Meet our senior leadership team at The Denver Hospice.

The Denver Hospice is guided by a senior leadership team committed to developing world-class caregivers with the skills and spirit to fulfill our mission to encircle those facing advanced illness with unprecedented levels of comfort, compassion and expertise. Our leaders draw upon a rich diversity of experience in corporate and not-for-profit health care organizations to ensure organizational strength, stability, flexibility and purpose, now and in the future.

Tim Bowen - President and CEO Care Synergy, CEO The Denver Hospice

Tim Bowen, President & CEO

Tim Bowen brings nearly 30 years of hospice experience to his position as President and CEO of Care Synergy. Formed by Front Range not-for-profit hospices in 2014, Care Synergy’s integrated model ensures care delivery that is more comprehensive, efficient and agile—a critical difference in today’s operating environment. Under Tim’s leadership, Care Synergy members—The Denver Hospice & Optio Health Services, Pathways in Fort Collins, Halcyon Hospice & Palliative Care in Mead and Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care in Colorado Springs—are better able to meet Colorado’s needs for quality, compassionate end-of-life care at the community level.

Tim came to Care Synergy in February 2015 after 15 years as President of Haven Hospice, a large community-based hospice and palliative care provider serving 18 urban and rural counties in North Florida. Under Tim’s guidance, Haven Hospice significantly expanded its care depth and geographic coverage, earning it the prestigious Circle of Life Award for excellence and innovation from the American Hospital Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Tim began his career as a medical social worker and progressed in management and leadership positions with both not-for-profit and for-profit hospice providers at local, regional and national levels. An active leader and hospice advocate throughout his career, Tim co-founded the National Hospice Executive Roundtable, a cadre of chief executives from the nation’s leading not-for-profit hospices. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of San Diego.

Melinda Egging, CHC - President

Melinda Egging

Melinda Egging has been named president of The Denver Hospice, effective immediately. As president, she has responsibility for all of the organization’s operations, which includes a 24-suite state-of-the-art inpatient care center located in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood. Melinda has served as The Denver Hospice interim president since August 2017.

Melinda is a 16-year hospice veteran having begun her career with Sangre de Cristo Hospice, Pueblo, Colo., in 2002 as its volunteer director. During her tenure there, she served in a variety of roles and received multiple promotions leading to her role as chief quality, compliance and performance improvement officer. Melinda joined The Denver Hospice in 2009 and has led multiple departments including health information management and quality and compliance.

In 2015, Melinda was promoted to vice president of quality, corporate compliance and risk management at Care Synergy, the Rocky Mountain Region’s largest end-of-life care network. Care Synergy provides mission support services for multiple not-for-profit, community-based hospice and palliative care organizations. The Denver Hospice is a Care Synergy affiliate.

A graduate of Troy University, Melinda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Industrial Psychology. In addition, she is a Certified Hospice Administrator, a Certified Healthcare Risk Manager and certified in Healthcare Compliance.

“The Denver Hospice Board of Directors unanimously selected Melinda to lead the organization into the future,” says Tim Bowen, president and CEO, Care Synergy. “Melinda’s vast hospice experience coupled with her strong reputation for strategic thinking ensures The Denver Hospice will continue to be patient-centered and the most trusted end-of-life and palliative care provider in the Rocky Mountain Region.”

Susan Lasker Hertz, RN, MSN - Director of Hospice Services

Susan LaskerSusan Lasker Hertz has served as the Director of Hospice Services for 10 years, leading operations at the Inpatient Care Center at Lowry as well as for hospice care provided in patient homes and other facilities. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and earned her Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A registered nurse for the past 35 years, Susan’s experience encompasses oncology nursing, oncology/BMT administration and hospice and palliative care. She is also certified as an Advanced Oncology Nurse and Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse. Susan is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Xi Chapter, a national nursing honor society, and a 2011 recipient of the annual Spirit of Hospice Award from the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. She has been a featured speaker nationally and locally, addressing issues ranging from oncology/hospice nursing to leadership and process improvement in the healthcare field. A frequent author of oncology-related articles, she co-authored chapters in the 1st and 2nd editions of Nursing Management, Principles and Practice.

Shirlee Turner, MD - Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Shirlee TurnerDr. Shirlee Turner serves as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of The Denver Hospice. She was promoted to the post in 2015 after serving as Medical Director of The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry, the area’s only dedicated inpatient hospice center. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Turner is responsible for The Denver Hospice’s clinical programs, working closely with palliative care and hospice staff, department directors and physicians to ensure the highest standards of quality and service are maintained.

Dr. Turner’s career in healthcare has included service as the Regional Medical Director for Optum Health and as a Medical Director for Shalom Cares, Shalom Hospice/Palliative Care and Shalom Home Health Services. She previously held a variety of staff physician appointments in family practice and urgent care in Colorado and California. She is board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, as well as Family Practice.

Dr. Turner is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Medical Directors Association and Colorado Medical Directors Association. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in biology from Fisk University and her medical degree from Meharry Medical College, both in Nashville. After medical school, Dr. Turner served as a General Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Dean Fernandez - Director of Admissions & Customer Service

As the director of admission and customer service for The Denver Hospice, Dean focuses on being the best he can be and serving staff, patients and their families with ethical, quality and compassionate care. Before joining The Denver Hospice in 2015, Dean served as an intensive care unit charge nurse with North Suburban Medical Center and emergency room charge nurse at Denver Health. He has also help significant patient-care roles with Home Health Care and SCL Health Lutheran Medical Center.  Dean is a registered nurse and earned his degree at Front Range Community College.


Dawn Darvalics - Director of Quality & Compliance

Dawn’s extensive background includes more than 15 years of experience leading organizations to improved performance. She was senior vice president and executive director of Aspire Health’s learning and development department. Dawn also worked as a management consultant for Ohio’s Hospice Incorporated, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Caring Foundations. Dawn also worked at VITAS and was responsible for electronic health record implementation, process design, program management and operational leadership and oversight for all VITAS palliative care programs, ensuring that the company’s patient-centered vision and mission were at the forefront of all strategic decisions.

Dennis Rodriguez - Director of Provider Relations

Dennis is a bilingual marketing and sales professional. He is skilled in developing high performance coaching strategies that inspire growth, creativity and dream fulfillment. At The Denver Hospice, Dennis oversees the business development team, volunteer services and the bereavement team.  Prior to joining The Denver Hospice, Dennis serves an a senior enrollment counselor with Colorado State University – Global Campus.  He also held served in multiple roles at Regis University, such as director of admissions and associate director of enrollment for the College for Professional Studies. He hold a Master of Business Administration degree in International Business form Regis University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Kayla Arnesen - Director of Marketing

Kayla Arnesen joined The Denver Hospice in January 2018 as director of marketing and communications. Most recently, she served as director of strategic communications at Community First Foundation, a $320 million foundation that brings donors and innovative nonprofits together. The Foundation is also home to the state’s largest online giving movement — Colorado Gives Day.

Previously, Kayla served in marketing and communication leadership roles at Denver Health, Grand Junction-based Rocky Mountain Health Plans and PacifiCare Health Systems. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Her current and recent community participation includes:

  • Jefferson County Leadership Program, Class of 2016
  • Institute for Leaders in Development, Communications Chair
  • Good News Coalition, Steering Committee
  • The Communications Network
  • Community Foundations, Connected
  • Arvada Economic Development Association, Retention Committee
  • National Philanthropy Day in Colorado, Steering Committee
  • Public Relations Society of America
  • American Marketing Association