3 from Pleasanton added to Hope Hospice board

Organization supports individuals in advanced stages of illness

Three Pleasanton residents have been elected to the Hope Hospice board of directors, joining the organization's 15-member board.

Hope Hospice, headquartered in Dublin, provides a special kind of healthcare that supports individuals in the advanced stages of an illness. It serves patients and families in Alamo, Blackhawk, Castro Valley, Diablo, Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Sunol and the surrounding communities in the East Bay.

Elected to a two-year terms, which can be extended to a total of three consecutive two-year terms, are Capt. Craig Eicher of the Pleasanton Police Department; Mary Schwind, a nurse who recently retired from Kindred Healthcare; and James R. Wark, a retired business consultant.

Eicher, who is captain of the Police Department's Operations division, has 25 years of law enforcement experience and community involvement. At the Police Department, he is responsible for patrol, traffic, the Special Enforcement SWAT team, animal services, permitting, special events and department policy.

"Craig has built relationships with community members and leaders throughout his long career," said David Karlsson, a CPA and president of the Hope Hospice board. "He brings a valuable understanding of the community to our organization."

Eicher holds a bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice from Cal State East Bay and a master's degree in Public Sector Leadership from St. Mary's College in Moraga.

Mary Schwind has had a long career in the nursing field. She recently retired from Kindred Healthcare, the largest provider of post-acute care in the country, where she served as chief clinical officer from 2006 to 2013. Prior to that, she was a principal consultant with Siemens Healthcare Division from 2003 to 2005.

"Hope Hospice will benefit from Mary's knowledge in healthcare, her experience in healthcare administration and knowledge of the community," Karlsson said.

Schwind earned her master of science degree in Health Services Administration from St. Mary's College. She is a graduate from Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing in Camden, N.J.

James R. Wark is a retired business consultant who most recently worked for 18 years at J and J Consulting. Prior to that, he worked for a total of 16 years with California-Nevada Methodist Homes, a nonprofit corporation that operates nursing and retirement homes. Wark served as president and CEO for 11 of those years before retiring from the company.

"Jim has had a long and distinguished career in business administration and finance in the healthcare, education and senior residential services fields," Karlsson said. "He brings a wealth of experience, skills and a keen understanding of the senior marketplace that will be an asset to our board membership."

Wark served in the U.S. Army and later earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University. An active volunteer in the community, he also served in leadership roles with various organizations including the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, Senior Support Services and Faith Chapel in Pleasanton.

For more information on Hope Hospice, call 1-800-HOSPICE or visit


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Posted by Thankful
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Their are no words to describe how thankful and grateful I am for organizations like Hope Hospice that help patients and their families through the end of one's life. I've had a few relatives receive hospice care and in these experiences, I saw that the angels that work for hospice are not only helpful to the patient and helping them pass with as much dignity and comfort as possible, but they also are so helpful with the family as they cope through a painful time before and after the passing of a loved one.

Those that work in hospice care are a special breed. I just can't imagine going through the peaceful passing of a few of my loved ones without the support of hospice.

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Posted by Marcia K
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

They are such a wonderful group that they even stepped forward to reach out to us and other families who had recently suffered a suicide loss in 2010 even though they had never considered this before. I do hope they continued with this program.

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