Charlie Franz, Board President

Charlie received a Master of Social Work degree with specialization in program administration from the University of Arkansas in 1972 and is board certified in healthcare management by the American College of Healthcare Executives.  He served 25 years in the Army Medical Service Corps in a variety of healthcare administration positions, coming to Alaska in 1993 as the CEO of Bassett Army Hospital in Fairbanks.  He retired from the Army in 1995 at the rank of Colonel and then served as the CEO of South Peninsula Hospital for 12 years.  He retired again and then was asked to serve as the Administrator of Heritage Place nursing home in Soldotna where he worked from 2009 to 2015.  Charlie has been active on the Board of Directors of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, serving several terms as the Chair of the Acute Care Committee and the Long Term Care Committee; and also serving terms as the Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chairman of the Board of Directors.  He was the Alaska delegate to the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Council 2004 – 2007.  He has also been active in local community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Homer Chamber of Commerce for six years, including terms as Vice President and President.  Charlie was a member of the Vocational Education Advisory Committee of the Homer High School; a member of the Board of Directors of the Homer Infant Learning Center, and the Kenai Peninsula College Council.  His retirement activities include kayaking, gardening, beekeeping, woodworking, skiing and fishing.  Charlie had wonderful support from Hospice in Arkansas with the death of his mother and in his work in hospitals and nursing homes has seen many examples of how Hospice can help families.

Rich Kleinleder, Board Vice President

Rich Kleinleder has lived in Homer for many years, raising a family and building a home in our Cosmic Hamlet by the sea. He loves to work in his garden, catch fish, hunt moose, pick berries, and eat well. Four grandchildren bring joy and hope. He is drawn to activities that bring people together to have fun and celebrate the joys of living in this beautiful place; sports, birding, contra dancing, the arts, and recreational trails and parks. He is a wildlife biologist by training with degrees from Indiana University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks and has worked all over the State studying nature. He has had a number of different jobs since moving to Homer in 1988. A temporary job as a handyman at the Pratt Museum turned into 10 years as the Building Manager. Then he built remote controlled video transmission systems for SeeMore Wildlife, bringing sea lions, seabirds, and brown bears at McNeil to people’s living rooms. Then he worked for a multi-national corporation writing environmental impact statements for 15 years. Tired of working on the computer all day he decided to change careers again and became a Physical Therapist Assistant, going back to school at UA Anchorage. He is currently employed at South Peninsula Hospital and enjoys helping people heal and regain their functional abilities. He was on the Board of Hospice for six years, including several years as President, before taking a break for school. His new profession has given him a much deeper appreciation for how vital Hospice services are in our community.

Mike Hawfield, Board Treasurer

Michael Hawfield is a resident of Homer, Alaska, and is employed as Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College/ UAA. He is a graduate in history from Lynchburg College in Virginia, holds and MA in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed his PhD work in history at the University of Virginia. Since 1972 he has taught history classes as an adjunct or term professor in colleges and universities in Virginia, Indiana and Alaska and has been a full-time instructor in Alaska since 2008. He is the author of six books on local history (Indiana), numerous articles, and several radio programs in history (Indiana and Alaska). He entered the museum field in 1979 and has since been a director of historical museums and societies in Indiana (Fort Wayne) and in Alaska (the Pratt Museum). He has been president of the Association of Indiana Museums, Vice-Chairman of the Midwest Museums Conference, and president and executive director of Museums Alaska. He is currently treasurer of the Alaska Historical Society.

Sara Woltjen, Board Secretary

Sara Woltjen moved from Chicago, Illinois to Homer in July 1993. She is the manager of the South Peninsula Hospital General Surgery, Orthopedic and Specialty Clinic. Sara is passionate about the mission of Hospice of Homer and hopes to contribute to the organization’s continued ability to provide support to those in need of its services.

Beth Graber

Beth Graber joined the HOH board in 2009 after experiencing first-hand the important and highly supportive services hospice provides to families facing end-of-life transitions. As a long-time professor of composition and communications at the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College/University of Alaska Anchorage, a frequent community volunteer, and a former board member of other local non-profits, she hopes that her background, experience, and commitment to our mission will help ensure that our community continues to have ready and growing access to the compassionate, professional, and necessary services Hospice of Homer provides.

Lise Klein Kirsis

Lise Klein Kirsis has lived in Homer since 2004. Lise completed a graduate degree social anthropology in 1994 studying birth, death and traditional medicine across cultures. In 1999 she attended and completed training at Mass. General Hospital in Massachusetts to practice hospital chaplaincy. Finding her calling in emergency room and crisis mental health work while training as a chaplain, Lise entered the field of emergency mental health services. She completed a graduate degree in counseling along the way and has been employed from 1999 to the present as a mental health psychotherapist and emergency services clinician. She has also been called to attend many deaths and provide support to the family over the years. Lise values Hospice for a number of reasons. She has seen Hospice contribute wonderful support too many families and to individuals who are experiencing the dying process. She also feels that Hospice was incredibly helpful for her personally during and after the deaths of her mother, father and husband.

Morgan Laffert

Morgan started her journey with Hospice of Homer as an Office Volunteer in 2016 and served as a Board Member until 2017. She rejoined the Board of Directors in 2019. Since 2007, Morgan has had extensive experience in nonprofits such as at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Paul Newman’s camp for children with serious illnesses and City Year, an AmeriCorps program. She has worked in office management, recruitment, training and outreach. She loves to volunteer, laugh and dance. She has a BA in Film from SUNY Purchase and has lived in Homer with her family since 2016.

Ivy Stuart

Ivy Stuart is a Registered Nurse. After graduating from SUNY Ulster in the summer of 2005 with an associate’s degree in Nursing Ivy moved back to her home town of Homer, Alaska. SUNY Ulster is a public two-year college in Upstate New York. Ivy is currently the Home Health Director for South Peninsula Hospital. She has been working as the Home Health Manager/Director since 2014. Prior to 2014 Ivy has held a variety of nursing positions from Emergency room, ICU, Home Health, Med Surg, endoscopy, LTC, infection control and employee health. She has been an employee of South Peninsula Hospital since 2009. Ivy was born and raised in Homer Alaska, graduating from Homer High School in 1997. Ivy has been an ELNEC (End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium) trainer since February 2018. She has also been on the board for the Alaska Association of Home Care and Hospice since the beginning of 2018.

Join Our Circles of Giving
Online or Call the Office at 235-6899

Fellowship Circle
(up to $100)

Caring Circle
($101 to $249)

Kindness Circle
($250 - $364)

$-A-Day Sponsor
($365 per year)

Dignity Circle
($365 - $999)

Commitment Circle

Other donation options

Give a yearly donation to Hospice of Homer.

Regular small donations provide steady income to us throughout the year and are easier on your cash flow. You will be acknowledged for every contribution and can opt out at any time.

Make a Monthly Donation

Give a donation in memory of a dear one that will be recognized in the Hospice of Homer newsletter.

Make a Donation In Memorium

In the $-A-Day Program, each sponsor gives one dollar per day ($365/year) to support the work of Hospice of Homer. HOH sends an invoice monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually; whatever works best for the sponsor. Sponsors are thanked in the Hospice newsletter and once a year in the Homer News. Names of sponsors are posted in the HOH office.

Make a $-a-day Donation

The fund is to honor Peter Larson’s contribution to Hospice and the community. The purpose of the Peter Larson Compassion in Action Fund is to provide long-term support for Hospice and its community. The Compassion In Action Fund provides an opportunity for community members to leave a legacy of caring through a donation to the Fund.

Donate to the Peter Larson Fund

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Donate through your workplace

You may be able to double or triple your already generous donation to Hospice of Homer! Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match any charitable contributions made by their employees. Some companies also match gifts made by retirees and/or their spouses. If your company has a matching gift program, request a matching gift form from your Human Resources Department and send it completed and signed with your gift or shortly after you have made your gift. We will do the rest.

Please remember Hospice of Homer when making a charitable contribution through payroll deductions. If you or someone you know works for a company that participates in the United Way, please consider making a designated contribution through UW.

Leave a legacy that will improve end-of-life care for people in need for many years to come. Your legacy gifts ensure the continuation and expansion of Hospice of Homer. Please contact your attorney for information and update laws.

You may include Hospice of Homer when preparing your will, or ask your estate planner to add a codicil to an existing will designating Hospice of Homer when preparing your will, or ask your estate planner to add a codicil to an existing will designating Hospice of Homer as a charitable beneficiary. You may choose to leave any combination of:

  • A specific dollar amount.
  • A specific percentage, or all, of your residuary estate – the remainder left after bequests to others, debts and expenses are paid.
  • A gift in trust that pays a portion of the trust property to individual beneficiaries and a portion to Hospice of Homer.

You may designate Hospice of Homer as the beneficiary of the insurance policy. You will be entitled to an income tax charitable deduction in the year of your gift.

The principal advantage of donating retirement plan assets to Hospice of Homer is that you avoid all income and estate taxes. If you leave these assets to a non-spousal individual beneficiary, they are subject to extremely high estate tax and income taxes. You may instruct the institution that handles your retirement accounts to designate Hospice of Homer as the beneficiary of your IRA or pension plan..

Transfer assets to a trustee and each year you and/or someone you have designated will receive income from the trust. The trust may last either for a term of years or for life. The trust allows you to receive an income tax deduction now, arrange for tax-free growth of retirement assets, and receive a retirement income from the trust when you retire. When the trust ends, the remaining trust assets will pass to Hospice of Homer.

Donating in stocks to Hospice of Homer can give you significant income tax savings.

Hospice of Homer is a qualified 501(c)3 charitable organization. Tax ID: 92-0115943