Rainy Sauer, MDiv, BCC, is a chaplain specializing in palliative care at Chaplaincy Healthcare in the Tri-Cities, WA. She has been instrumental in developing their current model of care for palliative patients in the community outpatient setting. She received a Master of Divinity from St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN and completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. Rainy was a fellow at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where she studied medical ethics, working primarily with bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients, and was fortunate for the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Stu Farber on his palliative team at the UW Medical Center. In 2012, she was Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains and in 2017, received a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from the UW. Rainy is a proud mother of her children and grandchildren, who loves to hike, travel, make wine and practice yoga.
Jim Schmidt, M.Min,
is a hospice a spiritual care provider/supervisor and bereavement coordinator for Horizon Home Health and Hospice in Meridian, Idaho. He completed his Masters of Ministry degree from Northwest Nazarene University in 2002, his extended unity of clinical pastoral education at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in 2005. Jim has been providing spiritual and grief support since 2005 in both the Boise area and initially on the Oregon coast in the Brookings/Gold Beach area of southern Oregon. He participated in the 2019-2020 University of Washington’s Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care cohort. Jim enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys working on his 1970 Ford Mustang, fishing on the Snake River and time in the outdoors.
Michael Ross, MD
is an attending emergency medicine physician at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. He earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City and finished his Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson. After a short stay in Bozeman, Montana, Mike and his family have lived in Boise, Idaho since 2003. He has had a longstanding interest in Palliative Care and completed a graduate certificate from the University of Washington in 2019. Mike is now focused on education within the health care system and promoting the benefits of early palliative care for patients. Outside of the emergency department, Mike loves spending time with his wife and daughter, and enjoys doing anything and everything outdoors.
Gina Quiles-Pollard, RN, BSN is a Director of Patient Care Services for Walla Walla Community Hospice in Walla Walla, WA and recently participated in the 2019-2020 University of Washington’s Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care cohort.
Early in her nursing career, which spans over 20 years, she focused on pediatric care in South Florida’s Memorial Healthcare System where she cared for pediatric patients in the emergency, medical, surgical, and oncology departments. After thirteen years of rewarding work she and her family made the cross country move to the Pacific Northwest. While in Walla Walla she led teams in family medicine, cardiac service lines, and currently in palliative and end of life care. She has also participated in research studying the relationship of diabetes in the local Latino community. Gina loves her Cuban coffee in the mornings and salsa dancing to Celia Cruz in the evenings with her family.
Zachary Erekson, MD is the medical director of palliative care at St. Luke’s, and offers medical and supportive care to patients living with serious, life-threatening illnesses. As a palliative medicine specialist, he takes a goal-oriented approach to medical care. Dr. Erekson works with patients to explore their goals and values, then teams with other healthcare professionals in providing meaningful care.
Dr. Erekson has worked as a hospitalist, a palliative care provider, and a hospice provider. His has conducted research into and taught others about open and compassionate communication with patients and their loved ones.