Management Team

amy.pngAmy Stern, Chief Executive Officer

Amy Stern has been UHR’s Executive Director since 1989 and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2016 to more accurately reflect her expanding role and dedication to UHR. Prior to becoming director, Amy was the first social worker for UHR’s community hospice program. Before UHR, Amy’s work included the establishment of a palliative care home care program at Good Samaritan Hospital and social work in acute care hospitals and foster care.

Amy is a member of the board of directors of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State (HPCANYS). She presently serves as Chair of the NYS Legislative/Regulatory Public Policy Committee. She is currently a member of the Ethics Committee of Good Samaritan Hospital, the Rockland Business Exchange, the New City Rotary and is a founding member of the Institute for Non-Profits. In 2007, Amy was presented with the Carol Selinske Founder’s Award by HPCANYS for her outstanding efforts on behalf of hospice and palliative care and the needs of the terminally ill in New York. She received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Dominican College in 2009. Most recently, she was awarded the Sr. Peggy Scarano Award in recognition of being selected the Non-Profit Executive of the Year.

David.pngDavid A. Chmielewski, MD, Medical Director

Dr. Chmielewski is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. After completing his BA in Theater and English at Brandeis University and his MA in Education at Columbia University Teachers College, Dr. Chmielewski embarked upon a career change and earned his MD from SUNY at Buffalo. There he received the David K. Miller prize in Medicine, “for demonstration of Dr. Miller’s approach to caring for the sick—competence, humility, humanity.” He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Center, and then completed his fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Chmielewski has lectured in New York City as well as at the local, state, and national levels on his areas of professional expertise and interest, which include the management of pain and other physical symptoms, the medical management of emotional and psychosocial symptoms in the seriously ill, provider-patient-family communication, biomedical ethics, and end-of-life care.

Judith Peacock, Director of Clinical Services/Administrator of Joe Raso Hospice Residence

Judi comes to UHR with a wealth of clinical and administrative experience in pediatric and geriatric care. She has held management positions in both acute and long term care settings, and is certified in wound care and hospice/palliative care. Judi graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a BS in Nursing followed by a Master’s degree from Columbia University School of Public Health.

Dani.pngDanielle Byrnes, Director of Nursing

Danielle (Dani) Byrnes has over 20 years in the nursing field. Some of her nursing experiences include long term care, home care, school nursing as well as Hospice care. Dani not only has a BS in Nursing, but she also holds a degree in Dietetics (nutritional care) food service administration from SUNY Morrisville. She started out with UHR in 2010 as a case manager for the nursing homes, then moved into the admissions position. In 2012, she obtained her Hospice and Palliative Care Certification. She was awarded the Harvey A. Pachter Staff recognition award for Exemplary Service and during Rockland County Nurse Recognition Day was nominated for “Excellence in Practice.” She became Director of Nursing for UHR in November 2015.

fran.pngFran Gray, Director of Finance

Fran Gray has a BS in Accounting from Hunter College in NY. She has been with UHR since November 1990. As the Director of Finance, Fran oversees all accounting functions of the agency including billing, payables, payroll, federal and state reporting and much more. Prior to joining UHR, Fran worked in both public and private accounting.


Donna.pngDonna Branca, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Donna Branca joined UHR in 2013 and holds a BS in Marketing from St. Thomas Aquinas College. Donna is a versatile Marketing & Communications Management Professional with many years of experience developing and launching integrated marketing communications programs that increases brand awareness for organizations. She also has specialized skills in digital & social media marketing, lead generation, vendor management, and website development. Donna has held numerous marketing communications positions at both for profit and nonprofit corporations including IBM Corporation, Sharp Electronics, Verizon Wireless and ARC of Rockland. Donna received a Certificate of Achievement for completing The Executive Education Training Program for Nonprofit Professionals from Fordham University in April 2016.

Kathy.pngKathy Bookman, Director of Development

Kathy Bookman holds a BA in Political Science from Binghamton University and a Master of Arts degree from NYU. After a lengthy career as a manager in New York City government, Kathy has focused her energies on professional fundraising and development work. For the past ten years, she has worked to increase community awareness and maximize revenue for several non-profit organizations in Rockland County, including the Hudson Valley Political Action Committee, Jewish Federation of Rockland County and the Center for Safety & Change. Having had close family members who were cared for by UHR, both at home and in the Joe Raso Hospice Residence, Kathy is gratified and honored to be given the opportunity to direct development efforts for an organization whose mission she so strongly values and supports.

karen.pngKaren Damiani, Human Resources Manager

Karen Damiani has a BA from Hunter College and an MS from Lehman College. She taught school in New York City before joining Rockland County government in 1976. Her career at the Department of Probation spanned work as an Officer, Supervisor, trainer at the Rockland County Police Academy, and as the Director. Karen’s work in Human Resources began as a consultant with companies in private industry, culminating as the Director of Human Resources for the Mainetti Group before joining United Hospice of Rockland in 2008. As the first Human Resources Manager, Karen has focused great emphasis on the recruitment of skilled, compassionate and highly engaged employees, administering, developing, and interpreting human resource policy consistent with legal and regulatory requirements, in accord and in support of the mission, vision and values of UHR.

joan.pngJoan O’Brien, Office Manager

Joan O’Brien has a BA in Economics from SUNY Purchase. Joan joined UHR in 1996. Joan believes in giving back to the community and volunteers with the W.S.H.S, an animal rescue organization. Prior to joining UHR, Joan worked for 13 years with Saks Fifth Avenue.