"I have peace of mind knowing hospice is always available to help and is here to maintain my quality of life."

Pauline Salazar, Hospice Patient
Bakersfield, CA

Optimal Hospice Foundation


Leadership Team

The Optimal Health Services Leadership is composed of highly experienced, committed professionals dedicated to providing the highest level of compassionate care to our patients and their families. The team also prides themselves on providing a supportive working environment so that our staff and caregivers are able to focus on their patients.

We are pleased to introduce you to our team.


Todd FontenotTodd Fontenot
Chief Financial Officer

Todd Fontenot serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Sr. Vice President of Finance for Optimal Health Services wherein he provides executive leadership to the company and oversees all accounting, finance and merger and acquisition activities. Todd has worked in home health and hospice for 12 years, joining Amedisys, Inc. in 2005 as the Corporate Performance Manager and worked his way up to the Regional Director of Financial Operations. In 2014, Todd served as the Chief Financial Officer for San Diego based Mission Healthcare, providing financial and operational leadership for their growing Home Health, Hospice and Private Duty operations. Todd earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Southeastern Louisiana University.


Patrick LoschkePatrick Loschke
Vice President of Business Development and Marketing

Patrick Loschke began his healthcare career as a Respiratory Therapist Practitioner licensed by the State of California. He worked in both adult and neonatal intensive care both at bedside and in leadership roles for hospital Cardiopulmonary Departments. He transitioned into the outpatient setting, working nine years in the medical equipment industry for both private and publicly held companies, including a position as Vice President of Sales for Northern California for one of the largest medical equipment companies in the U.S. In 2006 Mr. Loschke came to Optimal Health Services where he has developed new processes for the sales teams in both Home Health and Hospice and new communications tools for the marketing team including an award winning video of our hospice services. Patrick uses a combination of strong communication skills, his knowledge of sales, and his clinical background to achieve strong growth results. Mr. Loschke has a Bachelor's degree in Management and a Masters of Business Administration.


Kelly BinningerKelly Binninger
Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Kelly Binninger has been employed at Optimal Health Services since 1998 in the Human Resources Department. She began as the Human Resource Manager and was promoted first to Director then to Vice President of Human Resources. Kelly has the responsibility of providing services and support to over 300 staff at nine locations throughout the Central Valley and South Bay areas of California. She built her human resources career in a large acute care hospital setting. There she had responsibility for the redesign of the compensation program, and developed and managed the employee recognition program. Mrs. Binninger has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.


Stacey HarrisStacey Harris
Vice President of Operations - Northern California

Stacey Harris began her healthcare career as a Physical Therapist specializing in treatment and rehabilitation of neurological patients of all ages. Stacey joined Optimal Home Health in 2004 as a Physical Therapist. In 2006, Stacey became the Home Health Clinical Manager and led the clinical team of Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists. Two years later in 2008, Stacey was responsible for organizing and directing the home health operations as the Administrator for Optimal Home Health. In 2012, Stacey became the Director of Service Excellence for Optimal Health Services. Her responsibilities were to ensure compliance with all licensing, accreditation and State/Federal standards and regulations for both home health and hospice operations. Stacey was responsible for overseeing and assuring education programs and clinical auditing programs met the needs of all home health and hospice operations. In 2016, Stacey became the Vice President of Operations for Optimal Health Services where she is responsible for overseeing the Northern Territory (Fresno and Stockton licenses). Stacey is also responsible for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating daily operations to ensure quality hospice services. Stacey has a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University.


Michelle PickeringMichelle Pickering
Vice President of Operations - Southern California

Michelle Pickering began her healthcare career in palliative and hospice care with a focus on improving patient advocacy at the end of life. Michelle joined Optimal Health Services in 2017 as the Vice President of Operations serving the Southern Territory for Home Health and Hospice (Bakersfield, Lancaster and Long Beach licenses) where she is responsible for evaluating, planning, developing and implementing daily operations to ensure patients and families receive excellent quality care. Prior to joining Optimal, Michelle honed her experience by serving patients in a wide array of Post-Acute Services, including Hospice, Home Health, Palliative Care, Home Infusion and Pharmacy, Medical Equipment and Transitional Care programs. Michelle has worked with large hospital systems as well as private agencies serving both adult and pediatric patients. Most recently, Michelle served as a Board Member for the YMCA-Santa Maria and participated on the Care Collaborative for the Central Coast. Michelle is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, earning her Bachelor’s degree, has completed the MVI CEO program and has earned her Certification as both a Home Health and Hospice Administrator through CAHSAH.


Dawn KnoxDawn Knox
Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant, Dawn Knox is an integral part of the leadership team and provides critical coordination and support on key administrative projects. Responsibilities include support for the Board of Directors, company travel, and coordinating the licensing of the multiple office locations across the state. Dawn joined Optimal Health Services in 2014, bringing a wealth of administrative experience from accounting and banking institutions to volunteer, government, and health care associations.


Not Pictured:

  • Hyrum Kirton, CEO
  • Rich Dahlquist, COO
  • Jeaneatte Dove, R.N., VP of Quality
  • Troy Backus, Executive VP of Community Relations


©2018 Optimal Hospice Care. All rights reserved.