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Meet the Staff

Jennifer Patterson, MS  Executive Director

Jennifer comes to Jim & Lisa’s Circle Home with a deep compassion and caring for those near the end of life. Through her experiences with personal loss, hospice volunteerism, and work as an end-of-life doula, she has discovered she feels most at home when serving the community in this way.

Her diverse background includes working in higher education as a counselor and faculty member, grant writing and program development, and fundraising development for a not-for-profit organization. Most recently, Jennifer worked as account manager for Metropolitan Jewish Health System’s Hospice and Palliative Care program in New York City, where her responsibilities included creating and maintaining relationships with hospitals and long-term care facilities, coordinating palliative care consultations, assisting in the admission of patients to the program, among other tasks.

With degrees in Applied Sciences and a Doctorate in Public Health/Specialization in Epidemiology in progress, Jennifer has a broad base of knowledge to draw from in conducting Executive Director duties for CFD. Her studies have focused on Human Development-Human Behavior, Organizational Communication, Psychology, and Medical Laboratory Technology.

Born and raised in Ulster County, she is happy to be in the place she most considers home. She is an active member of the Hudson Valley community, enjoying hobbies such as running, swimming, and hiking—and spending time with her large family: five adult children and four grandchildren!

Lys Swan, MS  Communications & Development Specialist

Lys is an educator, death doula, and shamanic healer who relocated to the Hudson Valley in 2012 after a 22-year teaching career. Since becoming an area resident, she has worked exclusively in the nonprofit sector in several administrative and educational programming roles—most recently at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center and, prior to that, at the Omega Institute and the Omega Women’s Leadership Center. A hospice volunteer since 2015, Lys is a co-founder and co-facilitator of Death Cafe Dutchess as well as two end-of-life focused Facebook page groups. She brings both her professional expertise and a commitment to compassionate death care to her work as a Circle Home staff member and looks forward to supporting CFD in its ongoing mission to provide comfort and care at the end of life.