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Who We Are

Home Director

Elise Lark, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C
CFD Founder

Elise Lark is the visionary founder of Circle of Friends for the Dying. Her passion for this project was ignited by her work as a clinical social worker at the HealthAlliance Hospital Oncology Support Program, and furthered as a member of the Palliative Care Team. These experiences led her to recognize the need for alternative end-of-life care settings in our community. Working in both the hospital and its Cancer Support House has allowed her to observe how setting influences the quality of care and relationships within, and the natural sense of ease elicited by a home environment. These interests led Elise to return to school with the goal of investigating community-based end-of-life residences and to the discovery of the Home for the Dying care model (aka Comfort Care Home). Her research culminated with her PhD dissertation, Making Space for Dying: Portraits of Living with Dying (2014), introducing this model to the literature. Through her fieldwork, she has observed the truly wonderful healing and educational benefits of this simple but elegant care model for residents, families, lay caregivers, and the communities they serve.

Jess Bradley, RN, CHPN  Resident Care Coordinator
Jess comes to Jim and Lisa’s Circle Home with over a decade of nursing practice in several areas of our health system, including experience in the medical/surgical hospital setting and critical care. It was this experience that paved the way to finding her career in hospice care. Jess served the communities of Ulster and Dutchess counties as an RN case manager for Hudson Valley Hospice in the home care setting for several years. She then advanced to the role of Director of Patient Services in Ulster county, supporting a team of 20+ hospice RNs in delivering at-home end-of-life care in our community. After three years in nursing management, Jess decided to return to bedside hospice care, where she feels the most at home and is able to provide the most positive impact.
Dedicating time to those near the end of their lives has manifested a deep appreciation for the gifts that life has to offer: family, friends that have become family (human and furry), exploring the natural world, hiking, and snowboarding. Jess’s gratitude for life is expressed through her patience, compassion, non-judgement of others, and persistent empathy for all. Her mission  aligns with Circle Home in her efforts to provide dignity to those most in need, through sensitivity and tenderness.