Senior Leadership

As an organization with thousands of active volunteers nationwide, Compassion & Choices relies on dedicated leaders and advisors to coordinate outreach and shape direction.

Kim Callinan MPP, MBA, PMP

President and Chief Executive Officer

Kim Callinan is the President and CEO of Compassion & Choices, where she has had a leadership role in realizing patient directed end of life care for the past seven years. She launched the Finish Strong initiative, designed to empower patients to take charge of the final chapter of their lives; played a leadership role in the authorization and implementation of medical aid in dying into six new jurisdictions; and launched an initiative to address the inequities in end of life care and planning for historically underserved communities. Kim is frequently invited to speak at conferences, testify before state legislatures, conduct policy briefings and serve on committees as an expert on end-of-life care options.

Barbara Coombs Lee, PA, FNP, JD

President Emerita/Senior Adviser

Barbara Coombs Lee is president emerita/senior adviser of Compassion & Choices, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. Previously, she had a 25-year career as a nurse and physician assistant, during which she often cared for terminally ill patients.

Brandi Alexander

Chief Engagement Officer

Brandi Alexander is the Chief Engagement Officer for Compassion & Choices, and she has been with the organization for nearly 20 years. Her dedication to educating people about having autonomy over all aspects of life, including at the end of life, has been a driving force in her career. At Compassion & Choices, she is responsible for outreach to the following communities: Clinicians, African Americans, Latino, Faith Leaders, People with Disabilities, LGBTQ+ and Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.

Elizabeth Armijo

National Director of Legislative Advocacy

Elizabeth Armijo is a long-time health promotion advocate and community organizer in New Mexico. She has worked extensively within diverse communities, collaborating with populations who experience disparities and injustices. As a mentor, an employer, and an advocate, she has promoted inclusiveness and cultural awareness in all her initiatives. Her career and life passion have been rooted in promoting access to quality health care, women’s empowerment and racial justice.

Trish Bernstein

Chief Operating Officer

Trish Bernstein joined Compassion & Choices in 2013. She began as the director of family and client services and was soon promoted to chief operating officer. Trish oversees human resources, information technology, the End of Life Consultation department, facility management and the administrative functions of Compassion & Choices’ board of directors.

Michael Cavaiola

National Director of Marketing & Communications

Michael Cavaiola is a marketing and communications executive with decades of experience in the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors. Michael leads Compassion & Choices’ strategic communications, media relations, design and video production efforts. Prior to joining Compassion & Choices in 2020, Michael headed up the public information office for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation. He also worked as a state government relations professional, on Capitol Hill and as a TV producer and journalist for C-SPAN and Discovery Channel.

Jessica Empeño

National Director of Clinical Engagement & Educatio

Jessica Empeño is a medical social worker with over 23 years’ experience as a clinician, leader, educator and advocate specializing in end-of-life care, dementia, caregiver support, program development and leadership. Jessica has a Masters of Social Work degree from San Diego State University and certificates in Health Law & Policy, Dementia Positive Approach to Care, Human Services Management and Interdisciplinary Palliative Care.

Berly Laycox

National Director Digital Strategy

Berly Laycox is the National Director of Digital Strategy for Compassion & Choices. In this role, she provides direction for our digital advocacy and fundraising efforts. Berly comes to Compassion & Choices with over 14 years of experience in marketing and communications and a passion for listening to people and data.

Mickey MacIntyre

Chief Strategy Officer

Mickey MacIntyre has served Compassion & Choices and the end-of-life choice and care movement since 2005. As a consultant, development director, chief program officer or chief strategy officer, Mickey supported C&C’s trajectory to being the leader in its class as a national policy, advocacy, and education game changer.

Charmaine Manansala

Chief Advocacy Officer

Charmaine Manansala is the Chief Advocacy Officer at Compassion & Choices. She was instrumental in California’s successful campaign to authorize medical aid in dying in the nation’s most populous state and led the efforts to pass similar legislation in the District of Columbia, Hawai’i, and New Jersey. Charmaine is now in charge of the state teams to authorize, ensure access, protect, and improve medical aid in dying and the full range of end-of-life options.

Bernadette Nunley, National Director of Policy

Bernadette Nunley, JD

National Director of Policy

Bernadette Nunley leads the Compassion & Choices Policy Team. Together with staff across the organization, the team develops federal and state policies to authorize, ensure access to, protect, and improve the quality of end-of-life care and the full range of end-of-life options.

Jonathan Patterson

Chief People & Culture Officer

Jonathan Patterson is the Chief People & Culture Officer at Compassion & Choices. He previously served as the Staff Attorney, where he provided consultation for a wide variety of legal matters, including the issues of unwanted medical treatment, medical aid in dying, and end-of-life decision making. He is a frequent national speaker on available end-of-life options and empowering consumers to make healthcare decisions in line with their values.

Kim Taccini

National Director of Operations

Kimberly Taccini has two decades of success managing program operations and communications campaigns for foundations, nonprofits and government agencies. She has applied her expertise in project management and communications to advance public health goals ranging from improving hearing health to covering the uninsured.

Samantha Trad

National Director of Care Advocacy

Samantha Trad is the National Director of Advocacy for Compassion and Choices, the nation’s oldest, largest and most active non-profit organization dedicated to empowering everyone to chart their own end-of-life journey. In this role, Samantha passionately works hard to expand patient-centered and patient-directed end-of-life care across the country, which includes making sure people have the tools they need to plan for a possible dementia diagnosis and other serious illness.

Compassion & Choices
8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

Mail contributions directly to:
Compassion & Choices Gift Processing Center
PO Box 485
Etna, NH 03750

VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.