Since 1982, Hospice of Kankakee Valley has been setting the tone for how our community serves and supports those faced with the difficult challenge of coping with serious illness.

The leaders below cast the vision and maintain the mission.

Executive Director

Connie Lemon was appointed Executive Director of Hospice of Kankakee Valley in July, 2015. Ms. Lemon joined HKV in 2012 as Director of Nursing.

She has over 30 years of executive leadership in the home health and hospice industries. She has her AD in Nursing, Magna Cum Laude, from Black Hawk College, Moline, IL, and a bachelor’s degree in health care administration degree from St. Joseph’s College, Standish, Maine.

She is certified in hospice and palliative nursing. Ms. Lemon is involved with the Hospice Section of the Illinois Home Care and Hospice Association, Women in Networking, serves on the Joint Nursing Advisory Board for Kankakee Community College Nursing Program, and Member of KCC Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle Council.

Medical Director

Dr. Shams is the Medical Director for Hospice of Kankakee Valley. He is board certified in hospice and palliative care as well as internal medicine and has been practicing in hospice and palliative care since 2006.

Dr. Shams received his medical degree from Dow University with his post graduate training and studies though University of Illinois and Christ Medical Center.

As our Medical Director, Dr. Shams oversees the care of our patients directly with our hospice team, in addition to overseeing inpatient hospitalized hospice patients and our outpatient palliative care program.

Director of Clinical Services

Mary Finks has over 40 years of experience in nursing and has been a part of the Hospice of Kankakee Valley team since 2002.

Mary received an associate degree in nursing from Kankakee Community College in 1988 and an additional 20 years as a Licensed Practical Nurse, along with being certified in hospice and palliative nurse since 2005.

Currently Mary works as a Director of Clinical Services for HKV in which she oversees our nursing, CNA, and social services staff. Mary also helps to provide end-of-life education in nursing facilities who care for geriatric and end-of-life patients and families.

Director of Finance

Karen Vulich joined Hospice of Kankakee Valley in 1996. Working closely with the Executive Director, Billing Department and Finance Committee, she oversees all financial related activities of the organization.

She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from DePaul University

Karen previously worked in various roles of account management and underwriting for national group health insurance clients.

Director of Human Resources

Becky Eartly joined the Hospice of Kankakee Valley team in November 2013 as the Community Liaison and promoted to Human Resources in August 2014.

Before joining HKV, Becky worked as Assistant Director for a Senior Living and also as Human Resources Coordinator/Accounting Manager for an area paper.

Becky earned an AAS in Accounting from Joliet Junior College, received her PHR in 2007 and earned certificate in Procurement and Supply Management in 2011.

Director of Community Relations & Development

CanadaKatie webKatie Canada joined the Hospice of Kankakee Valley team in 2016 as the Director of Business Development. She currently oversees the marketing, contracts, community relations, new program and service development and bereavement events.

Katie has 10 years of clinical experience working in long-term care. Upon earning her business marketing degree from Kankakee Community College in 2011, she pursued a position in the healthcare marketing field and worked as a marketing and community outreach coordinator for a local hospital. She is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Illinois – Springfield.

Compliance Officer

Yolanda Davis joined Hospice of Kankakee Valley in 2010. Yolanda has over 20 years of broad nursing experience ranging from the hospital setting, Nursing Home, Respiratory Therapy, and case management.

Yolanda received an associate degree in nursing in 1989, and a certificate in respiratory therapy in 1983 from Kankakee Community College.

Currently, Yolanda works as the Compliance Officer and oversees volunteer and bereavement services for Hospice of Kankakee Valley.

Office Manager

Kathy Goers has worked for Hospice of Kankakee Valley since 1986 and in 2016 she will be celebrating 30 years of service with the organization.

Previously, Kathy worked for an area hospital as the Secretary to the Director of Nursing for fifteen years.

Kathy currently works as our Office Manager where she supervises billing and clerical staff, as well as financial responsibilities for payroll, accounts payable, and bookkeeping.