Leadership Team

Jill Mendlen, Founder/CEO

Ms. Mendlen is the Founder and serves as President/CEO of LightBridge Hospice and Palliative Care and the Vice President of LightBridge Medical Associates. She also chairs the Board of Directors for LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation.  She is a nationally recognized expert in clinical program development, health care management, reimbursement and strategic direction.  She has developed and managed a variety of programs designed specifically to provide care to seniors and those with clinically complex medical conditions in a variety of settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and the community. 

Jill explains, “I am so proud, humbled and awestruck when I consider our incredible, talented and dedicated staff who come to work  every day with passion and a desire to provide the best care and support they can to the patients and families that we are privileged to serve.  The other thing that motivates me every day is how our patients and their families invite us into their lives for this journey.  I am always amazed and so appreciative that we are able to make a difference every day.

Ms. Mendlen is a recipient of the Thomas E. Spindle Award by the California Association of Health Facilities, in recognition of tireless devotion to the long-term care profession. She has been recognized as one of San Diego’s “Most Admired CEOs” and a “SD METRO Mover.” 

Pamela Hough, Senior Vice President 

Ms. Hough is Senior Vice President of Operations/Administrator at LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care.  She served on the three-member start-up team for LightBridge and was instrumental in earning the accreditation by the Joint Commission.  She also helped create and develop Ohr Ami, The Jewish Hospice Program, at LightBridge.  Ms. Hough’s background is rich in managed care experience.  She was previously Executive Director of Geriatrix, a senior care management program for nursing home residents based in Tulsa, OK, and Southern CA.  Prior to that, she led the implementation team and managed the Social HMO II Medicare Demonstration Project of Sierra Health services in Las Vegas, NV. 

Pam currently serves on the Board of Directors for the LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation and the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI)/Cal MediConnect Advisory Committee for the county of San Diego. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK.

“The part of my role at LightBridge that brings me the greatest joy,” Pam shares, “is the time I get to spend with our team -- empowering and enhancing their growth and development as leaders. Every day I am in awe of their incredible work with our patients and families.  To play a small role in encouraging them to become the compassionate and gifted leaders that the hospice profession needs is an honor.”

Emmet W. Lee, MD, FAAHPM, Medical Director 

Dr. Lee holds Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MD from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.  He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  Dr. Lee’s hospital affiliations include Palomar Medical Center and Pomerado Hospital.

Dr. Lee was first drawn to the field of hospice and palliative medicine by a desire to provide his patients with the best possible continuity of care.  He is committed to treating each of his patients as a whole person, a process that includes involving their families as active participants in the patient’s care.  Dr. Lee draws from both his experience and his continuing education in hospice and palliative medicine as he works to help other physicians and patients’ families who are supporting patients faced with life-threatening diseases or who are dealing with severe symptoms from their diseases.

Cindy Hutchinson, RN, Vice President, Clinical Operations

Ms Hutchinson has over thirty years in nursing including twenty years in administrative and leadership positions.  She owned her own consulting business where she worked with a variety of health care organizations, nationwide, including hospitals, long-term care, home care, hospice and assisted living facilities.  Her consulting emphasis was evaluation and education on compliance with JCAHO, CHAP, state and federal regulations as well as Life Safety Code requirements.  Prior to that she served as the Vice President of Clinical Operations for a large hospice in Nevada. Cindy has been with LightBridge since 2007.

“It is so rewarding to be a part of an organization that encourages us to create unique programs and opportunities for our patients and staff.  We always challenge ourselves to determine what makes us different from other hospices and as a result we have staff who are thoughtful and creative competently providing the best care possible to our patients and their loved ones.  I am inspired daily by the care our staff provides to our patients,”  Cindy says as she beams with pride.

Abigail D'Agostino, RN, BSN, MBA, Director of Patient Care Services

Abigail D’Agostino has over 11 years of wide range experience in the healthcare industry. Ms. D’Agostino obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse license and Public Health Nursing certificate in 2002. She began her nursing career in medical-surgical and critical care nursing. During this time, she attained her critical care nurse certification and earned an award for her clinical excellence. She has additional experience in clinical research.

Ms. D’Agostino has been with LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care since 2007. She began her career at LightBridge as a hospice nurse and shortly afterwards, obtained her Master’s in Business Administration in 2009. She has demonstrated proven success with increasing levels of professional responsibility and now oversees the daily clinical operations as the Director of Patient Care Services. 

Abigail finds the most rewarding thing about her role with LightBridge is working with her staff members who are genuinely committed to providing very high quality care to their patients.