Team

Robert A. Brandis, MD FACP

Robert A. Brandis, MD FACP

Medical Director

 

Dr. Bob Brandis has been Mountain Valley Hospice’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.

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Dr. Brandis is a current member of the American College of Physicians, Medical Society of New York State, Fulton County Medical Society, National Hospice & Palliative Care Society, American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Care, and the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of New York State.

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.

Dana Monk

Dana Monk

Nurse Manager, Nancy Dowd Hospice House

 

Dana joined the MVH 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 MVH, 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.

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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.

Donna Roy-MacDonald

Donna Roy-MacDonald

Chief Clinical Officer

 

Donna has over 15 years of proven, progressive leadership success in a variety of healthcare settings, from large medical centers to specialty outpatient clinics and dental practices. She will be responsible for the coordination of interdisciplinary care planning, as well as leading the Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) program.

Donna came to MVH from St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, where she led teams in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement efforts since 2016.  Her expertise with identifying opportunities for lean system and process changes will be valuable in keeping Mountain Valley Hospice’s benchmark scores in the top percentile for Hospice and Homecare organizations.  Donna brings experiences as a Superuser with transitions to new Electronic Health Record programs from the initial planning stages to coaching and support during roll-out and on-going training at several organizations, which will be helpful with Mountain Valley Hospice’s goal to fully optimize the Suncoast program.

 

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Roy-MacDonald’s impressive nursing career also includes experience with disability services, private practice, Veterans’ Affairs, Home Health Education, Long-Term Care, Inpatient Orthopedics, Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care. She was the recipient of the Rhode Island Federal Administrative Employee of the Year by the Federal Executive Council, as well as the Excellence in Nursing Administration Award from the Massachusetts Nurses’ Association. Roy-MacDonald earned her MBA from U. Mass. Boston and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Southern Maine in Portland.

Amy E. Osborne

Amy E. Osborne

Chief Financial Officer

 

Amy leads MVH’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 MVH’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.

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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.

Adrienne Quickenton

Adrienne Quickenton

Lead Social Worker

 
Adrienne Quickenton, Licensed Master of Social Work, is the Manager of Social Work and Bereavement Services. Adrienne was raised in Putnam County, NY and moved to Peck Lake in Gloversville, NY with her parents in her late teens. Adrienne attended college in Providence, RI and received an AAS in Travel and Tourism Management. She went on to attend the State University of New York at Albany where she received her BA in Psychology/Communications. Adrienne resided and worked in the Capital Region for over 20 years, where she spent the first half of her career working with the Geriatric population. Adrienne assisted in the opening of two skilled nursing facilities: the Eddy Heritage House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Troy, NY and Schuyler Ridge Residential Health Care in Clifton Park, NY of Seton Health Care Systems/St. Peter’s Health Care Partners.

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.

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Adrienne went on to receive her Master of Social Work degree at the State University of New York at Albany’s School of Social Welfare and graduated in May of 2005. It was then that Adrienne decided to pursue her passion of serving individuals at end of life and joined the Community Hospice of Albany County as a Home Care Social Worker. She spent nine years serving the patients and the Hospice mission in Albany County before relocating to Johnstown, NY, where she began working at MVH as a Home Care Social Worker. Adrienne has been with MVH since August 2014 and most recently was appointed Senior Social Worker in September 2017.

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.

Kara Travis

Kara Travis

President/Chief Executive Officer

 
Kara Ulasewicz Travis, Certified Executive Coach & recovering Hospital Administrator, has over 20 years of experience in a variety of workplaces across the United States & Europe. Kara draws knowledge from her eclectic experience in Tourism, Hospitality, Retail, Non-Profits, Healthcare, & Higher Education. She has a Master’s degree in Global Marketing Communication/Advertising from Emerson College Brussels, Belgium and two Bachelor’s degrees in Mass Communication/Public Relations & French Language/Literature from Boston University.

In June of 2017, Kara joined Mountain Valley Hospice and the Nancy Dowd Hospice House as President/Chief Executive Officer. MVH is based in Gloversville, NY and covers the rural Upstate New York counties of Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, and Hamilton.

Prior to joining the MVH team, Kara spent more than 10 years as a Senior Director with the Bassett Healthcare Network in a variety of roles from Medicaid Reform (DSRIP) to Facilities Operations to Patient Experience to Employee Relations to Organizational Development & Training.

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Kara’s professional experience also includes engagements with the State University of New York at Cobleskill, Howe Caverns, Inc. and the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau.

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.

CORA JONES

CORA JONES

HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

 
Cora Jones joined Mountain Valley Hospice 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.

Jacqualin Ross

Jacqualin Ross

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

 

Jacqualin started with MVH as a part-time Project Manager, focusing on QAPI, policies and procedures, and other special projects. She was later promoted to her current role, as the new Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships.

Jacqualin comes to MVH with over a decade of nursing experience in the long-term care setting, along with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Law. Recently, she completed her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration with a minor in public health and program planning.

When Jacqualin is not out in the field spreading the good word about hospice, she enjoys spending time with her three fur babies and volunteering in the animal rescue community.