MEET OUR TEAM

Dr. Ronald Sand

Dr. Ronald Sand

Palliative Care Physician

Dr. Sand lives and practices in Shasta County, California, with his wife Patty. He joined ResolutionCare in 2017 following 26 years of practice in Shasta County. He has been board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care for over 10 years and now works full-time in the specialty. He has special interests in medical education, addiction medicine and rural health care and contributes as a Volunteer Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. One of his goals is to bring palliative care services to the rural north state, and he is super excited to be working with ResolutionCare to do this.

Dr. Sand has two amazing children, a grand daughter and another on the way!

Dr. Nathan Riley

Dr. Nathan Riley

Palliative Care Physician

Dr. Michael Fratkin

Dr. Michael Fratkin

Founder, CEO and Physician

Five Year Employee Badge

Father, husband, brother, son, and physician, Dr. Fratkin is dedicated to the well being of his community. Since completing his training, he has made his home and built his family in rural Northern California. He has served his community in primary care in a community clinic system, as a medical director of our local hospice, as a leader in the community hospital medical staff, and a transformative voice for improving the experience of people facing the end of life.
At a time of great demographic and cultural change in our society, Dr. Fratkin has created ResolutionCare to insure capable and soulful care of everyone, everywhere as they approach the completion of life.

ResolutionCare leverages partnerships with existing healthcare providers and payers to provide telehealth applications that bring greater quality of living and greater quality of dying. The Palliative Care team at ResolutionCare openly shares our expertise and mentorship so people can receive the care they need where they live and on their own terms.

Marie Guthrie, MSN

Marie Guthrie, MSN

Clinical Director

Paula Amis

Paula Amis, RN

Palliative Care Nurse

Five Year Employee Badge

Why did I want to join the amazing team at ResolutionCare? I have been a nurse for over 6 years working primarily in a hospital setting. I have always loved caring for others but I was starting to feel like I wasn’t making a difference anymore.

I have worked with Michael Fratkin, MD throughout my career and had begun talking with him about how I could make the difference that I wanted to again. I loved the idea of working with people and helping them in many different ways that would meet their goals, needs and wants. I was beyond excited when I was offered the job, and I couldn’t wait to begin my new role to help make a true difference.

I realize this all sounds selfish but I have lived in this community my whole life and wanted to help others in the community be empowered by healthcare. After working here for over a month, it couldn’t be more clear that I am in the right place. I am able to help others in ways I could not in a hospital setting. I thank everyone at ResolutionCare and the entire community for putting their trust in me.

Census Manager

Allison Backman, RN

Census Manager

Allison graduated nursing school from Humboldt State University in 2009. She has worked both in hospital and rural home health settings. She believes her role as a nurse is to meet people where they are on life’s path and empower them toward self healing by believing in their ability to make positive changes in their life.

One of the biggest takeaways Allison got out of nursing school was the concept of modeling the behaviors you would like to inspire in your clients. She has maintained this in her career as nurse by developing healthy behaviors and coping mechanisms in order to handle the different hurdles life’s path can bring. Outside of her career she is a mother, wife, yoga instructor and creative. She loves to travel and spend time outdoors. She is excited to be a part of the ResolutionCare team because she believes in the importance of keeping people in their homes and supporting them in their own environment.

Melody Gorona, RN

Melody Gorona, RN

Palliative Care Nurse

Liz L

Liz L, RN

Palliative Care Nurse

Liz is a Registered Nurse who received her BA in Psychology from Humboldt State University in 1998, and continued her education more than a decade later, earning her nursing degree from College of the Redwoods in 2013. Since that time, Liz has earned certificates in Palliative Care from the California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care, and in Oncology Management from the University of Southern Indiana. Additionally, Liz enjoyed volunteering for five years as Library Coordinator for the Breast and GYN Health Project (formerly Humboldt Community Breast Health Project), a community resource of support and education for those facing breast or gynecologic cancers. Liz has held roles as a nurse in hospice and palliative care, oncology, general medicine, and social services, and is also a California Board of Education Credentialed School Nurse. 

Liz practices holistic nursing in all parts of her life, and she is guided by the philosophy that community, perception, science, and universal connectedness create the whole person, while her life values have developed over time as she has traveled extensively and lived within and amongst multiple demographics. She is part of an amazing family of three, one of whom is a tween who keeps her constantly on her toes. Together, they enjoy their small farm of one dog, one gecko, four chickens, and abundant species of wildlife. Liz enjoys active meditation while gardening, writing, sculpting, playing stringed instruments, and spending time with her family amongst the forests and beaches of Humboldt County.

Kathy Mize

Katherine M. Mize, RN

Palliative Care Nurse

Kathy was born, raised, and raised her own son on the California north coast, the oldest of six girls in a very close family. When her grandmother, herself a retired RN, was struggling with rapidly declining health, Kathy’s family trusted her to move into her home and care for her to the end of her life. That amazing, powerful experience moved Kathy to pursue nursing.

She feels fortunate to have worked in skilled nursing, ambulatory medicine and pediatrics. Her heart has always pulled her in the way of palliative medicine, particularly in-home, and she eagerly pursued the opportunity to get to work with the incredible team at ResolutionCare.

Using technology to bring the doctor remotely to people in their own homes is fantastic. Working with a loving, talented, multi-faceted team like this to take care of our community and loved ones is a dream come true for this small-town girl.

Diana Officer

Diana Officer, RN

Palliative Care Nurse

Sue Owens

Sue Owens, RN

Palliative Care Nurse

Allie Eldridge

Allie Eldridge, MSW

Social Worker

Allison (Allie) was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. She moved to Humboldt County in 2014 to attend Humboldt State University (HSU). Allie graduated from HSU with a BA in Social Work and a minor in Psychology in 2016. Allie then completed HSU’s Advance Standing Masters program and received a Masters Degree in Social Work in 2017. Allie is currently a registered Associate Clinical Social Worker, working to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Allie spent the start of her career working with children, youth and families. She worked for a local non-profit foster family agency for over 3 years.

Allie is passionate about social justice, social change and advocacy. She believes in working from a holistic/person-centered, strengths based, harm reduction approach. Allie is excited for the opportunity to bring her unique skills and experiences to the field of Palliative Care and to be a part of the amazing and passionate ResolutionCare interdisciplinary team.

Allie lives in Kneeland, CA with her partner David, step-son Harrison, dogs Annie and Teagen, and cat Terrance. After moving to Humboldt County, Allie fell in love with the Redwood Coast. She spends her free time exploring the beaches, rivers, and forest with her family. She enjoys reading, music, being with her dogs, home improvement projects, yoga/meditation, gardening … did we mention her dogs?

Allie’s mantra: “You are surviving beautifully.”

Bryan Kraus, MSW

Bryan Kraus, MSW

Social Worker

Nikki Lang

Nikki Lang, MSW

Social Worker

Five Year Employee Badge

Nikki received her MSW from Portland State University in 2007. She has spent the last nine years working in both urban and rural hospitals and favors a strength based and person/family centered approach.

Nikki’s experiences over the years have taught her about the power of medicine, interdisciplinary teamwork, compassion and the resilience of the human spirit.  Being a daughter of a midwife and alternative healer, she is honored to step outside of the hospital model and approach a practice that sees the individual and their family through a more holistic lens.

Nikki was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and spent 10 years in Portland prior to re-locating to Humboldt County to be a part of a small family homestead.  Nikki lives with her husband and her six-year-old twins and is lucky to have both her mother and step-mother right next door. Nikki spends her free time cooking, gardening and thrifting. Nikki is passionate about social justice, advocating for the most vulnerable populations within our community, and inspired by Riot Grrrls everywhere.

Sung Kim, Chaplain

Sung Kim

Spiritual Support Provider

Sung Kim received his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from The City College of New York (CUNY) and is currently a candidate for both a Masters in Organizational Leadership from National University and a Masters in Divinity from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He also has seminary training from Christian Leaders Institute.

He has served as the Sr. Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Redding, CA for 10 years and has been a palliative care chaplain for over 3 years.

A transplant to Northern California from his native New York City, Sung enjoys camping, reading, rooting for the New York Yankees, and spending time with his fiancée, his two daughters and his mom.

Carl Magruder

Carl Magruder

Spiritual Support Provider

Five Year Employee Badge

Carl Magruder is our Director of Spiritual Support Services.  He is trained as an interfaith chaplain with a Master’s of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion.  Carl supports all systems of belief, from Atheist to Zoroastrian.  Often when physical health issues arise, spiritual well-being is a determinative aspect of our human existence and quality of life.

Spiritual support starts with a listening ear and an open heart.  It can include meditation, prayer, scripture reading, music, helping to initiate or strengthen ties with local faith groups, grief counseling, meaning-making, or other approaches.  Carl can serve as a sounding board for ethical dilemmas, advance directives, or memorial planning.

Carl is a bicyclist, beekeeper, bibliophile, motorcyclist, tinkerer, and fountain pen restorer.  He has two kids, aged 7 and 11.  He first got interested in studying spirituality during his Master’s Degree at HSU in 2002, and is thrilled that his life journey has led him back to Humboldt County as a part of the team doing pioneering work at Resolution Care.

Lisa Duffy

Lisa Duffy, CNA

Billing Coordinator

Lisa was born in Oregon, but raised in Del Norte County from a very early age. She owned her own business for many years until her husband Brian was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of lymphoma. It was through this illness that Lisa was introduced to the amazing group of people at ResolutionCare. The services and support that ResolutionCare provided led Lisa to her calling in life. Upon her husband’s passing, Lisa enrolled in school and became a CNA. Immediately upon graduation she accepted a position with ResolutionCare.

Lisa’s main goal is comfort, compassion and kindness for her patients in their most difficult time. When Lisa isn’t working you can find her hiking the trails through Northern California’s magnificent redwood forests or reading books about spiritual guidance and personal growth.  She loves playing with her grandchildren and two feisty dogs.

Elizabeth Gregorio

Elizabeth Gregorio

Patient Outreach & Enrollment Care Coordinator

Emily Johnson, Community Health Worker

Emily Johnson

Community Health Worker and Patient Care Coordinator

Dana Landes

Dana Landes

Community Health Worker and Patient Care Coordinator

A transplant from the Bay Area, Dana moved to Humboldt County to be close to her aging parents.  With a degree in psychology and wide range of professional and personal experience, she is excited to bring her unique gifts and talents to her position of Patient Care Coordinator.

Dana has a compassionate, tender heart and is hopeful to cultivate and strengthen these aspects of herself.  She couldn’t be happier to spend the best hours of the day and the best years of her life serving this team.  She whole-heartedly believes in the goals and values that this special group of people is fostering and creating.  She stands with ResolutionCare as it brings amazing resources to our community while educating and being an example to others.

Outside of work, Dana enjoys music and dance foremost! She continues to learn and practice drums while enjoying the transformative effects of listening to great music.  She is fascinated with the topics of metaphysics, science and philosophy.  She also enjoys the outdoors, hiking and yoga, spending time with friends and family. Her cats, Zildjian and Maybe are her sweet four legged companions.

Jona Stewart

Jona Stewart

Community Health Worker and Patient Care Coordinator

Jona was born in Seattle, Washington, but moved to California with her family as a child and has lived here on the North Coast since. She began her career as a caregiver in 2001, employed as a certified nursing assistant in one of the local skilled nursing facilities. In 2006, she began working with patients and families throughout Humboldt County as an in-home caregiver. She also spent some time as a program aide for the Humboldt Senior Resource Center’s Adult Day Health Services. One of the things she enjoys most about her job is seeing how much people have in common, even though they may come from different places and backgrounds.

Jona loves exploring the beautiful outdoors and spending time with family. The time she shares with family and friends is a very important part of her life. For Jona, family is having people in your life that care, support and watch over you, whether biologically related to you or not. As a caregiver when you spend time taking care of someone, you begin to consider them as a part of your family. They depend on you to be there and you depend on them for the emotional bond that you have created with each other. Family crosses all boundaries, all that matters is that you are a part of the support team.

Lauren Johnston

Lauren Johnston

Care Coordinator

Dr. Brian Mistler

Dr. “B” Brian Mistler, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

A healthcare leader with a deep understanding of the systems and strategies that drive year-over-year business impact and growth. Results-oriented, tech-savvy, and adept at goal prioritization, “B” also brings a warm heart and personal passion for hiring and supporting top-quality professionals who care for people throughout their life.

With the previous decade spent primarily managing university medical centers, Dr. Mistler has experience directing large interdisciplinary teams and multi-million-dollar budgets, overcoming the challenges of rapid growth, and serving high need populations using value-based payment models. Trained as a licensed psychologist, and known especially for his suicide death prevention work, Mistler has published widely, taught at universities and hospitals, received federal grants, and is often a trainer/consultant for companies, colleges, and organizations.

B.S. (Computer Science) Stetson University, M.A. (Conflict Resolution) The University of Bradford as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to the U.K., Post-Graduate Certificate (Financial Management) Cornell, and Ph.D. (Counseling Psychology) University of Florida, specializing in data analytics and organizational change management.

Leanne Lynch

Leanne Lynch

Office Synergist

Five Year Employee Badge

Leanne (Lee) Lynch is ResolutionCare’s Office Synergist: providing clinical, technical, operational, and administrative support to the team and care coordination to people cared for by ResolutionCare.

Lee has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from California State University Stanislaus and Master’s Degree at Humboldt State University within the Environment & Community Master’s Program.

In her spare time, Lee finds joy in backpacking, hiking, gardening, diy projects, crocheting, traveling to new places, and is passionate about sharing the benefits of palliative care.

Cheyenne Balsley

Cheyenne Balsley

Director of Finance & Administration

Five Year Employee Badge

Cheyenne Balsley is Finance Director at ResolutionCare. As a part of the founding team since January 2015, she has been an emerging leader for this groundbreaking, rural-focused and technology enabled hoame-based palliative care program that has cared for nearly 1000 people and families living with serious illness since our launch. Bringing nearly 20 years running her own successful medical billing business, Cheyenne has developed and oversees all of the claims and billing processes of the organization.

She is inspired to share her expertise as a catalyst for sustainable program development to bring more capable and compassionate care to more people and families living with serious illness everywhere.

Emily Trutt

Emily Trutt

Admin & HR Coordinator

Prior to joining the ResolutionCare team, Emily served as the Event, Marketing and Education Administrator for several organizations in the health and wellness field including the North Coast Association of Mental Health Professionals, Pacific Mindfulness and Om Shala Yoga. In addition, Emily is a certified birth doula and has been teaching yoga, mindfulness, meditation and breath work for over a decade on the North Coast.

Over the course of her time working as a Community Heath Worker at ResolutionCare, Emily has gained a clear understanding and profound respect for the competent, earnest, and gritty determinism it takes for this team to do what it does, day in and day out. She brings that insight and appreciation to her new role as the Administrative and Human Resources Coordinator.  “It is an honor to support the critical mission of ResolutionCare and serve this team I have grown to so greatly care about.”

Mark Chacon

Mark Chacon

Information Systems Support Technician

Laura Rice

Laura Rice

Accountant

Brendan Balsley

Brendan Balsley

Palliative Care Assistant

A MESSAGE FROM MICHAEL

It’s Personal.

When we hear that we have a terrible illness that will shorten our life, it’s personal. When we learn about the benefits and trade-offs of the tests and procedures that will decide what treatments and medicines may help us, it’s personal. As we make our way through side effects, complications, insurance plans, phone calls, waiting rooms, pharmacies, labs, radiology departments, billing departments, emergency rooms, intensive care units, medical jargon, bad news, good news, family conflict, family meetings, caregivers, nursing homes, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychotherapy, medication lists, medication interactions, medication errors, advance directives, wills, and the many losses, it’s personal.

Our living and dying are not medical. While it’s a natural truth that we all die, the last chapter of life is better centered in our homes and with our families.

We want healthcare providers that understand that we are not malfunctioning machines, exploitable consumers, or anything less than people like they are. We want to get the most possible benefit from medical technology and we need help to avoid the many pitfalls of our fragmented and complex healthcare system. And never is this more important than when we or somebody we love needs hospice and palliative medicine, or end of life care.

We need guidance, not guidelines. As we face the hardest challenge there is, we want to be seen as we see ourselves…as the people we are with the people that love us. We want to chart our own course on our own terms.
It’s personal.

ResolutionCare is just such a team of professionals providing such care to people in their homes and sharing this perspective to improve care wherever people with serious illness seek value in our healthcare system.

The economics of providing healthcare to those of us with serious illness are changing fast. As a society, we are realizing that “more” is not better. New ways of funding programs like ResolutionCare are being developed across the country to be driven by the value they deliver to people defined by them as satisfaction with their experience and well-being, rather than by the number of encounters or procedures that can be billed. That’s a very hopeful sign of sanity.

ResolutionCare is built on the strength of good sense, a great business plan, and a perfect moment as our society is engaged now in an electrified conversation about how care for people who are dying should be provided by the rest of us that are under the illusion that we are not dying.

We funded our start-up with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign because this project belongs to the more than 1100 people that have died under my care in the last seven years. ResolutionCare belongs to the community of families that understand the value of this work far better than I do.

ResolutionCare belongs to my community here in Northern California. ResolutionCare belongs to any and all in this global neighborhood that resonate with our goals and want to join us in bringing respect, kindness, and skills in service to those making their way through the greatest challenge all of us will face.

It’s personal.

So step in, sign up, and spread the word. ResolutionCare is ready to make as big a difference in the world as we can.

In community,
Michael D. Fratkin, MD
Father, Husband, Brother, Son, and Friend

OUR MISSION

Bringing capable and compassionate care to everyone everywhere in the face of serious illness.

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