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.

Rebecca Gatian – Chief Clinical Officer

Rebecca Gatian joined Avow in 2012 and serves as Chief Clinical Officer and is responsible for the direction and oversight of admissions, clinical teams, Children’s Services and administrative staff.  Working in conjunction with 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 over 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 and director of nursing.

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 and serves on the board of the SWFL HPNA.

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

Cynthia Nehrkorn – MD, Vice President of Medical Services


Dr. Cynthia Nehrkorn joined Avow in 2003. 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.

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.

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.

Kerri Ervin – Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President of Engagement

Kerri Ervin has complete compliance oversight authority for each of the Avow companies, including Hospice, Palliative Care Services, and the Foundation.  Additionally, her responsibilities include directing all aspects of the Avow business development and community outreach team.

During her 18-year career in hospice, Kerri has successfully served in a number of roles with two hospice/health services organizations. She began her career at Avow in 2003 and most recently served as the Corporate Compliance Officer. Under Kerri’s leadership we have continuously developed our compliance program and continue to have one of the best programs in the country. As a result of her subject matter expertise, Kerri has been a presenter at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Management and Leadership Conference.  She also serves on the NHPCO Regulatory committee and the FHPCA Quality and Regulatory committee.

Kerri’s prior roles have included corporate compliance officer, senior director of quality/compliance/risk and education, compliance officer, team administrator, quality improvement specialist, long-term care manager, admission nurse and after hours nurse.

Kerri holds a master of science in health services administration from Florida Gulf Coast University and a bachelor of science in nursing from Florida Atlantic University. She also holds certifications in health care compliance, hospice and palliative care nursing, hospice and palliative care administration, health care coding, health care privacy compliance and is a registered nurse. Kerri is currently enrolled in law school at Loyola University Chicago pursuing a master’s degree in jurisprudence with a concentration in health law.

Annalise Smith – Senior Vice President of Philanthropy

annalisesmith_webAnnalise Smith is a certified hospice administrator and currently serves as senior vice president of engagement 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.