Meet the Team of Soulistic Hospice

Our dedicated hospice team works together with a high level of cooperation, coordination, and communication, serving our patients and families with the utmost respect and consideration for every individual involved. We are more than just co-workers; we are a family and a team committed to serving the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those with life-limiting illness. Some of our primary team members are introduced below.

Marayeh Cunningham, Ph.D.

Executive Director
Clinical Psychologist
Interfaith Minister

Dr. Cunningham is a Clinical Psychologist who has over 40 years’ experience in health care management. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and was a professor and psychotherapist at U.C. Berkeley. She was in private practice in San Francisco and La Jolla, California, as well as Sedona, Arizona before moving to the Tucson area, where she brought together a team of highly qualified, caring professionals and volunteers whose shared mission is to provide the highest quality of care to everyone. In addition to being the Executive Director of Soulistic Hospice, she is a published author, educator, and speaker.

Centria Catherine J. Lilly

Board of Directors
Chief Financial Officer
Interfaith Minister

Centria has over two-decades experience in nonprofit financial management where she has worked as chief financial officer of Global Community Communications Alliance and as a liaison administrator with numerous affiliated nonprofit organizations. Prior to her role as CFO with Soulistic Hospice, Centria served as Executive Director of International and Local Adoptions in Hawaii, as a Guardian Ad Litem advocating the rights of children removed from their homes due to neglect and abuse, and as a counselor to teen parents. She is committed to ensuring a balanced portfolio of growth initiatives and maintaining high levels of integrity and transparency.

Dr. Nelson Sandoval, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Nelson Sandoval, MD graduated from Universidad Autonoma De Guadalajara, Facultad De Medicina and specializes in internal medicine. He has been serving the Tucson community since completing a residency with the Tucson Hospital Medical Education Program. Dr. Sandoval joined the Soulistic team in 2018 and is fluent in Spanish.

Aladi Goodman, RN

Director of Clinical Services
Interfaith Minister

Aladi was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand and received her diploma as a comprehensive registered nurse in 1993. Her nursing experience encompasses a variety of healthcare fields including psychiatric, post-partum, geriatric, orthopedic, rehabilitation, home health, and hospice care. Aladi is an educator in her field of expertise to both public and professional audiences. She is intuitive and sensitive to both patients and their loved ones and has dedicated her life to serving humanity. Aladi is also a musician and artist and has a love of animals.

Deb Ohman, RN

Clinical Team Manager

Deb is the Clinical Team Manager for Soulistic. She is from Minnesota. She says, "It’s very cold there!  That’s why Tucson is now my home.  I love the sunshine and people of Tucson, and in particular the mountains!" Deb started as a Nursing Assistant and has been an RN for 36 years. She has hospital, nursing home and home care experience in addition to Hospice. Deb also worked for an insurance company as an RNCM and Patient Advocate. Aside from her Nursing degree, Deb has a BA in Organizational Management and Communication. Deb enjoys sports of all kinds. She played volleyball for 20 years.

Betty Oliver, RN

Clinical Team Manager

Betty was born in Florida, but has lived in many different States. She began her professional life at Sam’s Club, working in all areas, while she attended pre-med courses. She then decided to go into nursing and has worked in most aspects of nursing and management, from the ER to the OR, Community Nursing, Home Health/Hospice, Corporate Training, and was led to Hospice.  She has an AA and RN from Eastern Florida State College, a BA in Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Strayer University, and is currently attending the Jack Welsh Management Institute MBA in Healthcare program. Betty feels she has high energy for learning and teaching.  Betty has served in Hospice both as a Nurse and also in management which have been amazing experiences for her.  She loves music, family, writing and traveling. It is a spiritually led decision for her to join Soulistic Hospice and she is very excited to be back in Arizona.

David Workman, NP

Nurse Practitioner

David was born in Montana but has lived all over the US and abroad in England, Scotland, and Germany. He background includes Retired Naval Officer, Nurse Practitioner, and Family Practice. David does in home visits to re-certify our hospice patients. Says, David, "I enjoy family activities with my wife, children and grandchildren. I work with wood with my most recent project of building a motor skiff. E-bike touring is my current passion. 

LeAnn Swinehart, RN, BSN, MNA

Compliance Officer

Born in Nebraska but raised in Tucson Arizona, LeAnn considers herself a native of Tucson. Early in life she was called to a career in nursing, volunteering in hospitals during the summer months while completing a high-school training program to become a nursing assistant. While working and raising a family she finished both a BSN and Masters in Nursing Administration. LeAnn has worked as both an Administrator and Director of Nursing over several years in both acute and sub-acute care. With the death of her grandmother and father, LeAnn was drawn to a career in hospice working first as an RN Case Manager.

AsCenTae Holmes, BS

Manager of Admissions
Interfaith Minister

AsCenTae Holmes has more than 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant including at a top ten University Health Sciences department and naturopathic medicine office in Wisconsin, as well as a nonprofit immigration and family law office in Arizona. She received her Associate of Arts Executive Secretarial degree from Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin and a B.S. teaching degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. As the Manager of Admissions, she gives support to not only our staff but also to our patients, their families and their loved ones, and does so with compassion and respect for their unique personal perspective.

Lah-May Bremer

Financial Administrator
IT Administrator
Interfaith Minister

Lah-May graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Business Administration, specializing in Business Computer Methods. She joined Soulistic Medical Institute and Soulistic Hospice in 2009 and is the Financial Administrator, IT Administrator, and HIPAA Security Officer. She lives a sustainable lifestyle which complements the technical aspects of her job and better enables her to serve the caregivers and staff.

Sandy Lopez

Human Resources

Sandy was born and raised in sunny Nogales, Arizona. She was a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant from 2008-2013. Sandy currently wears many hats for Soulistic, including Human Resources, and Accounting and Billing. She really loves her job and spending time with her family, travelling, and watching movies. Her four children enjoy dancing, karaoke, as well as taking family photos. Sandy is a big fan of baseball and the Diamondbacks. Her focus is on getting her children through school and on to college.

Beyana Grace, RN

Hospice Nurse
Interfaith Minister

Beyana graduated with a BSRN from Arizona State University, Tempe in 1980. She has worked in women’s health and geriatrics, and did graduate studies in Somatic Psychology/Dance Movement Therapy at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She brings warmth and comfort to those she cares for. Beyana is also a HeartMath instructor and is dedicated to serving others with the utmost respect and compassion. In her life beyond nursing, Beyana enjoys creative dance movement, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Sandra Lanpher, RN

Hospice Nurse

Sandra is a Registered Nurse Case Manager and truly enjoys going into patients' homes and serving them. Sandra spent her formative years in the desert southeast of New Mexico then in Amarillo, TX where enjoyed hiking in Palo Duro Canyon. She graduated from Amarillo College of Nursing, going on to serve people on medical and surgical floors before moving on to intensive care, as well as working in psychiatric and rehabilitative nursing. For fun Sandra likes to read, go out with friends, have lively conversations and swim. Her favorite time of year is Spring. She often spends a weekend at the ballparks enjoying spring training.

Shannon Watanabe, RN

Hospice Nurse

Shannon was born on Oahu and raised on the Big Island of Hawai'I. She has worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as the RN Treatment Advocate for the Hawai'I Island HIV/AIDS Foundation, as a Resident Care Director, and as a Clinical Care Manager. While Shannon is an RN Case Manager for Soulistic, and she enjoys drag racing (with their own family race team), dancing, karaoke and travelling. Shannon says, "It was through my personal experiences with various hospices for family members, particularly my father, that I’ve always had a special place in my heart for people who worked in Hospice."

Cristina Martinez, RN

Hospice Nurse

Cristina was born and raised in Tucson. She finds nursing to be a deep spiritual calling, and a part of the reason she is on this earth. Providing care for vulnerable populations is something she holds dear to her heart. Caring for others is very humbling and she loves this work tremendously. In her free time she loves to be with her family, participate in her churches events, cycle, paint, read, do arts and crafts, and loves HIIT exercise too. She is a proud mother of three beautiful boys and wife to an amazing man. She feels very blessed and driven to be part of a team, where your care is the focal point and our utmost priority. 

Yvonne Nowak, RN

Hospice Nurse

Yvonne was born in Tucson, raised in Amado, and currently resides in Sahuarita. She started as a CNA, then worked as a PCT at Flagstaff Medical Center in the ICU and St. Joseph's Hospital. She finished her nursing degree in 2011 and worked at Banner University Medical Center. Yvonne spends her free time reading, crocheting, and doing various family activities with her husband and son.

Eileen Delaney, RN

Hospice Nurse

Eileen grew up in Hawaii and San Diego, then pursued her Nursing career in Colorado for 25 years. Eileen says, "My first nursing specialty was as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. It was there that I started to integrate hospice work into my nursing practice. While in graduate school, I worked in Acute Psych with Veterans, then moved to the Hospice/Palliative Inpatient unit as a clinical coordinator. I retired from the VA and started working with Soulistic Hospice, a hospice organization I had known from my days at the VA for excellence. The fact that Soulistic is a not for profit organization, but is mission driven, is very important to me." When not serving as an Admit Nurse, Eileen enjoys, camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, quilting, genealogy, and bee-keeping.

Arlene Case, RN

Hospice Nurse

From Vancouver, Arlene has been in California since 1980 and moved to Green Valley AZ in 2018 to be close to her sister. Arlene worked as a float nurse in Med-Surg and in a Special Care Nursery before becoming a Hospice nurse in 1980 when Medicare first came out with the Hospice Pilot Project. She has been a Case Manager, a Nursing Supervisor, a Facilities Liaison Nurse and the interim Hospice Director. She also ran a small rural Hospice in Northern California for 10 years. Arlene feels blessed to have found a career that is so inspirational and rewarding.

Julie McKee, LPN

CNA Supervisor
Community Outreach Coordinator

Julie is from St. Louis, Missouri and has lived in Texas, South Carolina, New Mexico and Wyoming. She has worked as an RN in hospital Rehab and Psychiatry, then in Geriatrics as an RN Case Manager, in Admissions and Marketing. Julie serves as a Community Care Coordinator, ensuring that our patients are happy and have what they need. She is also the CNA supervisor and scheduler. Things that lie close to her heart are family, music, exercise, reading, and spiritual growth. Working in the hospice field is where her heart is, as a nurse.

Susan Velarde, LPN

Hospice Nurse

Susan is from Florida and California. She moved to Tucson 20 years ago. Susan serves our hospice patients as a nurse. In her free time she enjoys watching movies, listening to music, and singing.

Veronica Alvarez, LPN

Hospice Nurse

Veronica is a LPN for Soulistic, assisting RN's with weekly visits. She has lived in Sahuarita her entire life and attended Pima Community College. Veronica enjoys reading, watching baseball and family time. She worked as a private caregiver and also in facilities, and always had a passion for hospice. Veronica Says, "I feel privileged to be able to care for people at the end of their life when they are preparing to embark on their next journey. Soulistic has been a blessing to me. I love the company and my coworkers."

Jennifer Negron, LPN

Hospice Nurse

Jennifer is from Connecticut and decided to move to Tucson and enjoy the sunny weather two years ago. She has nine years in long term care and Skilled Nursing Facilities, has worked with psych home-care, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Clinical research, Assisted living, and corrections nursing. Jennifer is in school to become an RN. She enjoys getting to know her patients and their families, helping to provide a positive environment. Jennifer enjoys hiking, family, and traveling, as well as going back east to see friends and family.

Brian Martinez

Community Care Coordinator

Originally from Southern California, Brian has lived in Tucson for the last 16 years. He’s been in the medical industry approximately 14 years, first as a clinician then in medical marketing. Brian is a Community Care Coordinator with Soulistic, serving as a liaison between referral sources and families. His goal is to make sure every family has the best possible experience and understanding of what hospice services entail. Brian says, “At the start of my medical career, my grandmother was enrolled in hospice. I was given a firsthand look into what comfort care was, and thought to myself, ‘I would love to be a part of that.’ I feel truly blessed to be in a career that I love. It is a privilege to work with patients and their families to educate and have them receive this blessing we call Hospice.” Brian’s hobbies revolve around spending time with his family. They enjoy going to the gym, target practice, fishing and golfing. 

Jahlandon Viviano, BA

Social Worker

Originally from Greater Philadelphia, Jahlandon is a hospice Social Worker. He got his degree from Penn State - Abington. He has worked with Habitat For Humanity and as an agricultural volunteer in Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, and California as well as working in Philadelphia for developmentally disabled adults, and in a respite program for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. Jahlandon enjoys nature, sports, and philosophy.

April Gonzalez, MSW

Social Worker

A native Tucsonan, April has worked in social services for over 15 years, achieving a Masters in Social Work. April provides emotional support to patients and families we at Soulistic serve, as well as helping them with community resources, financial issues, long term care needs, private care-giver needs and residential changes. April enjoys taking long walks with her beloved German Sheppard and going swimming at the local pool.

Tarenta Baldeschi

Spiritual Care Coordinator
Interfaith Minister

Tarenta is from Bamberg (Bavaria), Germany and Livorno (Tuscany), Italy.  He has experience in stone restoration (churches, castles and old estates), being a teacher of homesteading, and as master gardener. He completed high school in Germany, then a 3 year apprenticeship for stone-masonry and sculpting.  Tarenta is an avid reader of spiritual history and gardening/farming. He loves to cook and sing in choir, and is interested in all cultures. Tarenta is family oriented and has 4 kids. He says, "My passion is spiritual culture building to change the paradigm from taking care of yourself only to care about your family, neighbors and the world at large."

AhNuit Nelson, BS

Spiritual Care Coordinator
Interfaith Minister

AhNuit became an ordained minister in 1996 and joined Soulistic Hospice as a Chaplain in 2009, bringing more than three decades of experience in education and volunteer services. He served in the U.S. Army during the revolutionary uprising in the Dominican Republic and has taught Special Education for Children with Behavioral Difficulties. AhNuit has dedicated hundreds of hours in various areas of humanitarian outreach and is sensitive to the needs of others during difficult life transitions. He has an instant camaraderie with patients, especially military veterans and their families.

Karene Bennett, MUP

Spiritual Care Coordinator
Interfaith Minister

Karene is committed to helping to make this a better world; one of compassion and humanity. Having a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and over 30 years of experience in dozens of human service programs, Karene’s sincere desire to help people, presented him with opportunities in grant-writing, planning, and volunteer coordinating for public, private and non-profit corporations. Karene also spent several years in the Peace Corps, serving in South America, where his bilingual abilities and cultural insights have resurfaced to complement his natural ability to communicate with people in all walks of life.

Monica Felix

Certified Nursing Assistant

Originally from Phoenix, Monica has been caregiving for 14 yrs. She has a charming, gentle personality. She loves to spend time and talk with Seniors, which turned into the career of caregiving. She has experience working in a large senior facility in Green Valley and recently worked for past 3 years with Soulistic.  On her time off she loves to spend time with her 2 children.

Auneea White

Certified Nursing Assistant

Auneea was born and raised in New Zealand and moved to Arizona in 1996. She became a Certified Nursing Assistant in 2009 and immediately felt drawn to hospice care. Prior to becoming a CNA, Auneea had already provided in-home care to elderly people and particularly enjoyed the personal relationships she established with patients and their families. Auneea is always willing to go the extra mile to bring comfort and compassion to others. Auneea is also a gifted artist, and enjoys gardening.

Diana Lopez

Licensed Nursing Assistant

Diana has been a caregiver in Nogales, AZ. She graduated from Nogales High School, then went to CGTI (Caregiver Training Institute) and got her LNA. When not serving our patients, Diana enjoys reading, writing, sports, art, and music. She loves to take her daughter to swimming and ballet classes, travelling with her husband, and helping take care of her mother.

Briana Barreras-Romero

Certified Nursing Assistant

Briana is from Tucson, and her professional background involves caring for others who cannot care for themselves. With Soulistic, Briana provides comfort and genuine care for her patients as well as their family members. She feels it is an opportunity to enter the lives of others and make a difference. Her dream is to become a registered hospice nurse. Briana says, “I’ve always had an admiration for hospice because of my mother. She used to work for hospice about 15 years ago and she would always bring me to the celebration of life ceremonies. It was there that I experienced the beauty of hospice and how it's more than a job. During my free time I enjoy living an active lifestyle. I hike, take kickboxing classes and play sports. I also enjoy spending time with my family, and making home cooked meals.

Ele-Elleid Kay

Volunteer Coordinator

Ele-Elleid’'s passion is helping people, which she does every day while serving the patients of Soulistic Hospice and Soulistic Medical Institute. Ele-Elleid’'s previous experiences in serving Native American tribes in Wisconsin, the homeless, the incarcerated, the abused, and the addicted, have given her a strong conviction to help people regardless of their life circumstances.

BeSaRai Ersek

Administrative Assistant

BeSaRai grew up in Maine, where she had experiences working on organic farms, striving to learn how grow food that is nourishing for the body, mind and spirit, as well as for the earth. She did undergraduate studies in religion at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. During this time she volunteered regularly at a nursing home, visiting patients—an experience that was meaningful for her and those she served. BeSaRai loves to serve people, from small babies to elderly people; she tries to bring hope and joy to the world. She recently moved to Arizona and joined the Soulistic Hospice staff. She enjoys cooking, vegetable gardening, hiking, and writing.

NiCieen Nelson, BS

Administrative Assistant

NiCieen joined Soulistic Hospice in 2010 and works in Medical Records. She grew up on a farm in North Dakota and received her BS degree from North Dakota State University. After graduation, she joined the Vista Program, where she set up the math and science curriculum for Sitting Bull College. Later, she taught math and science for over 30 years in both public and private schools, including 15 years teaching on Native American Indian Reservations in the Dakotas. She moved to Arizona with her husband, Ah’Nuit, in 1994 and shares his passion for voluntary humanitarian service to others. NiCieen’s love of facts and figures is a rare and much-appreciated gift to our Medical Records department.

Blue Evening Star Vasvary


Blue Evening Star is dedicated to serving humanity. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she has been a volunteer in activism, healing services, and musical and ceremonial events for 40 years. As a music therapist in Soulistic Hospice, she aspires to bring a sense of peace and caring to those she has the honor of ministering to. Blue Evening Star is a published author and musician who enjoys reading, playing music with friends, and being with children for leisure and relaxation.