who we are
Meet Our Team
Our team focuses on providing the best possible care to the patients and families who come to us. Because of our excellent reputation in the community and unparalleled quality patient care, we have served over 32,000 patients since our founding in 1982.
Mary Kay Sheehan
Chief Executive Officer
Mary Sheehan has been the CEO of Lightways since December of 2015. Mary has 32 years of experience in the hospice and palliative care industry in a variety of clinical, administrative, and consulting roles. With 18 years as an executive, she has broad knowledge regarding the clinical, financial, and operational aspects of both hospice and palliative care.
Mary has a master’s degree in oncology nursing from Loyola University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. In the last 20 years, Mary has spoken regionally and nationally on end-of-life care. She has also served on many state and national committees and boards. She is currently serving as Chair of the Illinois Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s Board of Directors, is a member of Joliet Rotary Club’s Board of Directors, and is Vice Chair of the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s Legislative Committee.
Mary has been married for over 30 years to her husband John and they have two adult sons. Many weekends, John and Mary do ballroom dancing and compete with other amateurs.
Chief Operating Officer
Cindy Brassea is the Chief Operating Officer at Lightways since she joined the agency in March 2019. Her role at Lightways is to provide leadership, management, and the vision necessary to ensure that proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems are in place to effectively grow the organization.
Cindy has 35 years of healthcare experience, starting as a staff RN and working up to management and later administrative positions. Prior to joining Lightways in March 2019, Cindy was a VP of Clinical Service, CNO and COO with Franciscan Health at their two-campus hospital facility.
Cindy’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Joseph College of Nursing, Joliet, an MBA from Olivette Nazarene University, and an MHA from University of St. Francis, Ft. Wayne, IN.
In addition to serving on the Lightways Board, Cindy also serves on the Will County Community Health Center Board. Cindy has been married to her husband George for over 35 years and they have three adult sons. In her personal time, Cindy enjoys cooking, taking walks, and biking.
Anne Van Oost
Chief Financial Officer
Anne Van Oost is the CFO at Lightways. She is responsible for all areas of financial management for the organization. Anne brings over 20 years of finance experience with a background that includes financial leadership experience in healthcare and nonprofit sectors.
Prior to joining Lightways in September 2018, Anne served as the Chief Financial Officer at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, a Chicago community development and affordable housing development organization, and as Chief Financial Officer at JourneyCare Hospice where she led financial operations for over 10 years.
Anne earned her MBA and bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Loyola University of Chicago. She also completed the Executive Scholarship Program in leadership and management at the Kellogg School of Management.
Anne has been married 30+ years to her husband Bob and they have three adult daughters. Anne enjoys spending time with her family and attending sporting events.
Dr. Muhamad Krad
Dr. Krad is Medical Director of Lightways since July 2018. Dr. Krad is a specialist in Internal Medicine who for the previous year worked part time at Lightways while at Amita Health serving Adventist Hospitals in LaGrange and Hinsdale. Prior to this, Dr. Krad practiced both hospital and hospice medicine at Palos Health from 2011–2016. In his role as Lightways’ Medical Director, Dr. Krad provides expert pain management and symptom control while ensuring that every patient’s care wishes are honored, that the hospice team is supported, and the goals of care set for each patient are being achieved.
Dr. Krad graduated with honors from Loyola University Chicago, followed by a masters at Georgetown University and subsequently Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. He completed residency at the University of Chicago and has grown up and lived most of his life in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.
Dr. Krad and his wife Yassmean have four children between the ages of 12 and 4. In his personal time, he enjoys spending quality time with family.
Sr. Director of Development
Eileen Gutierrez joined the Lightways leadership team in January 2020. She is responsible for overseeing all fundraising, friendraising, and marketing.
Prior to joining Lightways, Eileen was the Director of Development and Project Liaison at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet, IL. In that role, she was instrumental in facilitating a seven-year strategic plan for the cathedral, marketed and administered the Centennial Capital Campaign which raised more than $1.8 million, and overseeing capital improvements at the parish. She was named St. Raymond Nonnatus Woman of the Year in 2015.
Eileen earned her Bachelor of News-Editorial Journalism from University of Illinois. She has served on the Cathedral Area Preservation Association Board and is a member of the Board of Directors at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home.
Eileen resides in Joliet with her husband of 25 years and two college-age children.
Sr. Director of Operations
Julie Mulhollan is Senior Director of Operations and in this position is responsible for agency quality, compliance, human resources and education. She also serves as Chief Compliance Officer for Lightways. Julie joined Lightways in 2018 as Director of Quality and Compliance.
Prior to joining Lightways in fall 2018, Julie worked for over 35 years in the acute healthcare industry holding a variety of management and senior leadership positions in a wide range of operational areas including Inpatient Nursing, Diagnostic Imaging, Cardiology, Women’s and Children’s Services, Oncology, Therapies, and Patient Access. She most recently held the position of Vice President of Clinical Services at Franciscan Health–Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields.
Julie received her BSN from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Health Administration from University of St. Francis.
Julie, her husband Brian and college-age son reside in Frankfort, Illinois.
Director of Information Technology
Miguel Espinoza joined Lightways in June 2018 as Information Technology (IT) Director, where he is responsible for directing all aspects of IT. Miguel works in conjunction with Lightways Senior Leadership and Directors to identify new technologies and provide solutions aligned with the business purpose. Miguel’s expertise includes project management, business analysis and process improvement. Miguel’s career extends nearly 20 years, all dedicated to the nonprofit sector.
Prior to joining Lightways, he served as IT Manager with Horizon Hospice. Horizon Hospice merged with JourneyCare and Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center in 2015 and he was promoted to Service Desk Lead-Manager. Miguel’s early career was Senior IT Manager at St. Vincent De Paul Center Child Care where he was responsible for infrastructure and technology to support the Center.
Miguel earned a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from University of Phoenix. Miguel became a group fitness instructor in 2008 and enjoys teaching Latin Fusion, Cardio Kickboxing and No Limits at Lifetime Fitness. He resides in Romeoville with husband, Juan.
Director of Clinical Services
Chris Kelly is the Director of Clinical Services at Lightways. Chris joined Lightways in 2011, and for the first five years worked as an RN in the Hospice Home inpatient unit, learning the hospice culture and developing symptom management skills. She was promoted to Inpatient Unit Manager helping to lead the staff in providing quality patient care, and assisting in the design of the capital project for the addition and renovation of the Lightways inpatient unit. Recently, Chris has moved to the position of Director of Clinical Services where she oversees the clinical staff in both the inpatient unit and the field.
Prior to joining Lightways, Chris worked at Sunny Hill Nursing Home as a House Supervisor where she supervised and coordinated all nursing staff in various departments as needed.
Chris has three adult sons with her husband of over 30 years and lives in Manhattan.
Director of Grief Support
Patrice Martin is the Director of Bereavement at Lightways. In this role since October 2018, Patrice oversees Lightways’ growing Bereavement Program, which provides bereavement education and support to Lightways’ hospice families and community members that have experienced the death of a loved one.
A hospice social worker for over 15 years, Patrice joined Lighways in 2016 as a field social worker. Prior to that, Patrice was a social worker at VITAS Healthcare and worked as a social worker, counselor and team manager in the child welfare setting in Chicago from 1994 to 2003.
Patrice is a licensed clinical social worker and earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the proud mother of a 16-year-old daughter and enjoys gardening, cooking, riding her bike, and traveling.
Director of Business Development and Inpatient Services
Mary Rossio is the Director of Business Development and Inpatient Services at Lightways. Mary’s primary role is community outreach and establishing relationships with other health care professionals. Much of Mary’s time includes educating the community on end of life care and how Lightways can help patients and families in need.
Prior to joining Lightways in 2016, Mary had 18+ years of healthcare experience that includes hospice, hospital, long term care and pharmacy benefit management. Mary received her Bachelors of Science in Health Service Administration from Lincoln College and a Master of Public Health from Concordia University. She proudly sits on the Board of Directors for various organizations within Grundy County.
Mary loves to entertain–doing her own cooking, decorating, and flower arranging (a skill she gained from her mother who was an owner-florist for 43 years)–and spending time with her friends and their children.
Director of Human Resources
Sue Schaller is the Senior Director of Human Resources at Lightways. Sue is responsible for recruitment, compensation, benefits administration, employee orientation, worker’s compensation, and short-term disability. Sue has over 25 years’ experience in Human Resources working in both union and non-union environments. Sue came to Lighways in 2003 as the first Director of Human Resources for the organization.
Prior to joining Lighways, Sue worked for several large transportation companies in the Human Resource Department. These included Terminal Freight Handling Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears, and American President Lines, a Fortune 500 international transportation company. Sue also was a Human Resources contractor working at Exelon Nuclear, Budget and Underwriter’s Laboratories.
Sue received an Associate in Applied Science from Joliet Junior College and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Lewis University. Sue is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Sue is a life-long equestrian who after years of showing horses, now enjoys weekend trail rides with friends. Her Plainfield home (and barn) accommodates her two horses, Dreamer and Toby, well.