About Our Staff
Peter Holewinski – Co-Owner
After leaving northern California to complete undergraduate and graduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University, I pursued a 30-year career in the financial services industry. This took my wife, Mary-Frances Walsh, and I to live in wonderful cities across the USA and abroad as we raised our family. But as parents of three young adults who are moving forward in their own careers and studies, we chose to return to Sonoma County where family roots run deep. And to pursue our goal of making a difference by providing a service that truly meets a vital community need.
My family goes back four generations in Sonoma County. My great-grandfathers were both immigrants from Tuscany. One lived independently well into his 90s on a hillside ranch in Alexander Valley; he grew his own food, kept a few ranch animals, and made a little local wine. [With my mother, now in her 80th decade, we’re enjoying life on this same property]. A second great-grandfather raised his family in Healdsburg, where he worked with local farmers to ship their produce to points east and ran the Cerri general store, now the site of Costeaux French Bakery.
Living well at home has been important to my family across the generations and because of this, I know that there are times when helping hands are needed. Home Care Assistance has a proven track record for quality of service, integrity and caregiver training – each essential to providing older adults who need help maintaining quality of life and their families, with peace of mind. I look forward to playing an active role as a community resource for aging well in Sonoma County.
Mary-Frances Walsh – Co-Owner
Early in my career, my graduate studies in Health Care Administration at The Johns Hopkins University led to valuable experiences in hospital administration and health services planning in New York City and Chicago. Later on, life brought experiences in caring for an elderly loved one long distance.
My mother, who reached the grand age of 102, spent her 80s and 90s with no immediate family living nearby. When she began experiencing minor falls and increased mobility challenges, we sought assistance from a placement service and were urged to move her to an assisted living facility for her safety. Home Care was not presented as an option at that time.
While her essential needs were met in assisted living, it also meant giving up many of her favorite daily routines: shopping for and preparing meals, walking to church to attend daily mass, and frequently connecting with long-time friends. She would have loved to have had the support needed to remain safely in her own home – someone to help with errands, accompany her on walks, etc.
Toward the end of her life, my mother’s health challenges increased. On several occasions she was sent to the emergency room for pain; minimal weekend staffing at the assisted living facility meant that they were not able to monitor her condition effectively. So she was repeatedly admitted to the hospital, observed overnight, and then returned to assisted living – feeling exhausted, weakened and alone. And living far away, her family was left worried and feeling helpless.
How much better all of us would have been with a knowledgeable Care Manager in place to help us understand what was happening and how best to help her – and a trained Caregiver to help her regain strength post-hospitalization.
Rikki Jacobsen – Client Care Manager
Rikki moved to Petaluma with her husband and two sons from Sebastopol, CA, in 2015. They believe in raising their sons in a family-oriented environment and are grateful to now be close to both sets of grandparents and the boys’ great grandmother.
Originally from Washington State, Rikki moved to Half Moon Bay with her mother and brother in 1997. As a teenager she was recruited by her grandmother’s bridge group to be an honorary member of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The group’s mentorship of women and girls fostered Rikki’s love of the arts and learning; it also taught her the importance of community and philanthropy. The friendships developed led to her appreciation and passion for working with older adults. Thirteen years later, Rikki is proud to contribute her knowledge of case management to the Home Care Assistance Sonoma County team.
Latifa Lovelyn-Chandler RN – Client Care Manager
A native Texan, I moved to Sonoma County ten years ago to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse. Several years ago I witnessed the healthcare system miserably fail someone dear to my heart. Eye-opening and heart-wrenching, the experience inspired me to become the change I-wished-to-see in health care.
I have been taking care of others for as long as I can remember. After graduating from the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) nursing program, I recently achieved my goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. Although nursing comes with challenges, it is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I love what I do!
I know that it takes a village to make our client’s care complete, which is why I value teamwork and believe two heads are better than one. I have a strong drive to succeed, a lot of heart, and an incredibly strong work ethic. I take every client’s story and experience to heart. I became a nurse because I have a strong desire to help others, and I love working with our clients. I do my best to provide the best care I can possibly give.
As Community Outreach Chair for the SRJC Student Nurse Association, I facilitated my classmates’ participation in many community events and organized clothing and food drives for the homeless and disenfranchised of Sonoma County. At graduation I was honored with the Nightingale Award, given to a graduate nurse who embodies the core values of nursing with an emphasis on the provision of holistic, patient-centered and compassionate care. I look forward to working with you and your loved one.
Toni LeCompte – Employee Care Manager
Born in San Francisco, I chose to move to Sonoma County some 25 years ago to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. After raising two sons and being blessed as a grandparent, I began asking myself where I could be of help to others. Starting a house cleaning business was my answer and in time, I found my clients asking whether I knew anyone who provided home care services. I realized then that house cleaning did not offer the kind of personal connections that I sought in a career.
After more than two decades of experience as an in-home Caregiver, I have gained a broad knowledge of the field by serving a wide range of clients. At UC Davis, I earned a certification as a Children & Family Services Eligibility Worker and at Santa Rosa Junior College, as a Certified Nursing/Home Health Aide. I’ve also completed certificates in Complementary & Alternative Medicine, End-of-Life Issues, Being With & Caring for the Dying, Storytelling, Life Review, Grief & Loss Rituals and Managing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & Dementias. Home Care and Health Care are my passions, as is helping others to have a fulfilling quality of life at any age.