In August of 2021, Transitions will begin servicing both hospice and palliative care patients in Southeast Michigan. Our initial service area will include Detroit, Flint, Troy, Livonia, Royal Oak, Lansing, Brighton and other surrounding areas, with hopes to continue expanding our footprint in Michigan as we progress. 

For this month’s Spotlight, we sat down with Jonathan Lemaire, the VP of Business Development who will oversee growth in Michigan. Jonathan has over 13 years of experience growing hospices in Michigan, and we are excited to see what he and the rest of our Michigan team will accomplish.  Read below to learn more about his background, goals and motivations going forward. 

Q: What is your background and past experiences with hospice? Any other personal information or facts as well to get to know you better. 

A: I started as a CNA in high school where I had my first experience with Hospice, working at a local memory care facility. I was there for 7 years working my way through college and truly found my calling. Along the way, I met a fabulous nurse by the name of Brandi Allen who took me under her wing and taught and trained me in all things hospice related. Throughout our 13-year career together, we have built and grown two of the largest hospice agencies in the state of Michigan. This calling is one of the most rewarding jobs you can ever do. Working with families, gaining the trust and becoming an extended part of the family throughout some of the hardest days they can go through has truly been a wonderful experience. I sleep well at night knowing these individuals are in some of the best hands possible and look forward to giving an even better experience here at Transitions.

Q: What brought you to Transitions? 

A: I have been in home health and hospice for nearly 14 years, and, in my career, there were ups and downs with a lot of empty promises made to me and my team when it came to the philosophy of hospice. Patients became numbers, and quality always was put on the back burner when it came to care because of the financial gain; I typically leave a company when they cut corners. For the first time in about 7 years, I feel that spark and that drive and I am truly excited about hospice again – because of Jim Palazzo and his vision, structure, and philosophy. Doing the right thing for your patients is not always the easiest. I feel at Transitions we get to live up to the promise of hospice and deliver on that promise for the first time in a long time. 

Q: What is your involvement with the VA and volunteering in Michigan? 

A: I volunteer with Wheelin Team 457, a 501(c)(3) non profit. The organization’s president is Ray Brown, a close friend and former marine. I was brought into the group as a medical advocate helping some apply for VA benefits but also helping them acquire medical equipment that they could not get covered through the VA or through insurance. From there, I became a member and currently help them arrange several events as well as sponsor them when it comes to the paralympics. 

Founded in 2003, Wheelin’ Team 457 is located at the American Legion Post 457 in North Branch, Michigan. Based in the thumb of Michigan, it serves the surrounding counties as far north as Essexville and as far south as Roseville. Wheelin’ Team 457 has mentored and demonstrated its talents and knowledge to schools, hospitals, businesses, rehabs and municipalities. Its accomplishments include awards and successes with local, state and national records. We are 5 years undefeated in the Michigan and Ohio Wheelchair games. We were recently named top team at the Thunder in the Valley Games and nominated to the Michigan Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame. Wheelin’ Team 457 provides not only competition at wheelchair sports events but provides local seasonal hunting and fishing events.The team and its members have been featured on outdoor shows, news and media. The organization strives to touch the world and I look forward to continuing to make an impact with them in the future. 

Q: What are you most excited about as we expand into Michigan? 

A: I am most excited about building the Transitions brand in Michigan and opening up multiple branches to deliver the care that these patients deserve.I love to build things from the ground up, the right way. I believe establishing our teams clinically and delivering the Transitions model is going to be a huge success because no one else is doing this, which gives us a huge competitive edge.    

Q: What are your goals for the team in Michigan in the first 6 months? First year?

A: In the first 6 months, I am focused on building relationships and awareness of Transitions’ philosophy and approach. Ultimately to support those who can benefit from hospice and palliative care, because it’s all about living.

We are so excited to see what Jonathan and his team can do and cannot wait to get started in Michigan. If you know of anyone who is in need of hospice or palliative care in these areas in Michigan, please do not hesitate to call Transitions at 877-726-6494.