Since 1982, UpliftedCare has been setting the tone for how our community serves and supports those faced with the difficult challenge of coping with serious illness.
The leaders below cast the vision and maintain the mission.
Connie Lemon was appointed Executive Director of Hospice of Kankakee Valley in July, 2015. Ms. Lemon joined HKV in 2012 as Director of Nursing.
She has over 35 years of executive leadership in the home health and hospice industries. She has her AD in Nursing, Magna Cum Laude, from Black Hawk College, Moline, IL, and a bachelor’s degree in health care administration degree from St. Joseph’s College, Standish, Maine.
She is certified in hospice and palliative nursing. Ms. Lemon is on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Hospice and Palliative Care Association, serves on the Joint Nursing Advisory Board for Kankakee Community College Nursing Program, and Member of KCC Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle Council.
Farhan Shams, MD, HPM
Dr. Shams is the Medical Director for Hospice of Kankakee Valley. He is board certified in hospice and palliative care as well as internal medicine and has been practicing in hospice and palliative care since 2006.
Dr. Shams received his medical degree from Dow University with his post graduate training and studies though University of Illinois and Christ Medical Center.
As our Medical Director, Dr. Shams oversees the care of our patients directly with our hospice team, in addition to overseeing inpatient hospitalized hospice patients and our outpatient palliative care program.
Farhan Shams, MD, HPM
Vicki has been with UpliftedCare since 2016, working as a Case Manager, Team Leader and accepted the Director of Clinical Services position in 2019. In this role she oversees all of the clinical staff in the organization.
She currently holds an associate’s degree in nursing and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from South University in 2020. She earned her Hospice & Palliative Nursing certification in 2018.
DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL SERVICES
Yolanda Davis joined UpliftedCare in 2010. Yolanda has over 20 years of broad nursing experience ranging from the hospital setting, Nursing Home, Respiratory Therapy, and case management.
Yolanda received an associate degree in nursing in 1989, and a certificate in respiratory therapy in 1983 from Kankakee Community College.
Currently, Yolanda works as the Director of Compliance and oversees the volunteer department and all of the regulatory and compliance facets of the organization.
DIRECTOR OF COMPLIANCE
Karen Vulich joined UpliftedCare in 1996. Karen oversees all financial related activities of the organization, including financial management and reporting, budgeting, billing, health/liability insurance and retirement plans. Karen currently serves on the Finance/Information Systems Steering Committee with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Prior to working at UpliftedCare, Karen held various roles in the insurance industry in account management and underwriting for national group health insurance clients.
Karen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from DePaul University.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Paige Billings has been with UpliftedCare since 2017 starting as a Social Worker and then accepting the position as Director of Social Services in 2021. In that role she oversees the Social Work, Chaplain, and Bereavement departments.
Paige holds a bachelors’ degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master’s degree from Aurora University both in Social Work. Paige became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in June of 2020.
DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES
Becky has been employed at UpliftedCare as a Director of Human Resources since 2013.
Having worked mostly in the areas of Human Resources and Accounting for the past 25 years, Becky worked for Shaw Newspaper for 16 years before beginning her career at UpliftedCare.
Becky serves on the Board of KAHRMA (Kankakee Area Human Resources Association) as Treasurer.
Becky earned an associate’s degree in accounting from Joliet Junior College. She holds a professional certification through the national human resources organization – SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management).
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Katie Canada joined the UpliftedCare team in 2016 as the Director of Business Development. She currently oversees the marketing, contracts, community relations, new program and service development and bereavement events.
She has 10 years of clinical experience working in long-term care and earned her business marketing degree from Kankakee Community College in 2011. Katie will be completing a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois in 2022 and plans to earn her masters degree in public administration in 2024.
Katie sits on various committees throughout the community and serves as secretary on the board of directors for the Iroquois County Chamber of Commerce.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS & DEVELOPMENT
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If you are living with a serious illness or caring for someone that is, we’re here for you, wherever you are, whenever you need us.