Richard Jenik – VP, Home & Community Based Services
Richard joined the Tranquil Care team in August of 2016 with a dynamic medical background. Having dedicated his life to medicine and providing superior service to people in need, Richard first realized his passion for hospice and end of life care when he was 12 years old. He did a book report on the famous publication, “Death and Dying” by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and became fascinated by the possibilities of being part of a team to create the best experience a family could have. He has been Executive Director of local agencies in both Hospice and Home Health. He believes that collaboration and education is at the forefront of providing excellent care. He dedicates his hard work and passion to his parents, Carol and Dick Jenik, who have both passed. A native of New Jersey, Richard considers himself a Californian now as he has resided here for over 20 years. He is proud to be a father to stepson Anthony and his toddler daughter Paloma, and husband to Kristina, who shares his passion for community service.
Dale joined the team in February, 2018 as the Administrator and DPCS. She has an extensive background in hospice and home health, having been an owner, director and executive director of home health, hospice and home infusion companies. Her reason for becoming a nurse was a desire to work with oncology patients. She has continued to do so and has experience starting a palliative care program and working with hospice organizations. Dale has always gravitated to end of life issues and processes. Her Master’s Thesis was based on an end of life ethics. Dale is also a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. She has worked with many attorneys and law firms on medically related cases. She considers herself a patient advocate and will fight for what she thinks is best and fair for the patient. If she is asked to evaluate a case for a plaintiff attorney, she will not hesitate to be direct about the merits (or lack thereof) of the case. If she is given a defense case, she will be equally as fair and fight for the rights of the patients involved. Because of her extensive background, she is very focused on compliance issues. Dale grew up in Chicago, but now considers herself a California native! Her children grew up in Los Angeles and she has four grandchildren.
Reggie has been in the field of Home Healthcare for over 30 years. He was trained in the field of Home Respiratory Care, graduating from Medical Training Institute in San Fernando, CA. in 1984. Reggie is a native Angeleno and has worked the greater part of his career in the San Fernando Valley. Reggie is a passionate patient advocate, who believes in using evidence based, “best practices” to achieve excellent patient outcomes at the lowest cost. Reggie inherited his love of Respiratory Therapy from his father who practiced at Kaiser Permanente, Panorama City for over 20 years. In his spare time Reggie loves to run and just completed his first marathon in 2017 (L.A. Marathon), he is an avid Los Angeles sports fan and is very active in his local church ministry. Reggie helps host an annual golf tournament “El Rey Memorial golf tournament”, to commemorate the memory of his father and raise money for local charities.
Dr. Matthew Lefferman, D.O. – Chief Medical Officer, Home & Community Based Services
Matthew Lefferman, D.O. is the founder and Medical Director of Access Healthcare Associates in Los Angeles, CA. Access Healthcare Associates is a unique mobile medical practice that specializes in bringing medical care to seniors in their home environment. Dr. Lefferman is medically trained in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and spends much of his day making house calls at assisted living facilities, private homes, and skilled nursing facilities. As a Geriatric specialist he has extensive knowledge treating seniors with dementia, diabetes and heart disorders, psychiatric disorders, and pain and mobility issues. Additionally, Dr. Lefferman has significant experience in palliative care, hospice, and end of life treatment. He has lectured extensively to physicians, nurses, families, and patients about a range of topics related to geriatric medicine. Dr. Lefferman attended Johns Hopkins University prior to obtaining his medical degree at Midwestern University.
Richard, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and medical degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. His postgraduate training was at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. He is board certified in Internal Medicine with added qualifications in Geriatrics.
His interest in sports medicine led him to become team physician for the US Pan Am Games and Chief Medical Officer for Athletics in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He was also a team doctor for the Los Angeles Clippers.
His interest in hospice developed after the death of his mother from cancer in 2006. Hospice was an essential part of her care and a great comfort to her family. When the opportunity arose 10 years ago, he helped establish a new hospice in Santa Monica and became its first medical director. He now proudly continues for Tranquil Care Hospice.
Richard practices Internal Medicine and is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Providence Health System. He lives in Santa Monica with Ann, his wife of 44 years. He has 3 daughters and 3 grandsons. On rare occasions when he isn’t working, he enjoys golf, cycling, reading and mostly, spending time with his family.
Raquel Ochoa is the Assistant Administrator for Tranquil Care Hospice. She has worked in the Healthcare Industry for the past 23 years and is currently licensed in the State of California to practice as a Vocational Nurse. She describes Hospice care as her passion and feels that working in the Hospice field is a calling and not a career. She has extended this philosophy into inspiring high school students seeking their calling in healthcare and created the first nationally recognized medical Hospice care pathway at a high school in the San Fernando Valley. She resides in Calabasas with her husband and their two teenage daughters.
Rabbi Avivah Erlick, BCC, has a deep admiration for the spirituality of those who have weathered life’s setbacks. Rabbi Avivah’s “congregation” is the whole world – she is both an ordained rabbi and a board certified interfaith healthcare chaplain, and her practice includes hospice, assisted living, correctional and private settings. She loves to sing songs from days gone by to her patients and families, in many languages. She traces this to childhood relationships she had with a grandmother who endured dementia, and an uncle who got around in an electric wheelchair due to rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to her chaplaincy work, she speaks widely on cultural, spiritual and religious topics; and is the co-author of a recent book on a Jewish funerary practice, which she performs with a community group called Sacred Waters. Spiritual care is her second career; previously she was a magazine and newspaper editor.
For nearly 45 years, Barbara Lane has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Los Angeles Area. In 2004, she retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services as the Social Work Supervisor and joined Tranquil Care Hospice. In 2007, she became the primary social worker. Throughout her career Barbara’s expertise in the areas of identifying and therapeutically addressing death, dying, loss and change have provided comfort to both patients and family alike. She has participated in the end-of-life documentary, “Time of Death,” and currently facilitates two Bereavement Groups in Santa Monica and West Hollywood. Barbara is considered an expert in the administration of standardized assessments and diagnostic tools, as well as in addressing the emotional needs of both hospice and home health patients.
Dominique Soberanis is the Office Manager at Tranquil Care Hospice. She is responsible for Human Resources, provides administrative support, and oversees the office operations. She comes with over nine years of experience working in both home health and hospice. Having watched her great-grandmother transition to end-of-life care, Dominique knew it was her calling to work in hospice. “It brought peace to my family and I knowing what to expect. It was a beautiful experience for me.” When Dominique is away from Tranquil Care Hospice she enjoys freelance photography and spending time with her son Ajani.
Reverend Doug “db” Binzak is a devoted husband and continually amazed father of two boys ages 25 and 5. “db” is both a Spiritual and Bereavement Counselor for Tranquil Care Hospice. He is also a nationally certified yoga instructor, a former contributor to the Wellness section of The Huffington Post, a one time television executive for Fox and USA, and now an Ordained InterFaith Minister after completing a multi-year training through The Chaplaincy Institute, in Berkely, CA. At Tranquil Care Hospice, db strives to bring sacred, healing presence and counsel to people facing the end of their lives, families of those on hospice, and survivors seeking to grieve as healthily as possible. Therapeutic interventions include Active Listening, Relaxing Meditation, Simple Yoga and Breathing, Identification with any “Higher Power” of one’s understanding, Prayer, Reading of Sacred Texts, Assisting with Life Review and Legacy, DreamWork, Guided Visualizations, Leading of Rituals, and other such “treatments”.
A Santa Monica native, Jane Urmston earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at UCLA. She taught Middle School in Culver City and then lived in Europe for a year and a half. After Europe she taught Yoga at Santa Monica College for 20 years. Upon turning 50, Jane became a nurse, working in Acute Physical Rehabilitation, and then discovered hospice. Jane is an RN and is currently a Nursing Supervisor at Tranquil Care. She finds working in hospice very rewarding and a great privilege to be embraced by families during such a momentous time in their lives. While not working, Jane enjoys spending time with her husband of 50-plus years, a retired artist and Art History teacher at SMC.
Originally from Montreal, Laura is a Board Certified Music Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her extensive professional experience spans many ages, from children to older adults and includes work in psychiatric, special education and private practice settings. Laura has also provided clinical supervision and mentoring to many music therapy and psychotherapy interns. She uses music in her relationships with patients and families in an individualized way in order to help bring comfort, deeper meaning, connection or that which is most needed. She is honored to be part of the wonderful and compassionate Tranquil Care Hospice team for the past seven years.
Mary’s affiliation with hospice began when her family used hospice care during her dad’s final weeks. Inspired by the experience, she became a volunteer with Tranquil Care, and then its Volunteer Coordinator. Mary also serves on the Board of the Hospice Volunteer Manager Association of Southern California. Earlier in her career, Mary worked in Community Relations and Affiliate Marketing for International Channel Networks for over 15 years, and was Admissions Director for Emperor’s College. She has a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology. Mary and husband Fred (also a hospice volunteer!) have two grown children. Her interests include yoga and meditation, spending time in nature and traveling. She also enjoys growing (and eating) organic vegetables from her community garden plot.
Katie is Tranquil’s RN Case Manager and Admissions Nurse. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Madonna University near Detroit, Michigan and has worked as an RN since 2011. Katie was born and raised in Michigan and is proud to be from the Midwest. Katie feels incredibly blessed to be a Hospice Nurse and cares for her patients and their families as if they were her own. She is honored to have an integral role in someone’s final days and strives to ensure comfort and peace for both her patients and their family members. When she isn’t working, Katie can be found pursuing her passion for photography, hiking with her husband and dog, or relaxing at the beach.
Susan Phiri is a certified nursing assistant and home health aide. She has been working in the nursing field for 11 years and has been with Tranquil for 7 years as a certified home health aide. “I love and enjoy my work because by the time I’m done with my day, patients and family members are happy and they look forward to my next visit.” In her time off, Susan likes to go to the beach, to travel abroad, participate in church activities, and spend time with her husband.
Suad Abdulatif was born in Ethiopia and moved to the United States where she attended university and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Math. She held various jobs through school, and spent five years working in accounts payable and receivable. For the past 15 years, Suad has worked in home health and is a certified coder. She joined the Tranquil Care team in the beginning of 2016 and is currently the Medical Records Coordinator. Her responsibilities include ensuring the hospice is in compliance with regulations and all related paperwork.
Dacia Vazquez – Licensed Vocational Nurse
Dacia Vazquez, a Boston native, moved to Southern California 3 years ago where she is now one of Tranquil Care’s Licensed Vocational Nurses. Dacia has a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy for her patients and is honored to be giving them the tender care they need at such a time in their lives. Her upbeat attitude keeps her patients and their families going all while maintaining the impeccable level of care and attention to detail that her patients require. When Dacia isn’t hiking with friends, she is working on completing her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Azusa Pacific University.
Shivdeep Kapoor is the Community Liaison for Tranquil Care Hospice. He has his Administrator certification for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly and has 3 years’ experience of Hospice. He is multilingual, fluent in Punjabi and Hindi. His ability to connect with people and guide them navigate through the most difficult times, reduces the burden of logistic of care and helps them make an informed decision. He is committed to patient and family members by providing support and education throughout the continuum of care. His deep and vast knowledge of hospice help allocate appropriate resources in timely manner. During his free time Shivdeep likes to work out, travel, and spend quality time with his family.