Sarah House Board of Directors/Trustees

Join the Sarah House Board of Directors

We are currently seeking individuals to join the Sarah House Board of Directors. If you are interested in becoming a board member or for more information, please click on the attached application form.

John Francis, Chairperson

Retired, Executive Director and CEO of Redwood

John and his wife, Mary Nell, live in northwest Georgia near their three grandchildren.  John retired at the end of December 2020 from Redwood in Fort Mitchell, KY, where he was Executive Director and CEO for nearly six years.  John’s employment history includes inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse services; children’s residential treatment; foster care; special education; intellectual and developmental disabilities; clinical and administrative roles; and being a COA (Council on Accreditation) reviewer. 

John enjoys paddling one of the cedar-strip canoes he has built, hiking, photography, camping, reading, playing banjo, and spending time with his family, especially the grandkids.

John Francis - Sarah House
Kim Marcum-Mercier, RN, CPN

Kim Marcum-Mercier, Vice-Chairperson

Founder, Sarah House; RN Home Health Care and StarShine Hospice of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Kim Marcum-Mercier is the Founder of Sarah House and Sarah’s Mom. Kim has been a registered nurse for over 25 years. Before that, she worked as a medical assistant for 10 years. Graduating from The Institute of Medical-Dental Technology in 1985, she later received her Associate and Bachelors of Nursing degrees from Miami University of Ohio in 1995 and 2018, respectively. She is a 2018 MU recipient of the Ruth Ann Busald Leadership Award, and the 2022 Distinguished Service Award. Kim is also a certified pediatric nurse and a current member of Sigma Alpha Pi - The National Society of Leadership and Success.

Working in the medical profession has been a life-long calling for Kim and one she considers a privilege and a blessing. She has devoted her life’s work to primarily caring for ill children; including medically fragile children in need of private duty nursing and an occasional respite, as well as dying children on hospice. Kim has worked in pediatrics for the majority of her nursing career at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is currently employed full-time as a liaison resource nurse for CCHMC’s home health care agency. In this role, Kim helps to prepare parents and caregivers on how to safely care for their child’s health care needs at home. She also coordinates care related to discharge planning from the hospital to home. Kim’s devotion to the mission and vision of Sarah House, coupled with her years of experience in caring for medically fragile children and their families, as well as serving on the board of directors, provides her with great insight into how Sarah House should operate and continues to be an advocate for children and families in need of respite.

Kim is married and lives with her husband Bob in the Colerain Township area. Even though they had the unfortunate loss of Sarah at age 16 to childhood cancer, they have raised 3 other children to adulthood and have 2 adorable grandchildren!

Nancy Stiefvater, Secretary

Retired, Delta Air Lines & Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Nancy is a graduate of Thomas More College where she received her B.A. in Spanish. Nancy was a founding member of the Alpha Eta chapter of the Theta Phi Alpha national sorority at Thomas More. Upon graduation, Nancy worked in a variety of roles for approximately 30 years for Delta Air Lines where she had the opportunity to travel extensively around the world. She then worked as an executive assistant/marketing associate for a Cincinnati area law firm for several years. Following that, she worked for eight years as a patient services coordinator and administrative assistant in the Center for Professional Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she supported the hospital’s nursing education department. While employed at Children’s, Nancy was the president of the hospital’s chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, a member of the Veterans Advisory Council, the consumer advocate board member for the Council for Ohio Health Care Advocacy (COHCA), one of ten nominees for Cincinnati Children’s Women of the Year, a nominee for the Cares Spirit Award, and the recipient of the Jefferson Award, founded by Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy in 1972, that honors outstanding Americans for making a difference inspiring others to act.

In her spare time, Nancy is actively engaged in the community as a volunteer. As the chair and co-chair of four “Swing Fore the Cure” golf outings for breast cancer, Nancy raised over $80,000 for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Women’s Health and Wellness Center and most recently as the co-chair of a fundraiser to support Cincinnati Children’s Division of Integrative Care, over $45,000 was raised. Nancy has been a committee member for special events supporting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the University of Southern California Office for Parent Programs, the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, the Disabled American Veterans, the Over the Rhine Chamber of Commerce, The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Cincinnati’s “Red Tie” Gala, the Welcome House, and Family Promise of Northern Kentucky.  In 2019, Nancy was a committee member for the Humanitarian League’s signature fundraiser “Diva Day” which raised over $165,000 for charities helping children and companion animals that are least represented and least funded in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Nancy Stiefvater - Sarah House

Michelle Locey, CPA, Treasurer

Managing Member, Locey, Mitchell & Associates

Michelle has a Bachelor’s in Accountancy from Wichita State University and over 30 years of public accounting experience, five of those with a Big Four Accounting Firm.

Michelle has dedicated her entire career to public accounting, focusing on the needs of the nonprofit and affordable housing industries. Michelle volunteers actively with Junior Achievement, Little Miami school district, and the Animal Friends Humane Society.

Rhonda Cooper, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Nursing Faculty, Miami University; Past RN Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and StarShine Hospice & Palliative Care

Rhonda Cooper joined the Sarah House Board in January 2020.   Rhonda is a graduate from the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and has practiced for over three decades at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.   Over her career, she has practiced in inpatient, ambulatory, home care, and education leadership positions.  While working in StarShine Hospice and Palliative Care, she worked with Kim Marcum-Mercier.   It was during this time that Rhonda learned of the lack of pediatric respite and hospice services across the country and specifically here in the Greater Cincinnati Area.  During her years in pediatric hospice, she attended the initial meeting of the Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care and was involved in the Ohio Pediatric Palliative End of Life Network (OPPEN).  She retired from Cincinnati Children’s in 2019, accepting a full-time position as nursing faculty at Miami University Department of Nursing.  Kim invited Rhonda to apply for the Sarah House Board in late 2019.

Rhonda is married and lives with her husband Fred in Mason, Ohio.  They enjoy traveling, especially visiting family members who live out of town/out of state.  

Rhonda Cooper - Sarah House Co-Chair
Judy Groszek - Sarah House Board

Judy Groszek, MSN, RN, BMTCN, OCN

Transplant Coordinator, Jewish Hospital

Judy is originally from Chicago but has called Cincinnati home for 30 years. She had the wonderful experience of going to nursing school with Sarah’s mom, Kim.  Judy continued her education with a Master’s degree in Nursing from Xavier University and has been a bone marrow transplant coordinator for 14 years at Jewish Hospital. Her relationship with Sarah House spans about the same timeframe. She knew Sarah as a very special young lady and is humbled to be a part of this mission.

Judy lives in West Chester, OH with her husband Ted and has three grown married children and seven grandchildren.

Heather Herr

CEO, S Cubed Real Estate/Team Herr

Heather Herr is the Founder and Team Lead of Team Herr at Coldwell Banker Realty. Heather has over 18 years of experience in real estate, serves over 125 families or more a year. Heather and her team are in the top 1% of agents selling more than $50,000,000 in 2020. Heather was a 4 x All American National Champion athlete at Ohio State University, graduating in Art Education. Her first career was in teaching, before discovering her passion and family’s legacy in real estate. Heather also has an extensive background in software consultation and worked as part of the Siebel Systems global team CRM rollout. Prior to real estate, Heather was an Art Educator at Colerain High School. Heather is the Vice President of North Avondale Neighborhood Association, Secretary of the Cincinnati Woman's Council of Real Estate, and had served on many committees including Hyde Park Country Club, and formally the chair of many events with the American Cancer and Heart Association.

Heather has been married for almost 20 years and enjoys time with her 3 daughters ages 12, 15, and 18. Family and friendship are her passion!

Heather Herr - Sarah House
v - Sarah House

Ariel Schmid

Strategy Analyst, VITAS Healthcare

Ariel Schmid is a Cincinnati native, receiving her undergraduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati and graduate degrees from Xavier University. She has healthcare experience ranging from EMT training, direct primary care clinic back office, and an administrative residency at VITAS Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading hospice organizations, where she now works as an analyst in the Innovation & Strategy department, creating tools to ease business processes, train staff on new applications, create business models and payment policy participation plans.

Ariel appreciates the integral yet undereducated end of the healthcare continuum that hospice and palliative care fall into and looks forward to contributing perspectives and ideas backed by experience and passion for patient experience and creating a dignified, peaceful care experience.

Sarah House Advisory Board

Rebecca R. Stringer, RN

Hospice Case Manager (27 years), All Caring Hospice

Rachel Thienprayoon, MD, Clinical Liaison

Medical Director of StarShine Hospice, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia, Member of Palliative Care Team, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Norbert Weidner, MD, Co-Founder

Past Medical Director of StarShine Hospice, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia, Member of Palliative Care Team, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center