At VHS, we have a highly skilled team of professionals dedicated to providing the very best care. Our clinical team consists of nurses, care aides, physicians, counsellors and a clinical coordinator, with specialized training in palliative and end-of-life care. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise, with the goal of providing complex pain and symptom management, counselling support, and compassionate care to all of our patients and their families.
Sarah Cobb, Executive Director
Sarah has many years of experience working in palliative and end-of-life care. She is passionate about person and family-centred care and supporting excellence in nursing and multidisciplinary collaboration. She has experience in strategic planning, quality improvement initiatives, and change management strategies. Prior to joining VHS, Sarah led practice in the role of Clinical Nurse Leader at St Paul’s Palliative Care unit for over 10 years. While in that role, she supported excellent patient and family centered care as well as supporting her palliative care program’s Accreditation Canada process, and many initiatives across the organization to improve access to end of life care. She has also been a member of the Vancouver End-of-Life Working group since 2010. Sarah has worked hard to make a difference in the clinical and administrative practice of palliative care and feels honoured to be in a leadership and advocacy role as Executive Director at VHS.
Tamara Tang, Clinical Coordinator
Mary Jean Rodriguez, Accounts Manager
Mary Jean has more than 30 years of combined finance and accounting experience in private, public and non-profit organizations. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and joined VHS in 2015. She also works as a Finance Manager at Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. During her time with the organization, she has also worked as Volunteer Board Treasurer at Connecting Countries Adopt-A-School; a non-profit organization based in Hamilton – ON, and as a Corporate Accountant at World Vision Canada, Delisle Youth Services, and Autism BC. Prior to that, she worked as a Financial Analyst at BMO Financial Group at their main headquarters in Toronto.
Cecilia Abreu, Communications Manager
Cecilia is our Communications Manager, where she works to increase and strengthen our presence within the community. Her main roles consist of developing, coordinating, and managing our social media and communications with the public through various media channels. As a graduate of Simon Fraser University, Cecilia holds a degree in Communications. Prior to joining Vancouver Hospice Society, Cecilia was a Social Media Consultant where she helped businesses develop their brand, marketing, and public relation strategies.
Janice Oakley, Home Hospice Volunteer Coordinator
Janice’s background includes experience as an end-of-life support worker, volunteer coordinator, and co-owner of a coffee roasting company on Galiano Island. She also has extensive volunteer experience; which includes working as a home support volunteer for patients nearing the end of life. Janice views hospice as a collaborative approach to care; where the dying and their loved ones can receive the support they need to make this momentous transition with as much dignity and grace as possible.
Andrea Hernandez, Volunteer and Administrative Coordinator
With a background in Volunteer Management & Coordination and Frontline Social Services, Andrea brings to Vancouver Hospice Society a passion for people, collaboration, organizing, and heart centered volunteer and peer lead support. Having spent the past 8 years working within the non-profit social service sector, Andrea has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of volunteer and peer support. Through experiences of serving diverse persons from all walks of life Andrea deeply understands how valuable volunteer support is to providing holistic person-centered care. Having worked with women in rural BC, to veterans in the Bay Area, Andrea has ample experience of bringing diverse folks together, building bridges and supportive relationships. With experience as a Hospice Volunteer herself, Andrea is not only familiar with the role, but passionate about providing compassionate collaborative end of life care and bereavement support.
Alison King, Administration and Facilities
Alison came to Vancouver Hospice Society initially as a volunteer in 2013. Trained as a naturopathic physician, her interests have always been in holistic patient centered care. After working as an ND in Seattle and then Istanbul, Alison returned to Vancouver just as the Vancouver Hospice was under construction. Impressed by the vision of the founders to provide such an essential service to the community, she decided to volunteer. Volunteering led to a multi-faceted job in administration and facilities where each day the dedication of the volunteers and her fellow staff members inspires her.
Kayla Hochfelder, Clinical Counsellor
Kayla is an RCC with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counselling. She has worked in end-of-life care throughout her whole career, starting in San Francisco at the California Pacific Medical Centre Hospice in 2008. In 2012, she moved back to Vancouver and continued her end-of-life/bereavement focus by working with Surrey Hospice Society, where she provided end-of-life and bereavement counselling as well as developed counselling, educational, and outreach programs. She joined the team at Vancouver Hospice Society in 2018, as the Lead Clinical Counsellor of a team of 4 other counsellors providing end-of-life and bereavement support for the Vancouver catchment. In addition to VHS, she works in her private practice. Her work is with adults, children, and youth and she specializes in offering Expressive Arts Therapy, Guided Imagery, EMDR, and Trauma Informed approaches.
Louise Bélisle, Clinical Counsellor
Louise has more than 30 years of experience working in the public sector and in private practice. For 10 years, she was on the faculty of The Haven Institute, where she led personal growth residential workshops. She began work in hospice care at the North London Hospice in England in 2004, where she developed and managed a culturally sensitive bereavement pilot project in a large inner city London Borough and provided high risk bereavement counselling. She worked for 7 years at Marion Hospice until it’s closure in 2013, followed by St. John Hospice for 6 years. While with Providence Health Care, Louise facilitated the hospice/palliative care volunteer training program for 10 years and held regular volunteer debriefing sessions at St. Paul’s Hospital. Louise joined Vancouver Hospice Society in January, 2020.