Executive Leadership Team 2017-07-06T11:13:08+00:00

Executive Leadership Team

Jaysen Roa – President & CEO


Jaysen Roa joined Avow as President & CEO in October, 2015.

Prior to joining Avow, Roa served as Executive Director at Good Shepherd Hospice, Inc. an affiliate of Chapters Health System, Inc. based in Lakeland, Florida, and was responsible for the daily operations of the hospice’s 550 patients, 300-plus staff and three free-standing inpatient facilities. Roa’s extended hospice experience includes directing clinical, business development, fundraising and community relations operations and ensuring regulatory compliance. He developed and implemented a pediatric palliative care program and has engaged in local, state and national efforts to promote recommended hospice legislative actions.

Prior to working at Good Shepherd Hospice, Roa held leadership positions at Hernando Pasco Hospice (HPH), Inc. and worked at Hospice of Citrus County, Inc., both based in Florida.

Roa is a Certified Hospice Administrator who holds a master’s in business administration and master’s in health administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from University of South Florida in Tampa.

Phyllis Hall – Chief Financial Officer

Phyllis Hall joined Avow in October, 2015.  As Chief Financial Officer, she is responsible for the management and general oversight of financial operations, patient accounts, facilities and information technology.

Hall is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a bachelor of business administration degree in Accounting at the University of Wisconsin. Hall joined University Hospitals Management Services (a physician management services business) in 1998 as chief financial officer.

Hall is a member of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Prior to joining Avow, Hall was Vice President and Executive Director of University Hospitals Management Services Organizations, University Hospitals Medical Group and University Hospital Practices based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Annalise Smith – Vice President Business Development

annalisesmith_webAnnalise Smith is a certified hospice administrator and currently serves as vice president of business development for Avow.  Her responsibilities include managing Avow’s marketing and outreach programs and developing new resources to support the agency’s nonprofit hospice, palliative care and grief support services.

Annalise is past chair of the executive board of the Parkinson’s Association of SW Florida, past president of Naples Interagency Council, and a member of the PASFI Governance Committee. She is a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Collier program and serves her college sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, as treasurer of the SW Florida Alumnae Club.

Annalise completed her bachelor of science degree in family, child and consumer sciences from Florida State University and earned a graduate business certificate in health services management from Keiser University. She also holds a master’s degree in health services administration from Hodges University. During her undergraduate tenure, she was appointed to the Seminole Torchbearers leadership society.

Annalise has been a resident of Collier County since 2001. She and her husband Brent have two children, Tyler and Lydia.

Melissa Phillips – Vice President of Avow Foundation

Melissa Phillips, Avow, Avow FoundationMelissa Phillips joined Avow in July, 2016 to serve as the Vice President of  Philanthropy/Avow Foundation, Inc.

Prior to joining Avow, Melissa was the Senior Director of Gift Planning at the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation. She has worked within the humanitarian arena for more than 20 years where she has raised over $40 million dollars for meaningful and effective not-for-profit organizations.

Melissa began her own career as a social worker on a medical floor at a hospital, followed by a position within the mental health crisis unit. She also worked in private practice as a family therapist. A former Director at the NCH Healthcare Foundation recruited Melissa which launched her career into the not-for-profit sector. Melissa received her master’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University. Melissa spent time outside the U.S. in Jordan studying and volunteering for a United States Aid organization. Upon her return to the states, she became the Executive Director at the American Cancer Society on Marco Island.

Melissa strongly believes that social work — a career that strives to improve the quality of life of both communities and individuals who are affected by poverty and social disadvantages—is the backbone of philanthropy and non-profit organizations. For Melissa, giving back is an innate decision — one she considers a calling and an integral part of her moral code. She grew up in a community that was predicated on families always helping one another. Fortunately, that community remains the same to this day, and it is that distinctive giving that Melissa strives for in her daily work.

Cynthia Nehrkorn – MD, Vice President of Medical Services

cynthianehrkornmd_webDr. Cynthia Nehrkorn, who joined Avow in 2003, is certified in hospice and palliative care and internal medicine. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Pharmacy from the Temple University School of Pharmacy and doctor of medicine degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Nehrkorn conducted her residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Katharen Chamberlain – Vice President, Administration & Communications

katharenchamberlain_webKatharen “Kit” Chamberlain is vice president of administration and communications at Avow. She joined the company in 2002. Chamberlain holds a master’s degree in English from Michigan State University and was certified in strategic communication management by Ithaca College of New York in 2013.

Rebecca Gatian – Vice President of Clinical Services

rebeccagatian_webRebecca Gatian, RN, BSN, MBA, CHPN, CHPCA, is Vice President of Clinical Services at Avow. Gatian joined Avow in 2012 and served as a senior director and clinical manager.

Gatian serves as a member of the Avow executive leadership team and is responsible for the direction and oversight of clinical care teams, admissions, nursing informatics, policies and procedures, clinical education, health information records management, infection control, patient safety, patient satisfaction, and customer response and feedback systems for patient care. Working in conjunction with executive clinical operations leaders, Gatian provides vision and leadership to create and maintain a best-practice environment and superior and compliant patient care delivery system.

Gatian has worked in the healthcare sector for 20 years. Her experience includes nursing home administration with Genesis HealthCare, acute care nursing and extended care director roles with Meritus Health, pediatric homecare experience and cardiac unit nursing at West Virginia University Hospital. Gatian’s hospice experience began at Hospice Care Corporation and included serving as compliance officer, director of nursing and other clinical positions.

Gatian is a Florida licensed assisted living facility administrator and registered nurse, an Alzheimer’s certified trainer, a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, and a certified hospice and palliative care administrator.

Gatian earned a bachelor of science degree in health science from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, a master of business administration degree from Frostburg State University, and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Mountain State University.

Gatian is a member of the national and local chapters of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

She lives in Naples with her husband Brad and son Nick, and enjoys running, traveling and time at the beach.

Laura Tabone – VP of Psychosocial & Children’s Services

lauratabone_webLaura Tabone is Vice-President of Psychosocial and Children’s Services. Tabone joined Avow in 2005 and has held a number of positions ranging from bereavement services coordinator to VP of Hospice Operations. Laura also served as Interim CEO following the retirement of Karen Rollins in 2015.

Tabone holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Michigan State University, a master of science degree in social work from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in public administration (healthcare tract) from Seton Hall University.  She has Advanced Certification in hospice and palliative care social work.

Prior to working at Avow, she held numerous staff and leadership positions in various healthcare settings including hospitals, home health care and hospice agencies.  She served in positions of leadership in clinical services including behavioral health, operations, quality improvement, and executive management.