Robert A. Brandis, MD FACP
Medical Director & Palliative Care Provider
Dr. Bob Brandis has been Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care’s Medical Director and sole physician since 2003. Accredited in Hospice & Palliative Care Medicine, Dr. Brandis retired in January 2020 from Internal Medicine Primary Care Physician for the Nathan Littauer Mayfield Primary Care Center, where he had been a provider for 22 years. Dr. Brandis also has active staff privileges at Nathan Littauer Hospital.
Prior to his employment with Nathan Littauer, Dr. Brandis was in private practice in the Northville and Mayfield communities.
Dr. Brandis also served as Medical Director for Lexington Center Day Treatment Facility for the Developmentally Disabled in Gloversville for ten years.
Dr. Brandis holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Biochemistry from SUNY Buffalo, which is also where he received his Doctor of Medicine.
In his employment with Nathan Littauer Hospital, Dr. Brandis served on the Credentials Committee, Department of Medicine team, and Ethics Committee.
Dr. Brandis’s innate ability to connect with patients, coworkers, and community members earned him well deserved recognition in 2011 with the Gregory R. Hoye Award for demonstrated sensitive and compassionate hospice care by consistently listening and responding to needs of patients and their families. Dr. Brandis was also recognized in 2010 with the Project Action Tobacco-Free Coalition Award for outstanding commitment and leadership in promoting tobacco-free healthy lifestyles. He was named Leader Herald Physician Reader’s Choice Award for 2018 & 2019.
I his spare time, Dr. Brandis enjoys his Upstate New York surroundings with hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, gardening, and photography.
Nurse Manager, Nancy Dowd Hospice HOME
Dana joined the MVHPC team in 2011 as the Nancy Dowd Hospice House Nurse Manager. She knew from the beginning of her career she would welcome the opportunity to assist patients and their families facing life-limiting illnesses with a focus on comfort, quality, and dignity. Of her career at MVHPC, Dana states, “It’s the most rewarding job I’ve had…those I’ve cared for along the way have taught me so much more than I could ever teach them.”
Dana graduated with an Associate’s in Applied Science/Nursing in May of 2004. Already working in the Special Care Unit of a local hospital, she was offered a transition from her Unit Coordinator/Monitor Tech position to the RN role. Dana attended the Critical Care Consortium and became certified in telemetry monitoring during her tenure in the hospital setting.
Dana then transitioned from acute care to long-term care and rehab, where she was instrumental in transforming a former county-run facility into a privately owned entity. While working in that setting, Dana fulfilled the Nursing Supervisor position for the 120- bed facility and eventually became the Unit Manager for a 40-bed wing. Dana worked closely with the facility’s Interdisciplinary Team and Medical Director to provide exceptional care to the individuals residing there.
Dana resides in Montgomery County with her husband of 13 years, their 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.
Amy E. Osborne
Chief Financial Officer
Amy leads MVHPC’s Finance Department, along with the Human Resources, IT, Facility Maintenance and Security teams. Amy’s talents include providing the executive staff with superior leadership support during a critical transition phase, implementing budget reductions and variances, creating financial and operational projections, and offering support for all new business ventures. Knowledgeable in all facets of the development, preparation, and analysis of financial statements, statistical reporting, and cost accounting, Amy is MVHPC’s numbers guru.
During an almost 20-year career at a Healthcare Manufacturing firm as a Practice Administrator Amy’s responsibilities, experience, and achievements included implementing an automated financial accounting system. including Human Resource programs, electronic billing, and patient management software. Other areas that Amy supervised were Facility Maintenance, Information Technology, Client Relations, Purchasing, and Inventory Management. This diverse oversight provided Amy with a well rounded background.
As a Program Director, Amy was responsible for the implementation of Performance Improvement, Quality Outcome and Business Development plans for a private healthcare provider.
Amy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Financial Accounting from The College of St. Rose, Albany, New York.
Amy grew up in Schoharie County and currently lives in Montgomery County with her husband and two daughters. Daughter Lauren is at Harvard University, and Emily is at Sage College of Albany.
Field NURSE MANAGER
Peggy Martindale has been with MVHPC since September of 2019, but she is already an invaluable member of our team. Peggy supervises the field RN Case Managers, On-Call and Per Diem RNs, LPNs and Home Health Aides. She also develops the RN training materials, completes chart audits, and is the point person for intake.
Peggy decided to pursue her Nursing Degree over 14 years ago when her father was on Hospice Care. She was amazed at the support her family received from the Hospice team. Not only did they give her father phenomenal care, but they never left his home without offering support to her mother or any family members present. The day before her father passed, she told him that she finally knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: “A Hospice Nurse”!
Peggy’s first job as a nurse was as a Case Manager caring for individuals with developmental disabilities at Warren Washington Albany ARC. During her ten years at ARC, she held a variety of positions from Case Management to educating new staff on the different types of disabilities they may encounter as a direct care staff person, as well as teaching a 40-hour class on how to pass medication to the residents safely and without error. She also spent three years as Nurse Manager of a 12-bed medically frail home where all individuals were completely dependent on staff to meet all their basic needs. There, Peggy was responsible for supervising 18 Direct Care staff, two assistant managers and two LPNs, in addition to providing ongoing education and re-certification needs at the home.
Peggy recently starting pursuing her Bachelor’s degree to further her knowledge and value as a Hospice nurse. In her free time, Peggy is an avid knitter. She also enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and taking long walks. She loves kayaking and sailing on Galway Lake. In addition to her three children, she has two adorable grandsons, with whom she spends as much time as possible.
Manager of Social Work & Bereavement Services
During her tenure with the Seton Health Care System, Adrienne was involved in many committees in an effort to meet the needs of the residents and their families, as well as the community. Most notably she served as an active member of the Ethics Committee for Seton Health/St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, NY.
Adrienne and her husband Michael reside in Johnstown, NY with their 7-year-old daughter Eliana and their Schnoodle puppy Nola. Adrienne spends her free time as a full-time mother, wife, daughter, friend, chauffeur, and trainer of a precocious puppy. She enjoys spending time with family, cooking, entertaining, working as a “groupie” for her husband’s band, and tea parties with Eliana.
Human Resources Director
Cora Jones joined Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care as a part-time Human Resources Manager after a 14-year hiatus as a stay-at-home mom and housewife. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge of employment law from her former life as a corporate litigator. As an attorney, Cora represented employers in legal matters, and developed and participated in client seminars regarding compliance with labor and employment laws.
Prior to attending law school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cora graduated from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and worked in advertising in South Florida. Cora has always had a special interest in human behavior and employee relations. She is enthusiastic to continue developing her skills in these areas and is working towards earning her certification as a human resources professional with the Society of Human Resource Professionals.
Cora lives in Cooperstown with her husband, three teenagers and their menagerie of two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and three cats. She equally loves traveling and adventure and cozying up on the sofa with her family to read or watch movies.
Kara U. Travis
President/Chief Executive Officer
Kara Ulasewicz Travis, Certified Executive Coach and recovering Hospital Administrator, has over 20 years of experience in a variety of workplaces across the United States and Europe. Most recently, Kara joined Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care (MVHPC) and the Nancy Dowd Hospice Home (NDHH) as President/Chief Executive Officer in June of 2017. MVHPC is based in Gloversville, NY and covers the rural Upstate New York counties of Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, and Hamilton, including eight private Hospice beds in the Gloversville location.
Prior to joining the MVHPC team, Kara spent more than 10 years as a Senior Director with the Bassett Healthcare Network in a variety of roles from Facilities Operations to Patient Experience to Employee Relations and Organizational Development.
Kara currently serves as Treasurer of The Fort Hunter Free Library and board member of Amsterdam Rotary Club, Montgomery County Office for the Aging Foundation, and Horace J. Inman Senior Citizen Center. Kara and her black lab Stella also volunteer their time through Therapy Dogs International to provide literacy support via “Stories with Stella,” as well as pet therapy for patients and the elderly.
Kara is a former recipient of The Capital District Business Review’s ‘Forty under 40’ award for emerging leaders in the Albany, NY region. During her years at Bassett, she was part of a national speaking panel of experts on improvement of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (CAHPS) scores. Kara was also selected to serve on a New York State advisory board for the United Way campaign for A.L.I.C.E. (asset limited, income constrained employed), also known as “the working poor.”
Kara grew up in Lake Placid and currently lives in the Mohawk Valley with her husband and Labrador retrievers. When she’s not working or volunteering, she usually has her nose in a book.
Broad experience working with non-profit boards, Kara most recently served as past President of the Board of Directors for United Way Otsego/Delaware Counties, as well as past President of the Friends of the Worcester Free Library and the Worcester Women’s Club.
Kara is a former recipient of The Capital District Business Review’s ‘Forty under 40’ award for emerging leaders in the Albany, NY region. She is also part of a national speaking panel of experts on improvement of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (CAHPS) scores. Kara was recently selected to serve on a New York State advisory board for the United Way campaign for A.L.I.C.E. (asset limited, income constrained employed), also known as “the working poor.”
Kara grew up in the Adirondacks and currently lives in the Mohawk Valley with her husband and two Labrador retrievers.