NorthStar Care Community Announces Promotions in Executive Leadership and New Hire on Medical Affairs Team

Not-for-profit promotes three executive leadership positions and hires new Grand Rapids Medical Director

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (August 8, 2023) – Following the announcement of incoming president and CEO, Patrick Miller, NorthStar Care Community announces three promotions within its executive leadership suite and a new medical affairs director.

“As Patrick transitions into the role of incoming CEO, he will relinquish his responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer,” said Bob Cahill, president and CEO of NorthStar Care Community. “This opens the door for some additional changes in executive leadership to help NorthStar Care Community continue to thrive amidst the shifting dynamics and competitive hospice and palliative care industry.”

Krista Newman has been promoted to the role of Vice President, Chief Operating Officer (COO). Bringing a deep knowledge of hospice operations, exceptional strategic vision and an unrelenting drive to find new ways to deliver care, Newman will be responsible for the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of all clinical services. In this new role, she will expand her current responsibilities to include oversight of all clinical service operations and continue to cultivate and nurture NorthStar Solutions Group partnerships. Newman, who joined Arbor Hospice in 2004, received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from University of Michigan.

Eric Kaplan is stepping into the role of Vice President, Chief Information Officer (CIO). In addition to leading all information technology efforts and his extensive work with NorthStar Solutions Group partners, Kaplan will add oversight of electronic medical records (EMR) efforts to his responsibilities. This comes at a critical time as Kaplan is currently leading the exploration and evaluation of EMR solutions that will meet NorthStar Care Community’s future needs and those of its partners. Kaplan led the development of NorthStar LINC, an application that allows patients and caregivers to have round-the-clock access to the support they need at the click of a button. His efforts were instrumental in helping NorthStar Care Community provide patients with additional access to essential care. Kaplan conducted his undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, joining Hospice of Michigan in 2007, and has since amassed 16 years of experience working with various EMR systems.

Elizabeth Rocha will move into the role of Associate Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). As CNO for all NorthStar Care Community registered nurses, the not-for-profit’s largest clinical discipline, Rocha will focus on the effective delivery and productivity of the nursing function to ensure consistent quality care at the bedside, on the phone and virtually. This will include visit design, documentation, professional development, as well as recruitment and retention. Rocha received both her Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Nursing, Health/Health Care Administration/Management degrees from Aspen University and joined Hospice of Michigan as an RN case manager in 2011.

NorthStar Care Community welcomes Stuart Vander Heide, MD to its Medical Affairs team. A well-known and respected hospice physician in West Michigan, Dr. Vander Heide will initially focus his efforts as Medical Director of the Grand Rapids team and will add physician oversight of the Muskegon team in the fall. Board certified in both emergency medicine and hospice and palliative care, Dr. Vander Heide joins the not-for-profit from North Ottawa Community Hospital in Grand Haven where he served as Medical Director of Hospice and Palliative Care since 2016. Dr. Vander Heide earned his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at GRMEC Michigan State University in 2003.  In 2015, he trained at Michigan State University’s Fellowship program in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Spectrum Health. Dr. Vander Heide brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to NorthStar Care Community. His proven leadership, education and clinical abilities will be an asset to the organization and its patients.

For more information about NorthStar Care Community, visit

About NorthStar Care Community

NorthStar Care Community (NSCC) was created to preserve and promote the mission of nonprofit hospice and palliative care – to deliver expert, compassionate care to patients of any age, no matter their diagnoses, complexity of care, place of residence or ability to pay. NorthStar Care Community was formed in 2017 by two legacy nonprofit hospice agencies – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – and also includes NorthStar Palliative Care, the NorthStar Institute and Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children. As members of the NSCC family, the organizations combine operational resources in order to maximize support at each patient’s bedside, delivering the highest standards of care to those who are seriously ill. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve more than 6,100 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information about NorthStar Care Community, visit