Allison has dedicated her career to the health and welfare of people across the lifespan. She brings more than 25 years of experience in community and behavioral health and nonprofit leadership. Before joining Hospice Caring in 2014, Allison was the Deputy Director at The Center for Adoption Support and Education, a nonprofit organization that provides education and counseling for foster and adoptive families.  Her responsibilities included growing the organization's capacity and visibility by building collaborative programs and strategic alliances and with public, private, and nonprofit partners. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Kensington Wheaton Youth Services, a program of EveryMind. (formerly the

United Way #8365 | CFC #42512

Hospice Caring Staff

Allison K. Stearns, LCPC, MPH

Executive Director

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County). The program provides school-based prevention and early intervention services for vulnerable children, youth and families.  Allison's professional experience also includes nine years with Prince William County Public Schools (Virginia) as the coordinator of substance abuse and violence prevention programs and several years as a therapist and supervisor in hospital-based treatment programs for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.  In the early 1990s, Allison was selected for an administrative fellowship by the National Association of Community Health Centers, and through that, she spent two years working for Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Southern California.  Allison holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University and a Master of Public Health from The Johns Hopkins University.  She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland and a graduate of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2010. Allison resides in Montgomery County with her husband and their two daughters.  

Anne Baker

Director Of Adult Bereavement Services and Training

​Anne has been involved with Hospice Caring for many years in both volunteer and staff positions. She holds a Master’s degree in Applied Healing Arts from Maryland University of Integrative Health where she also serves as an adjunct faculty member. After 35 years as a teacher and school administrator, she decided to pursue a career in hospice and bereavement services.  In addition to her role with Adult Bereavement Services, Anne facilitates our New Volunteer Training for program volunteers.

Leigh Bluestein
Director of Communications and Education 

Leigh joined Hospice Caring as the Director of Communications and Education in 2018. She has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofits in the Washington, DC area. Earlier in her career, she worked in government affairs for the American Academy of Pediatrics and as a consultant for the Association of Community Cancer Centers. More recently, Leigh worked in communications and marketing for EveryMind and Warrior Canine Connection where she developed a deep understanding of the complexities of mental health issues. Leigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Arts in Public Communications from The American University.

Gilly Cannon

Director of Children's Bereavement Services

Gilly (pronounced Jilly), brings 28 years of experience in education, counseling, community work and volunteer management in schools and hospice to her position. Gilly joined Hospice Caring as a Good Grief Club volunteer facilitator in 2013, and was hired as the Director of Children's Bereavement Services in 2016. In recent years, Gilly served as the ​Volunteer Coordinator for JSSA Hospice. She also created and coordinates a program for grieving children and their families called Bringing Books of Comfort. Gilly has a degree in education from The University of Cambridge, UK and a post-graduate certificate in counseling from the National UK Youth Agency. Originally from London, Gilly, her husband and 3 sons came to live in the USA in 2001.

Marie Daly

Manager of Volunteer Helping Hands

Formerly a high school teacher over a 21-year span, Marie earned her B.S. in English/journalism and her Master of Arts in English from The Bread Loaf School of English. Prior to moving to Maryland, she had been a Humanities professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. When she arrived in Maryland, she started volunteering at Hospice Caring because she ardently believes in its mission. She soon after joined the staff and focuses on ensuring that volunteers are matched with patients to help meet their various needs.  

Penny Gladhill

Director of Volunteer Helping Hands 

Penny founded Hospice Caring and has been an integral part of the organization ever since. In the early years, Penny served on the Board of Directors and as a caregiving volunteer. She has since joined the staff, and previously served as both the Director of Bereavement Services and of Camp Caring. Penny is known by many as the resident angel at Hospice Caring.

​Jamie Phannavong
Director of Finance

Jamie joined the Hospice Caring staff in 2001. She brings more than 25 years of experience in office administration and financial management to her position. She manages the financial operations of Hospice Caring, including oversight of finance, employee benefits, policy implementation, and contracts. Jamie holds a Certificate in Accounting and is working towards a degree in business. Originally from Michigan, she has lived and worked in Montgomery County for over 20 years. 

​​Deanie Preston
Office Manager/Administrative Volunteer Coordinator 

Deanie has been with Hospice Caring since 2016 and has many years of experience in office management in both nonprofit and business sectors. Prior to coming to Hospice Caring, she was the Office Administrator at Congregation Or Chadash in Damascus, Maryland.  She is a native of Georgia and has a B.S. in History from Georgia State University.  Her family, including two daughters, has lived in Maryland since 2006.


Mabilia Rastello
Intern Supervisor & Latino Community Liaison

301-869-4673 ext. 115
Mabilia has a passion for working with children and families.  She has worked with under- served populations in Montgomery County providing case management and counseling services.  She developed a deep understanding of the complexities of grief and loss while working with children and families whose lives have been touched by foster care and adoption. Mabilia completed her undergraduate degree at McDaniel College with a Bachelors in Social Work and Political Science and obtained her Masters in Social Work at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Mabilia is bilingual - fluent in English and Spanish. 

Tammy Schmidt, MA, NCC

Director of Camp Erin Montgomery County

Tammy brings more than 25 years of experience in the fields of mental health and summer camp programming.  Most recently, she worked as the Director of the Friendly Visitor Program at EveryMind, and prior to that, as a case manager for individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness. Simultaneously, Tammy served on the leadership team at Habonim Dror Camp Moshava, a residential summer camp near Bel Air, Maryland. Tammy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Psychology from Empire State College and a Masters in Counseling from Vermont College.   

Amy Tran
Project CHANGE - AmeriCorps Member
301-869-4673 ext. 111

Amy joined the Hospice Caring team in 2018 as the AmeriCorps Project CHANGE member working in Children’s Bereavement Services. She brings experience working with children as an intern at Cannon Road Elementary School. Amy is a recent graduate of University of Maryland College Park where she received a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She was born and raised in Montgomery County.  

Carol Walsh
Proposal Writer
Carol Walsh brings more than 35 years of senior level management experience in the nonprofit sector.​​​
She joined Hospice Caring's team in 2015 after retiring from her position as Executive Director for the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, Inc., where she facilitated collaborative program design and secured public and private funds for systems development/change and/or direct services.