Judy (Citko) Thomas, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Directing the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California since 2000, Judy Thomas has helped improve the illness and end of life experiences of hundreds of thousands of Californians and their loved ones. Today the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California includes a growing staff, a highly active board of 13 accomplished professionals, and an effective statewide network with a wide range of individuals, organizations, and foundations dedicated to advancing care for those with serious illness. Read more about Judy.
As a Program Director for CCCC, Anna Berens focuses on community-based palliative care initiatives, including CAIC and SB 1004. Anna has 30 years of experience working with health plans, independent provider associations, management services organizations, primarily for Medi-Cal and other government-sponsored programs. She served as the Regional Director for a statewide Medi-Cal IPA where she formed strong relationships with providers, stakeholders, and health plans. Prior to that she helped launch a county organized Medi-Cal health plan (Central Coast Alliance for Health) and ultimately served as the Director of Provider Services. Anna is passionate about palliative care, promoting access to care, and also understands the challenges that face healthcare providers and payers.
Meeting & Education Coordinator
As the Meetings and Education Coordinator for the CCCC, Kristen comes to us with over 25 years of event planning and long-term care experience. Having the unique perspective of working in nursing homes, plus serving as an Executive Director for both assisted livings and a hospice care agency, she is thrilled to be back in the healthcare realm. Kristen has owned her own event planning business and most recently worked for Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics as their Assistant Director for K-12 STEM Education. Kristen will be concentrating on overseeing and growing the Coalition’s educational opportunities.
Betty comes to CCCC with nearly 10 years of experience as an ABA Certified Paralegal in private, public, and corporate sectors. She left the legal field to focus on the meaningful non-profit work in end-of-life education and advocacy. She has a strange passion for paper and organizing. In her spare time she crochets, paints, or volunteers with local coalition CACCC.
Program Director, Pediatric and Adult Programs
Anna Garzon is responsible for leading CCCC’s education, research and public policy efforts on behalf of children with serious illnesses and their families. She previously served as Senior Clinical Research Coordinator and Protocol Project Manager at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she ran the clinical trials program for Pediatric Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Histiocytic Disorders. She also speaks Spanish and German.
Kelley Queale has more than 20 years of experience in health-related communications and advocacy. Kelley served as director of communications for the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF), where she oversaw the association’s internal communications program, grassroots advocacy and Leadership Academy programs. Prior to that she served as director of communications for the California Association of Health Services at Home (CAHSAH). She also served as CAHF’s representative to the California POLST Task Force.
Member and Client Relations Manager
Keeta provides oversight for CCCC’s membership and client services. Previously, Keeta was the director of volunteers and communication for Lutheran High School, and worked for the California Hospital Association for over 15 years, including 10 years as the Association’s manager of volunteer services. Keeta also worked for several years with the California Culture Change Coalition, a nonprofit that provides support and expertise to California’s nursing homes.
Chief of Programs
Kris comes to CCCC with 30 years of experience in various aspects of the not-for-profit healthcare industry; from providing health education to developing and directing the function of a collaborative charity care program and implementing educational activities for physicians and other healthcare professionals. Kris is responsible for managing grant-funded programs and activities, as well as developing and managing projects, and writing grants. She works closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to support and implement the organization’s mission and to ensure the smooth internal functioning of the organization.
Pediatric Palliative Care Consultant
Devon was the co-founder and executive director of the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC), a nonprofit organization that merged with CCCC in the Fall of 2015. Through CHPCC, Devon spearheaded policy initiatives and programs which dramatically improved care for children with life-threatening conditions in California, including the enactment of the Nick Snow Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Act of 2006. Before transitioning to a consulting role, Devon served as CCCC’s VP of Pediatric Programming & Education from 2015-2018.
Lael C. Duncan, MD
Medical Director Consultant
Lael Duncan, MD, is a licensed California physician with more than 15 years of clinical practice in internal medicine, infectious disease, and long term acute care for patients with multi-system disease. She is an expert educator on Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), end-of-life communication between patients and providers, advance care planning, and legislation that impacts end-of-life care in California. Dr. Duncan consults with health care organizations, medical providers and communities to improve access to care that honors patient values.