BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Roots & Roads Community Hospice Foundation is led by a dedicated, volunteer board of directors. The Board governs and supports the work of the Foundation and provides mission-based leadership. Board members are elected annually and may serve three-year, renewable terms.

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Kasey Hill, TMP Board President

Kasey Hill became the Chief Executive Officer of Greater Tucson Leadership in July 2016. Prior to that, she served as communications director for Develop Danville — a public-private economic development organization in central Kentucky. Kasey is a Kentucky native, and received recognition as a Kentucky Colonel in 2015. Kentucky Colonel is an honorary commission given by the governor of Kentucky to individuals noted for their public service and their work for the advancement of Kentucky. 

She is a proud graduate of two community leadership programs, including Greater Tucson Leadership. She is a member of Women at the Top, and currently serves as President of the board of directors for the Casa de la Luz Foundation. She also serves on the Leadership Council for the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for  

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and the board of directors for the Association of Leadership Programs. She is a 2020 recipient of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber's 40 Under 40 awards; has been recognized as a “Woman of Impact” by IMPACT of Southern Arizona; and was recognized as one of Tucson’s 20 “Next Gen Leaders – Rising Stars” by BizTucson Magazine.  

Kasey graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 2005 with a bachelor‘s degree in journalism. She has since received certification as a Gallup®-Certified Strengths Coach. She has also received certification as a Travel Marketing Professional from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College in Dahlonega, Ga., and graduated from the University of Kentucky Institute for Economic Development in 2014. 

“After the loss of both of my parents, I realized the importance of supporting organizations like Roots & Roads Community Hospice Foundation. I am honored to be able to serve an organization that offers supplemental support to patients and families who are navigating the end-of-life, as well as provide resources to help individuals plan for and share their end-of-life wishes with loved ones. Through the work of the Foundation, we’ve been able to offer educational opportunities that promote a quality end-of-life experience for all and create a platform where individuals can have important conversations about death and dying.” –Kasey Hill 

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Rachel M. Sass Vice President

Rachel Sass is an Associate Attorney at Rimon, P.C.  Rachel concentrates her practice in estate and tax planning, probate and trust administration, and business succession planning.  She enjoys helping individuals develop estate plans in a wide variety of circumstances, from simple plans to complex plans for high-net-worth individuals and families. 

Rachel is a Tucson-native and double Wildcat.  She graduated summa cum laude and with honors from the University of Arizona in 2013 with her bachelor’s in political science, and later graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law in 2018.  Rachel additionally graduated in 2021 from the Greater Tucson Leadership program.  She is a former Miss Arizona United States and enjoys serving her local community.  In her spare time, she and her husband and can be found hiking around Southern Arizona with their three dogs.  

“As an estate planning attorney, I help guide my clients through end-of-life issues.  While, for most, it is not a pleasant conversation to have, it is an essential one.  The work that the Foundation does in Southern Arizona is pivotal to bringing more awareness about end-of-life issues and supporting individuals and families in our community.  I am honored to serve on the Board of the Foundation to continue the great work that it’s been doing, and to help guide it in the future.” –Rachel Sass 

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Alex Ryckman Secretary

Alex has been in the real estate industry for over 15 years and has a unique background in operations management, leadership, and team-building experience. She is currently an Asset Manager with The Wolff Company and oversees their Las Vegas, California, and Arizona multifamily assets along with their national commercial portfolio. Alex earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northern Arizona University.   

Alex has always sought out opportunities to engage in her community in ways that speak to her personally. She serendipitously learned of the Foundation at the beginning stages of the rapid deterioration of her mother’s physical and mental health, shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As an only child planning for long-term and end-of-life care for a parent, she leaned into much of the support made available to her by her community, resources she had no idea existed until they were needed. It is Alex’s hope to grow the conversation around end-of-life planning and care within her community, and to ensure that resources and education around this topic are accessible to everyone.  

In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy training Muay Thai together, traveling, hiking, and any other activity that they think their dogs Charlie and Tucker might enjoy. 

“I know firsthand how difficult it can be to plan end-of-life care for a loved one who thought they had plenty of time to figure it out, and no longer has that chance. I serve on this board because of the great support and education we provide to all individuals impacted by or operating within this space. I hope to grow the conversation around end-of-life planning and care within my community, and to ensure that resources and education around this topic are accessible to everyone. “–Alex Ryckman 

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Ed Fix Treasurer

Ed Fix is a retired banker after working 44 years in the industry. He worked in several major US cities and 5 Asian countries as a commercial banker. He has volunteered for 6 years at Casa de la Luz Hospice as a patient companion. He and his wife’s parents both benefitted from hospice care at the end of their lives. He also volunteers at other organizations in Tucson. His wife owns an antique mall in Tucson, and he helps her with that business. 

“I am serving on the Foundation Board because it plays an important role in the community to support individuals on hospice care who are in need of financial assistance and education about the supportive process hospice plays at the end of life.” -Ed Fix 

Alan Barreuther

Alan Barreuther

Alan Barreuther was born in Chicago, but grew up in Tucson where he received most of his education. He graduated from the University of Arizona and the University of Michigan College(s) of Pharmacy. He was a clinical faculty member at the U of AZ College of Pharmacy for 17 years and then pursued activities in the area of Medical Affairs for a number of pharmaceutical companies working in the pharmacological/therapeutic areas of pain and sleep.
He first became interested in pain control while teaching at Tucson Medical Center. He helped establish a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) program on a surgical ward and became interested in hospice philosophies and activities. After TMC established its hospice, he was active in the training of volunteers and served on the TMC Hospice Advisory Board for many years.

“I am on the Board of Directors because I have a deep interest in providing information/reaching/teaching about preparation for end-of-life issues. In my past clinical experience, derived by working in an intensive care unit, I saw many instances where families were not prepared for the impending death of a loved one and, acting as proxies, opted for aggressive care at all costs. Many times, this aggressive approach was unwarranted, but because the families did not know they had options, this became the usual choice for continued care. I feel strongly that families and individuals educated as to their options at the time of death, handle the situation more confidently and live their lives with a greater appreciation of life itself.” – Alan Barreuther 

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Dr. Kevin Carmichael

Dr. Kevin Carmichael was born and raised in Miami, FL. After completing his higher education, he returned to Miami for Medical School and his residency in Family Medicine. His medical education coincided with the beginning of the HIV epidemic and as Miami was an early epicenter, he cared for many people with HIV and AIDS. Along with his sister, Kevin wrote a textbook on HIV care.

In 1990, Kevin moved to Tucson with his wife, Tejal. He worked at the University of Arizona’s Immune Deficiency Clinic for two years and then moved to El Rio CHC. While at El Rio CHC, he began their HIV program, Special Immunology Associates. The early days of HIV were difficult with many hospitalized patients and many deaths. In 1995, 14 of every 100 patients he cared for that year died. Over the next 27 years, the clinic grew to include 5 physicians, as well as medical case managers, clinical pharmacists, and on-site psychological and psychiatric care. Dr. Carmichael retired from SIA in December of 2018.

During the darkest days of HIV, he partnered with Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospice to develop a dedicated HIV Hospice program. He developed a deep appreciation of the care Hospice could provide at the end of life. Shortly after his “retirement”, he joined Casa de la Luz Hospice serving as a Hospice Physician in their inpatient unit until May of 2020.

As a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Kevin is eager to continue his support of the hospice mission.

Kevin and his wife, Tejal Parikh, a faculty member at the UA College of Medicine, have two sons. Deven is starting his senior year of college and Rajan is a Junior at Catalina Foothills Highschool.

 

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Karyn Damschen

Karyn, a native Tucsonan, and former University of Arizona Wildcat (and NAU Lumberjack) is committed to providing education and advocacy for women about financial and health issues.  She has been a driving force in creating a Wealth Solutions and Life Planning initiative designed by women for women. 

  

For over 20 years she has dedicated herself to community service in numerous Tucson organizations including the American Heart Association, Girl Scouts, Pima Council on Aging, Greater Tucson Leadership and now the Roots & Roads Community Hospice Foundation. 

Karyn's interest in hospice work was sparked after she started guiding her clients through end-of-life care and transition. She is proud to continue her advocacy work with the Foundation Board. 

  

As a local, independent Financial Planner Karyn takes the mystery out of complex programs such as Social Security and Medicare. She is a holistic practitioner focused on all facets of comprehensive planning including Investments, Taxes, Estate Planning, Income Planning, and Insurance Planning.  She is the owner of Damschen Financial Planning and Damschen Group, LLC. 

  

Karyn loves to spend time with her two grown children, Cassady and Garrison, and when she has some free time, you will likely find her kickboxing, going to the beach, golfing or hiking. 

Sally Dodds

Sally Dodds, Ph.D.

Sally Dodds, PhD., is a retired research professor of Medicine and Psychiatry from the University of Arizona. Previously, she was a research professor of Psychiatry at the University of Miami and simultaneously professor of Social Work at Barry University. She has conducted extensive research with the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine on physician burnout as well as research in HIV/AIDS, health care disparities for women and children, and integrated health care delivery systems. She currently is Affiliate Faculty with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) and with the UA College of Nursing. 

During retirement, Sally has been deeply involved in volunteerism, board service, and philanthropy. She is very committed to the nonprofit sector in Southern Arizona. She is delighted to be of support and service to the Roots & Roads Community Hospice Foundation for its very unique role in our community.  

“Roots & Roads has such a unique mission in end-of-life care, one that gives hope and support during one of life’s most difficult times. I look forward to helping the Board sustain this mission long into the future.”—Sally Dodds 

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Sharon Fitzpatrick

Sharon Fitzpatrick is the Assistant Executive Director at Casa de la Luz Hospice. She has been an RN since 1988, graduating cum laude from DeSales University in PA with a BS in Nursing. She also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Phoenix with a Masters in Information Systems. She worked in Labor and Delivery for 5 years and then spent over a decade working in Intensive Care throughout the Northeast. While she is proud of the near miracles accomplished using today’s technology and medicine, she also witnessed firsthand the amount of suffering inflicted on terminally ill patients who had not spent any time discussing their end-of-life wishes with their families.

As a result of this, she sought a job that aligned more with her desire to relieve suffering and have difficult conversations with patients and families. She has spent the last 20 years working in hospice, working at the bedside as an RN as well as in different management roles. She is passionate about providing people with quality, end-of-life care and the ability to make informed decisions.

In addition to hospice advocacy, Sharon also donates money and time to preserving keystone species, which are defined as species that hold an ecosystem together and are pivotal for the survival of all animal life on earth. She is especially dedicated to the African Elephant, and currently fosters four at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya.

In her spare time, she loves riding her motorcycles, crafting, and reading. She shares her home with her wife, two dogs and two cats.

About Us

Roots & Roads Community Hospice Foundation, formerly Casa de la Luz Foundation, was established in 2000 as a nonprofit organization to support end-of-life care.

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Ways to Give

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Family Stories

Read the stories of families who have been supported by Roots & Roads Community Hospice Foundation.

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transforming the end-of-life experience into the final act of living well