Leadership Team

Vanessa Bengston, RN, CPHQ, Executive Director

Vanessa has more than thirty years experience in the care of patients in their homes. She has focused on successful operations, regulatory compliance and quality of care and service for homecare and hospice. The role of hospice in end-of-life care has been the focus of Vanessa’s commitment to quality care since 2002. She is certified as a Hospice Administrator and is an expert in the field of health care quality, achieving the status of Certified Professional of Health Care Quality in 1998. Vanessa serves on the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association Board of Directors and on the organization’s Reimbursement Committee.


Dr. René Kronland M.D., Medical Director

Dr. Kronland has lived in Nevada County since 1999, having relocated from Phoenix, AZ. She is board certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She currently maintains a primary care office practice in Grass Valley and sees patients of all ages. She specializes in chronic disease and chronic pain management. She serves on the Cancer committee at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and is involved in efforts to further the development of more palliative care and end-of-life services in our county.


Susan Juels, RN, DPCS, Director of Patient Care Services

Susan has over 30 years experience in nursing with the last 20 years in hospital management leadership. She has extensive experience in hospital and community case management including discharge planning, home care and hospice. She has a strong clinical background including critical care, emergency department, cardiac rehabilitation and home health nursing. Susan’s educational background includes undergraduate degrees in biology and nursing and a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration. Her professional certifications include Certified Professional in Healthcare Management and membership in the American Case Management Association. Susan is published in the field of Case Management and has presented at National Conferences.


 Mark Waters, Development Director

For more than 20 years, Mark has worked for a variety of non-profit health and social justice organizations in the US and overseas. His experience in non-profit management and fundraising is broad and varied. Mark currently serves as a development consultant to a Haiti based non-profit. Mark’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of London, UK and a BA in Environmental Science from the Claremont Colleges, CA.

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