Our Leadership Team

Ashley Albers, DO

Vice President of Medical Services 

A Hendersonville native, Ashley Albers, DO attended medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.  She completed an internal medicine residency with UMDNJ-SOM in Stratford, NJ before moving back to North Carolina where she completed the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship here in Asheville.  She joined Four Seasons in July 2013, first as a hospital-based Palliative Care provider, and is currently serving as the VP of Medical Services while caring for hospice patients.

Janet Bull, MD, MBA, FAAHPM

Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer

Janet Bull, MD, MBA, FAAHPM is the Chief Medical Officer at Four Seasons Compassion and holds a consultant assistant professorship at Duke University Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the AAHPM, board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and holds a hospice medical director certification.

Currently Bull serves on the steering committee for the Palliative Care Research Co-Operative Group and chairs the Membership Committee Janet has authored or coauthored several papers on palliative care and quality data reporting.

She helped develop the QDACT (Quality Data Assessment Collection Tool) which is now being used across multiple national sites to benchmark data and collaborate on quality reporting through the Global Palliative Care Quality Alliance.

Bull directs the research department at Four Seasons and has served as the Principle Investigator on over 45 clinical trials in hospice and palliative medicine. She is Program Director of the Palliative Care Immersion Course and a principal of Four Seasons Consulting Group, which offers consulting services in hospice, palliative care, and research. She also serves as a Senior Medical Advisor to Aspire Health.

Bull was the recipient of the Sharon O. Dixon Award in 2007, the Cuniff-Dixon Hastings Award in 2012, and the Josephino Magno Distinguished Physician Award in 2013. In 2014, she was recognized as one of the Top 30 Visionaries in the Field award by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and is the Principal Investigator on a 2014 Center of Medicare Innovations Grant demonstrating the value of palliative care.  She is the current President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Millicent Burke Sinclair, Ed.D, MBA, SPHR®, SHRM-SCP

President and Chief Executive Officer

Passion, Excellence, and Integrity are three key pillars which guide Millicent. With a passion for supporting individuals on discovering and living their cause and purpose – Millicent’s purpose is to engage all individuals so excellence through high performance becomes the norm. She demonstrates her purpose daily through a commitment to innovation and wellness as she inspires and sets a standard for lifelong learning and advancing professional competence and practice within healthcare. Millicent holds a doctorate degree emphasizing on adult learning/education and a Masters degree in Business Administration. She has an advanced certification in Business and Marketing Education and is certified from both HRCI and SHRM with the designations of SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional). She is also a learner completing her second year in the Thayer Institute’s Executive Healthcare Masters’ Certification Program. As a published author on Adult learning and organizational improvement she leverages data and resources ensuring that the entire workforce is committed to high performance as well as long-term strategic growth, innovation, and stewardship so excellence in care occurs at ALL times.

Throughout Millicent’s time at Four Seasons she has been an integral piece of creating, improving, and innovating departments, processes, and the culture of the organization. With increases in engagement, decreases in turnover, reduction of healthcare and organizational expenses, strengthened inter-professional collaborations, innovative marketing strategy deployment, enhanced growth team collaboration within the community, and improved focus on what is most important to quality patient care Millicent embraces the bricolage journey. She completely rebuilt the Human Resources Department, created an organization-wide wellness program: Vibrant4Life, challenged the Volunteer department for increased growth, re-engaged the Facilities and First impressions teams, substantially led the home care agency acquisition and operations, conducted and executed a needs assessment for Palliative Care post grant funding, worked with the senior leadership team in developing the leadership institute further, and has developed with the growth team a truly powerful marketing strategy that ensures responsiveness, reliability, and respect for all patients and families.

Prior to joining Four Seasons in 2014, from 2003-2007 she was the VP of Strategy and HR at a manufacturing company and drastically improved the organizational culture, market share, and quality product development and delivery. Starting in 2008 she ventured into the realm of education as a university professor and a local educator bringing awareness to the importance of constantly learning, growing, and challenging the norm. She developed complete programs and reinvented processes providing more opportunities for students to be prepared for their career within the community both locally and globally.

Millicent’s heart was home when she was blessed to join Four Seasons’ as she has known since she was a little girl that Healthcare was her calling and where her purpose could really come alive. But even more importantly Four Seasons served her family, makes healthcare possible for all regardless of the ability to pay, and is constantly listening to the community and improving therefore positively impacting lives, and that is what Millicent enjoys so greatly. Millicent’s dedication to hospice and palliative care has afforded her the opportunity to study alongside some of the brightest healthcare professionals within the Thayer Institute’s Masters certification program for Healthcare Executives and in Multi-View Incorporated’s CFO program where she obtained her certification last year. Prior to accepting the role of Chief Executive Officer, Millicent served as Chief Operating Officer for the organization. Previously she also held the titles of Chief Operating Officer for Palliative Care, Home Care, and the Vice President of Employee and Volunteer Solutions for the nationally respected, award-winning hospice and palliative care non-profit organization, Four Seasons Compassion for Life. Together she partners with all of Four Seasons to ensure that all who are served receive the best co-created care possible.

As an avid learner and nationally known educator and consultant in areas of business strategy, non profit management, human resources, operations leadership, and healthcare, Millicent sets the bar high and makes what is necessary possible for all she meets. Because of Millicent’s life purpose she is a living example of her purpose as she learns daily, grows continuously, and lives a life of joy. This is the culture she creates for all around her.

Millicent was born and raised in Henderson County, Four Seasons even served her family with the passing of her grandfather at Elizabeth House in 1999. Even as a child, born one month premature, she was determined, driven, and had a heart to serve homeless, those imprisoned, in need, and those seeking a more well life by constantly improving and removing barriers. She is married, lives in Flat Rock, NC and is honored to be the mother of two children. Millicent and her family are dedicated to total health and wellness including living an organic lifestyle. She enjoys the outdoors, learning, researching, building the community, and art and music. She is a member of New Beginnings World Outreach Church and a Paul Harris’ Fellow of Hendersonville’s Rotary Club.

 

Rikki Nugent Hooper

Vice President of Palliative Care

Rikki is a strong believer in quality care at end of life and advocates for her patients and families to achieve their goals.

In 1991, Rikki immigrated to the U.S. after completing basic nurse education in England. As an RN, she worked in oncology and in critical care prior to becoming an FNP. As an FNP, she worked in critical care, sleep and pulmonary medicine before coming to Four Seasons in 2004.

Rikki is certified in Advanced Hospice and Palliative Nursing and provides care for patients in all settings, both pediatric and adult. She has presented at both regional and national meetings on a variety of topics. She also serves on the AAHPM Task Force for Quality.

Outside of work, she has volunteered at the Free Clinics in Henderson County and has been a Girl Scout leader for 17 years. She has 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. She loves to spend time outside, gardening, hiking and generally enjoying the mountains. She also enjoys sewing, knitting and cooking.

Rhonda Oakes

Vice President of Clinical Operations

Rhonda is a certified hospice and palliative nurse and brings over 25 years of hospice experience to her current role.  Throughout her 30-year healthcare career, she has grown and developed her expertise and understanding of the interdependencies among disciplines, learning designs, implementation science, and sustaining quality.   Rhonda has a diverse background due to her various leadership roles throughout her career.  Prior to joining the Four Seasons family,  she was the Regulatory Analyst for Netsmart Homecare and Hospice EHR (Formerly Change Healthcare).  Her role included providing guidance and overseeing regulatory and clinical analysis and integration for hospice and home care providers across the nation with diverse opinions and needs.

Rhonda is an active member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). She has served as chair on several HPNA committees, a past board member for region 2 of the Tennessee Nurses Association, member of the ANA, AHIMA, and HPNA.  Rhonda is currently an appointed committee member finishing up her two-year term and current chair on the Situational Judgement Development Committee for the Hospice and Palliative Credential Center (HPCC).   She is an active State Ambassador, following national and state level legislature as part of the HPNA State Ambassadors. Rhonda is a member of the SNOMED CT Nursing Virtual Clinical Reference Group. She has written for publication and presented at State Hospice and Palliative Care Associations for annual conferences and Omaha System International Conferences. Rhonda joined the Omaha System Board of Directors in 2017.

Rhonda has collaborated with hospices across the nation in finding best practices and championing their integration using the electronic health record.  Rhonda is one of the collaborative co-authors of the ICNP® Catalogue – Palliative Care.  https://www.icn.ch/sites/default/files/inline-files/Palliative_Care.pdf.  The International Classification of Nursing Practice (ICNP®) is part of the World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC). 

Rhonda’s volunteer work with Healthier TN sparked her desire to return to a not-for-profit organization and serve the clinicians and their communities.  Rhonda’s personal goal is to be part of the solution to increase access to palliative and end-of-life care in underserved populations and rural communities.

 

 

 

 

Lauren Purdy

Vice President of Employee and Volunteer Solutions

Lauren Purdy has been a part of the Four Seasons Family since 2011 and has worn many hats in her tenure with the agency.  She started as a Volunteer Coordinator at Four Seasons and has provided leadership over the Volunteer Team since 2013.  She has led the Employee Solutions (HR) Team since 2015 and now also oversees the Facilities Department. 

Lauren brings over 11 years of volunteer management experience, 6 years of human resources experience, and 13 years of leadership experience to her role at Four Seasons. 

She started her career of service in 2005 when she dedicated two years of full time national service through AmeriCorps working with at risk youth in San Jose, CA.  She’s called WNC home since 2007, and is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Asheville where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in History. 

Lauren lives with her husband, daughter, three dogs, flock of chickens, and honeybees on their little homestead in Candler, NC.   

Chris Comeaux, CEO, Teleios Collaborative Network

Chris Comeaux (KO-mo) is an award-winning expert and lifelong student on leadership and the performance required to truly be a leader. He has spent his life and career researching, learning, coaching, and implementing the pushes and pulls necessary to create high performance leaders and high performance organizations.

Chris is currently the President/CEO of Teleios Collaborative Network which is a collaboration between Four Seasons Compassion for Life, Carolina Caring, Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care, and Yancey Hospice & Palliative Care.  The goal of the collaboration is to harness the best of each hospice and enable the network to better care in each community for the patients and families being served as well as introduce innovations across the membership network and work with payors for new innovative solutions for those dealing with serious or advanced illness. 

Over the years, Chris has become nationally known as a leader in our country’s hospice and palliative care industry, where he has spent a large portion of his career as President/CEO of Four Seasons in western North Carolina, a 2009 American Hospital Association Circle of Life Award Winner.  In 2005, the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care honored him with the Peter Keese Leadership Award.

In 2006, Chris left Four Seasons for two years to build an alliance between the prestigious national healthcare consulting firm, the Studer Group, and Covenant Hospice in Pensacola. The vision was to transform, develop, and grow leaders throughout the hospice and palliative care world. Chris grew this venture from its infancy to an established coaching firm partnering with post-acute healthcare organizations from New York to California. He returned to Four Seasons in 2008 to apply what he learned in the trenches on leadership to an organization he knew and loved.

In 2016, Chris helped co-found Four Seasons Consulting Group (FSCG), a coaching and consulting company enabling health systems, palliative care programs, post-acute providers, and hospice programs to learn best practices and the systems necessary to produce those practices in their own organizations.   Chris still provides coaching and consulting services from FSCG to clients all over the US.

Chris’s hospice career began in 1997 at Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Florida. Earlier in his career, he worked with KPMG Peat Marwick, a “Big Four” CPA consulting firm, and with Cooper Industries, a Fortune 100 Company, in its Executive Development Program.

Chris has a Masters in Leadership from the Thayer Institute for Performance Virtuosity.

Chris is married to Deshia and they are the proud parents of 5 children (3 boys and 2 girls) ranging in age from 19 to 9 years. Chris enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, reading, learning, and working on their 7- acre farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Christopher Morrissette, COO Palliative Care, Teleios Collaborative Network

Christopher has extensive operational experience within hospice, homecare and senior living. His career began over 20 years ago working as a nursing assistant/personal caregiver in a behavioral group home serving adults with developmental disabilities. He attests that this experience was foundational in understanding the needs of complex populations.

Christopher’s hospice career began at in the Midwest where he served as a part of the executive team that expanded the continuum of care from a single location into a 3-state area throughout the Region. Christopher built strategic partnerships within the regional market and led the growth in census from 30 to 350 patients within two years; laying the foundation for the organizations current average daily census of over 1,000+ patients.

 Christopher joined Teleios Collaborative Network as Chief Operations Officer of Palliative Care in 2017. Christopher works in tandem with the CMO of Palliative Care in implementing operational and clinical Palliative Care Models where they partner to serve over 2,500 palliative care patients through excellence and innovated care delivery. Christopher has worked to expand the role and standard of community based palliative care, demonstrating the transformative role of Palliative Care in the care continuum.

Christopher holds an MBA in Healthcare Administration and an undergraduate degree in Ministry. He is passionate about healthcare and believes that hospice and palliative care is his true calling. Christopher and his wife have 5 children live in western North Carolina. He is an avid mountain biker and hiker and enjoys spending free time outdoors with his family.

Palliative Care / CMO, MD FAAHPM

John Morris is passionate about helping people and organizations develop excellent palliative care programs. His role is to teach, mentor and develop great palliative care clinicians and leaders as well as develop palliative care organizations that succeed. John’s expertise in building strong foundations for new programs, creating dynamic teams and his thoughtful mentoring have been key for success.

As a pulmonologist and critical care doctor, John witnessed just how stressful serious illness can be for patients and families. He started working for Four Seasons part time in 2003 to help start palliative care programs in the hospitals. He left pulmonary practice to work full time for Four Seasons as Medical Director of Palliative Care in 2005.

Four Seasons now serves palliative care patients in 11 counties in WNC, and also has 3 palliative care clinics and a strong home and NH palliative care program.

John has worked with many organizations to develop and improve palliative care services including Four Seasons, Pardee Hospital, Park Ridge Hospital, Transylvania Regional Hospital, Mission Hospital, Greenville Health System, Palliative Care of SC, Catawba Regional Hospice, Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care, Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, Yancy County Hospice and UNC Health Care. As CMO of Palliative Care with Teleios he oversees over 30 providers caring for 3000 palliative care patients in NC, SC, VA and LA.

John received the Sharon O. Dixon Award for Clinical Excellence presented by Carolina Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in 2011.

John is co-director of the Palliative Care Immersion Course. This experiential learning experience for clinicians uses innovative techniques and role play to teach clinical palliative care skills to a national audience several times yearly. In 2016, John helped co-found Four Seasons Consulting Group (FSCG), a coaching and consulting company enabling health systems, palliative care programs, post-acute providers, and hospice programs to learn and develop best practices in palliative care. John also teaches palliative care program development, quality improvement and strategic planning. Over 30 organizations have attended these programs since inception in 2010. 

John serves as TCN’s Chief Medical Officer for Palliative Care Services.

John has a Masters in Leadership from the Thayer Institute.

John is married to Peggy Noel MD founder of MemoryCare, a non profit established to help people caring for a loved one with dementia. They moved to Asheville in 1989 and have raised 3 children here. John enjoys running, hiking the NC mountains, fly fishing, gardening and bee-keeping.    This activity allows him to enjoy dining out with Peggy in all the great Asheville restaurants.