By the Bay Health

Leadership

By the Bay Health prides itself on building a mission-driven group of individuals to lead our organization. Our leadership teams include professionals and volunteers from all backgrounds who are driven by a commitment and passion to serve others.

Learn more about our leadership below.

Corporate Officers

Kitty Whitaker

 

MARY C. “KITTY” WHITAKER, RN, MS
Chief Executive Officer

Kitty Whitaker, Chief Executive Officer of By the Bay Health is a true leader in the field of home health care with over 20 years of progressive experience holding both clinical and administrative roles throughout her career. 


In 2014, Kitty was named  Chief Executive Officer of By the Bay Health where she has since led the efforts to expand the range of home health services available for patients throughout the Bay Area to include hospice, skilled home health, palliative care, pediatrics and more.


Kitty’s passion for hospice and home health care stems from her work as a bedside nurse in hospitals and care facilities where she worked directly with patients and families as they dealt with death, loss, and grief. Her experience on the frontlines of healthcare has endowed Kitty with a leadership style that puts the patient and family first. Additionally, Kitty’s ability to balance the mission and vision of By the Bay Health with astute fiscal oversight showcases her commitment to ensuring that medical services in the home are available to anyone regardless of their life circumstance or their ability to pay.


Kitty received her BA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a BSN in nursing from Dominican University. She also received a Master’s of Science in Nursing Administration from the University of California at San Francisco and has presented at state and national conferences on topics including: Hospice Along the Continuum of Care, Bridging the Gap between Clinical and Financial, Building Successful Partnerships between Hospice and Hospital, and Looking at your Organization from the Outside In.


Kitty currently lives in Marin County and enjoys playing golf with her husband Todd and friends on the weekends. She has three adult children.

Wendy Ranzau

 

WENDY RANZAU, RN, BSN
Chief Operating Officer

Wendy Ranzau (RN, BSN) brings extensive experience in managing Northern California hospice care and home health programs. The position has overall responsibility administration and oversight of clinical operations throughout Hospice by the Bay’s service area.


She joined the nonprofit health care provider in 2010 as the Sonoma County Site Manager, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2013. She moved into the agency’s top clinical position in May 2014, after then-COO Kitty Whitaker was named Chief Executive Officer.


Prior to joining By the Bay Health, Ranzau served as the Service Director for Home Health and Hospice for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. She previously worked for other hospice and home care agencies in the region.


Ranzau received training as a Registered Nurse at Napa Valley College (Napa, CA), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA), and certification as a Hospice Administrator from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She resides in the Town of Sonoma.

Denis Vischek


DENIS VISCEK
, MBA
Chief Financial Officer

Denis Viscek has served as the Chief Financial Officer of By the Bay Health since 2009. His duties also include oversight of the IT and Facilities Departments. He serves on a number of committees including Compliance, Emergency Preparedness, Quality, Systems, Epic Steering, major vendor committees and others.


Denis hails from Kansas City and holds a BS in Finance and an MBA, specializing in Management Science both from the University of Kansas.


When not working, Denis like to spend his time fishing, following the Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks, tending his bonsai and reading.


ROBERTINA SZOLAROVA
, RN, MS
Chief Administrative Officer

Robertina Szolarova joined By the Bay Health in 2003, serving in clinical leadership and quality & compliance roles before becoming CAO in 2018. She is a registered nurse by training, and received her Master’s degree from UCSF’s Health Policy Nursing program. She oversees Human Resources, Education, Quality & Compliance, Service Excellence, Marketing & Communications, and Retail Operations.


KAI ROMERO
, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Kai Romero is board certified in Emergency Medicine. She completed her residency at UCSF-ZSFGH and fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care at UC San Francisco. She continues to practice Emergency Medicine at Kaiser San Francisco, and outpatient Palliative Care at UCSF. She joined By the Bay Health in 2018.


PETER BUSSI
, MBA
Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer

Peter joined By the Bay Health in 2021. As Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, he oversees the organization’s strategic efforts to better serve patients, their families, and communities. He also serves on cross functional committees including the finance, Epic Steering, emergency preparedness, and safety committees. Prior to By the Bay Health, he served as Chief Operating Officer at CMI, a technology solutions provider until it was acquired, and served as an equity analyst at JMP Securities where he was Vice President covering the technology sector. He has also held various positions within the technology industry including Hewlett-Packard where he managed strategic alliances. Peter holds a degree in Finance from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Peter resides in Marin County with his wife and three children and enjoys skiing, backpacking, and fishing. 

Board Officers

ROBERT J. SIMON, Chair
Senior Vice President, Investments
Simon Investment Group
Stifel Investment Services

SHELBY K. DECOSTA, Vice Chair
President, UCSF Health Affiliates Network
& Chief Strategy Officer, UCSF Health

MICHAEL A. KADEL, Treasurer
Vice President of Retail Experience
SF Fire Credit Union

JO ELLEN HYLIND, RN, MNA, Secretary
Independent Consultant and
Past President and CEO of Lumetra Healthcare Solutions

Directors

Amira Barger


AMIRA K.S. BARGER
, MBA, CA, CFRE
Senior VP, Public Affairs & Public Relations at Ogilvy Communications
Marketing, DEI Executive at PRG
Adjunct Faculty at California State University

HELEN L. ABE, CIMA®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President-Financial Advisor
RBC Wealth Management

DANIEL E. COHN, J.D., Chairman
Partner, Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Amira is a seasoned fundraiser, communications strategist and DEI expert across public, nonprofit and private sectors. Her focus has included DEI programming, corporate social responsibility, coalition building, thought leadership positioning, brand, and public awareness campaigns. She is a consulting lead with a distinct multidisciplinary approach to problem solving; blending creativity and inquiry to reframe challenges and craft solutions. Amira manages insights-driven strategy and implementation of integrated campaigns that stimulate public action and interest for clients past and present including: 
Pfizer, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, Pacific Vision Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy Los Angeles, Zoetis PetCare, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Center for Environmental Health, First 5 Los Angeles, California Community Colleges, Arizona State University Online.

"I am excited to join BTBH and continue the work of advancing health equity and healthcare for communities in the Bay. The majority of my career has been focused on shapin solutions for public health issues that impact us all, and BTBH is the most timely conduit to implementing those solutions in my community."

 

Tracy Stempel

 

TRACY STEMPEL HOGAN
Director of Development
Dominican University of California

Born and raised in Marin County, Tracy Stempel Hogan attended Santa Clara University where she received a BA in English/Writing in 1980. She worked in commission retail sales for 25 years, including 15 at Nordstrom, while raising her family with husband William. During this time, Tracy also served on a number of nonprofit boards, most often in the position of VP of Fundraising.  Boards included Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross School Foundation, and Ross Valley Women's League.

In 2003, Tracy began working in Development as the Alumni/Advancement Director at Marin Catholic High School. Here, she oversaw all aspects of fundraising including capital campaigns, events, annual fund, and the creation of endowed scholarship funds, sponsorship programs, and the alumni magazine. While at MC, Tracy worked closely with the president and Board of Trustees and surpassed fundraising goals, raising tens of millions of dollars and increasing annual giving by three times. 

She was recruited by Marin Community Foundation in 2008, where she served as Director of Philanthropic Services, primarily focused on Donor Advised Funds.

In 2010, she was asked to join the Alumni/Advancement team at Dominican University of California. Here she has served in a variety of development roles including Alumni Relations, Major Gifts, and is currently Director of Development.

In recent years, Tracy has served on Boards of Directors at  Adopt a Family of Marin, To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation, and 
ExtraFood.org. She currently serves on the Santa Clara University Alumni Board of Directors, and on Advisory Boards for ExtraFood.org and Bloom (formerly Image for Success).

Tracy and her husband William live in San Anselmo and have two adult, married sons and one granddaughter. 

 

"I am truly honored to have been asked to join the board at By the Bay Health, and I look forward to serving. This outstanding organization has benefited so many families in Marin, including my own, that it feels right to give back in this way. I am excited to be a part of BTBH at this time of growth."

Greg LeClaire



GREG LeCLAIRE
CFO, Muso, Inc.

Greg is a senior financial executive who has served as Chief Financial Officer, and on the board of directors and audit committees, of both NASDAQ-traded and nonprofit organizations. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Muso, a global health nonprofit that is revolutionizing health care and serves over 300,000 patients in West Africa.

Greg received his B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and his M.S. Management degree from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.


"I am so inspired by the high quality of compassionate care that BTBH provides to people who are encountering serious illness and their loved ones. The impact BTBH’s services have on our community is immeasurable and requires a team of highly-skilled and dedicated professionals of whom I am honored to be affiliated with."

PATRICIA KENDALL
Medical Group Administrator
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center

GREG LeCLAIRE
CFO, Muso, Inc.

KENNETH MEISLIN
Principal, Meislin Investments

MICHELLE S. MOURAD, M.D.
Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs and Value, Department of Medicine, Medical Director, Transitions in Care, UCSF Health

STEVEN Z. PANTILAT, M.D.
Chief of Palliative Medicine, Division of Palliative Medicine, UCSF

GERALD R. PETERS, J.D.
Retired Attorney
Former Partner, Latham & Watkins

SCOTT TAYLOR SMITH
CEO, Viant Group & Viant Capital, a merchant bank in San Francisco

MARY C. “KITTY” WHITAKER, RN, MS
CEO, By the Bay Health

EMERITI

MARY TAVERNA, President Emeritus
Former President/CEO
Hospice of Marin/Hospice by the Bay

STEPHEN A. THAL, Chair Emeritus
Retired Certified Gemologist and founder of Fox’s St. Francis Jewelry Store, San Francisco

By the Bay Health Physicians

Kai Romero, MD – Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Kai Romero is board certified in Emergency Medicine. She completed her residency at UCSF-ZSFGH and fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care at UC San Francisco. She continues to practice Emergency Medicine at Kaiser San Francisco, and outpatient Palliative Care at UCSF. She joined By the Bay Health in 2018.

Jessica Keane, MD

Dr. Jessica Keane is board certified in Internal Medicine. She completed her residency at UC Davis and later went on to serve as Chief Resident. She practiced primary care in San Rafael for seven years before joining By the Bay Health in 2014.

Jessica Safra, MD

Dr. Jessica Safra is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She completed her residency at Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care at UC San Francisco. She practiced inpatient and clinic-based Palliative Care for three years before joining By the Bay Health in 2015.

Corby Kessler, MD

Dr. Corby Kessler is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Hospice and Palliative Care. He has provided Hospice care services for over 10 years and continues to manage a chronic pain and palliative care outpatient clinic in Napa.

Michelle Nichols, MD

Dr. Michelle Nichols is board certified in Internal Medicine. She completed her medical school and residency at UCSF. She practiced in primary care and as a hospitalist for 15 years before focusing her clinical practice on Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She joined By the Bay Health in 2017. She compliments her Hospice practice with work in medical education and serves as Medical Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Dominican University.