations. In 2009 she began her career in healthcare philanthropy as Assistant Director of the Bell (Hospital) Foundation, until the foundation separated from the hospital to eventually become the West End Health Foundation. Kori has served as Executive Director of the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, West End Health Foundation, and Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter. Kori is a member of the West End Health Foundation board of directors and the Zonta Club of the Marquette Area. She resides in Ishpeming with her three children.
Sharon Fries, RN, BSNClinical Services & Regulatory Affairs Consultant
Sharon Fries, RN, BSN
Consultant-Clinical Services & Regulatory Affairs
Sharon graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1979 and has extensive education and training in the health care field. She began her career at Marquette General Hospital immediately after graduating from NMU. Beginning her career with U.P. Home Health & Hospice in 1981, starting as a field nurse. Sharon spent most of her UPHHH career as Director of Clinical Services. For the year prior to her retirement she filled the position of Executive Director. She has worked for over 40 years in the home health and hospice industry.
Sharon currently serves as the Vice President of the Trillium Board of Directors. She is an ongoing member of the Jurisdiction 6 Home Health POE (Provider, Outreach and Education) Advisory Group and Jurisdiction 6 Hospice POE Advisory Group.
Dave AroOutreach & Business Development Consultant
Dave Aro, BA
Consultant-Outreach & Business Development
Dave began his work career in 1990 with UP Home Health & Hospice after graduating from Michigan Tech University. He advanced to and remained in the CEO position with Professional Rehabilitation Services & Management (an affiliate of UPHHH) until 1998 when he began working with Bell Hospital. Dave worked up to be the Vice President of Operations at Bell Hospital, overseeing all rehabilitation services and physician clinics, along with the Bell Foundation and other areas until leaving in 2012. Dave and several partners started Superior Rehabilitation & Professional Services then Active Physical Therapy in Ishpeming and Negaunee, which has grown into a nearly 50 employee venture as of the end of 2018. Dave’s involvement in the community includes being the 2015-16 Leader of the Marquette County Ambassadors, Officer of the Lake Superior Community Partnership, Vice Chair of the Ishpeming DDA, and many years of involvement in Kiwanis.
Bob RaicaConsultant-Strategic Planning
Bob Raica, BS
Bob is a Michigan native born in Detroit and raised in Munising. He is a graduate of William G. Mather high school in Munising. Bob graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Service and Sociology. Shortly after graduation moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin working there for a brief period before returning to the Marquette area. Bob began employment with Marquette General hospital in 1979 where he held multiple management positions including 22 years as a Senior Administrator. He retired from MGH in 2008 and then worked for Excalibur Medical Imaging as Manager of the Professional Radiology Service until the hospital discontinued the company’s contract. He then joined U.P. Home Health & Hospice in 2011.
Over the years he has been very active in the Marquette community serving as President of the area’s Chamber of Commerce, past Leader of the Marquette County Ambassadors and several state organizations. Bob currently serves as a Director of the Trillium Board of Directors.
Lindsay HemmilaConsultant-Dancing with our Stars (DWOS)
Lindsay Hemmila, BS
Consultant-Dancing with our Stars (DWOS)
Lindsay is a 1999 graduate of Negaunee High School and a 2006 graduate of Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Speech Communication. Lindsay began her career with U.P. Home Health & Hospice in September of 2012. Prior to working with UPHHH, Lindsay was the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Lake Superior Community Partnership where she worked for five years. Lindsay serves as a Board Member of the Greater Ishpeming Negaunee Chamber of Commerce and 40 Below – Marquette County’s Young Professional’s.
Linda Deans, PNDirector of Private Duty Services
Linda Deans, PN
Director of Private Duty Services
Linda attended St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and Michigan Technological University. She is a graduate of Mesa College, San Diego, CA with an Associates Degree in Practical Nursing. In addition to her role as Director of Private Duty, she is most proud of being Captain of our Relay for Life team for the past several years.