Our Staff at BrightStar Care® Kane County

Our experienced and compassionate staff is dedicated to caring for your loved one as if they were family. Get to know our team.

  • Don Forlani

    President / Co-Owner
    With three grandparents who battled and ultimately succumbed to Alzheimer's disease, Don, like so many members of our BrightStar team, knows what it is like to care for a family member in need. Our team cared for Don’s beloved grandmother, Angelina, who has since passed, and continues to care for his mom. As an owner of the company since 2008 and in his current role as President, Don is responsible for the overall operations of BrightStar Care. His dedication to innovation ensures that we are in constant pursuit of improving the care we provide.  Don is also an owner of a BrightStar operation in the Houston area. His free time is dedicated to his wife, Natalie, his son Enzo, and his family’s Aussiedoodle, Stella.
    Dan Forlani
  • Gail Fusz, MS, RN,CHCE

    Director of Nursing
    Gail has over 30 years of home health experience. In her role at BrightStar, Gail oversees the nursing and caregiver teams and coordinates their orientation and training.  Gail conducts chart audits, performance improvement activities and quality assurance projects to ensure that BrightStar is always rendering the best care possible. She promotes professionalism among her nurses and encourages them to acquire new clinical skills.  Gail also teaches her nurses how to manage a caseload of clients using organizational skills.  Gail has an active weekend life with her husband, grandchildren, and dog Chopper!
    Gail Fusz
  • Crystal Fitpold, RN

    Director of Operations
    As our Director of Operations, Crystal leads, manages, and holds all agency staff accountable to deliver consistent, safe, compassionate, and high-quality care to every client. She is the one who makes sure all of our clients, both individuals and organizations, receive the appropriate staff to fit their particular needs. In her tenure at BrightStar, Crystal has served in almost every capacity. She began as a Staff Nurse, providing care for our clients, then as a RN Care Manager providing client care oversight, followed by serving as our Director of Nursing and now as our Director of Operations. She truly understands what it takes to provide quality care for our clients and the service that their families expect. Outside of the office, you will almost certainly find her head in a book, or her feet in the sand, or both!

    Crystal Fitpold
  • Karol Coloma

    Recruiting Manager
    Karol is the heart of our office - always focused on making sure we start our days with gratitude and stay focused on making a difference in the lives of our clients and employees. Her background in healthcare leadership allows Karol to fill just about any role, but connecting with people as Recruiting Manager is where she truly shines. By the time our recruits first meet Karol face to face, they already feel like family. She is a natural teacher and excels at guiding and preparing our staff to provide compassionate, client-centered care in the homes of our clients. She is dedicated to ensuring that our Caregivers and CNAs are shining examples of our organization’s core values. Karol never misses an opportunity to Make it Great and Serve with Passion. Her positive energy, compassion, and love for others are palpable. When she’s not connecting with our staff, she is enjoying time with her husband and extensive family of five marvelous children and a wild, lovable dog named Luna.
    Karol Coloma
  • Cheryl Reis, BSN, RN

    Kane County Community Liaison
    Cheryl received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma- "Boomer Sooner!" , but it is her personal experience of caring for her own mother that has prepared her for her career at BrightStar and working with clients and families. "I personally understand the challenges and daily stress of caring for a loved one-the role reversal and making decisions and providing care for my mother with Alzheimer's Disease. It is my greatest joy to bring comfort and peace of mind to the families I work with- knowing we have been able to keep their loved one safe, independent, fulfilled, and happy in their home."
    Cheryl Reis
  • Sarah Braas

    Northwest Suburban Community Liaison
    Sarah utilizes her well-rounded knowledge and experience in healthcare to guide and assist clients across the Northwest Suburbs. Her career in social work began her drive to help those in crisis. Her passion to advance agency and autonomy in seniors through home-based services led her to BrightStar Care. As a Social Worker, Sarah anticipates and resolves client concerns and promotes the independence and dignity of her clients. She is a true advocate for clients and families in need. Sarah is well-versed in the entire continuum of care residential settings which allows her to smoothly coordinate the transition to home for her clients that are discharging from hospitals or facilities. Sarah is an active member of the community that she serves, residing in the heart of her territory in Arlington Heights with her husband, daughter, and two rambunctious kittens, Daisy and Willow.
    Sarah Braas
  • Gustavo Reyes

    Operations Associate
    Gustavo has grown from a part-time office assistant to an integral part of our Operations team over the last six years.  Gustavo ensures that our billing is precise and that our clients receive our documentation promptly. His consistency and accuracy with insurance submissions allow our clients to receive reimbursements quickly and reliably.  He is always there to help any client, employee, or colleague in need. When he’s not sitting behind a desk, he puts his energy into physical fitness and is often at the gym before the sun is even up!
    Gustavo Reyes
  • Julie Fusz

    Staffing Specialist
    Julie's primary focus is to provide appropriate staffing at all the facilities that we serve.  She develops lasting relationships with our facility staffing partners and our talented CNAs as well. Julie's upbeat personality and "can do" attitude enables her to satisfy the needs of various facilities, no matter how complex their requests may be. Julie is the ultimate team player and is quick to assist others in any way she can.  Outside of BrightStar, Julie’s attention is focused on being a doting aunt and pampering her cat, Munchie.
    Julie Fusz
  • Monica Atwood

    Lead Care Specialist
    Monica’s commitment to service excellence has made her a trusted advocate to our clients, their families, and our dedicated caregiving staff. Her generous and caring nature ensures that she is always there when someone needs her. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and experience caring for a loved one, Monica has both a technical and personal understanding of the needs of our clients and the care they require. Her experience allows Monica to understand the importance of getting just the right fit between clients and caregivers. Her goal is to ensure that our clients are cared for as though they were members of our own family. When Monica isn’t working, she enjoys travels with her adventurous husband and walks along the lakefront with her adorable mini Goldendoodle, Ollie.

    Monica Atwood
  • Liliana Guzman-Cisneros

    Human Resource Coordinator
    Liliana obtained a Business Administration and Early Childhood Education degree from Roosevelt University.  She then proceeded to pursue a CNA certification from Harper college with the intent to help her family members with the care and medical attention they needed. Liliana is the proud mother of a friendly goldendoodle named Fluffy and four wonderful kids with whom she loves spending time and creating great memories. When her hands aren’t full with her family, we are lucky to have her here assisting with onboarding, staff credentialing, employee recognition, and more. If you spend a few minutes talking to Liliana, you will immediately feel as if you have known her your entire life. Her contagious laughter will keep you smiling all day long!

    Liliana Guzman-Cisneros
  • Janice Pumilia

    HR/Ops Associate
    Janice’s voice is sure to be your first introduction to BrightStar Care. She quickly attends to the needs of all of our telephone inquiries. Janice supports Operations and HR with special projects and regulatory compliance. Her attention to detail is unmatched and has earned her the nickname of our Auditor-in-Chief! Once her audits prove our excellence in compliance, she spends her time with her three loving daughters, 6 amazing grandchildren, and a feisty Bichon named Bebe. 

    Janice Pumilia
  • Freny Panchal

    Skilled Care Coordinator
    As our Skilled Care Coordinator, Freny is part of a team that strives to improve our clients’ quality of life.  In her role, she ensures that excellent nurses are assigned to best fit the clients’ care needs.  Her experience as a nurse in Canada and Wisconsin in long term care administrative roles as well as in clinical settings helps her better perform this important job.   Good communication and customer satisfaction are the primary components of her role.  She lives in Elgin with her husband, in-laws and young daughter.  For some fun, Freny enjoys taking weekend trips to Midwest attractions, such as the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan!

    Freny Panchal
  • Ursula Uracs, BSN, RN

    Northwest Suburban Care Manager
    Ursula brings a wealth of experience to her role as Nurse Care Manager. She has worked with developmentally delayed adults, as an Emergency Room nurse, as a Medical/Surgical nurse, and a Hospice Case Manager before joining our BrightStar team. In her capacity as RN Care Manager, Ursula is responsible for managing the care of existing clients, completing assessments and plans of care for new clients, education, and oversight of unlicensed staff, and completing a variety of clinical nursing activities.

    Ursula Uracs
  • Jessica Eldredge, BSN, RN

    Kane County Care Manager
    As a Nurse Care Manager at BrightStar Care, Jessica’s goal is to ensure that all of our clients receive the best quality of care to keep them safe and healthy. Jessica does this through oversight and education of our Certified Nursing Assistants and Caregivers.  She also works diligently to help our clients thrive in their own homes for as long as possible. Celebration of life’s special moments for our clients is important to her and it brings them so much joy to receive cake, balloons and photos with their caregivers on a birthday or anniversary!  She hopes this serves as an inspiration to our CNAs and Caregivers because she has moved up to the role of Registered Nurse after working 17 years as a hospital Patient Transporter and Certified Nursing Assistant. She obtained her nursing degree while she was starting a family and became passionate about in-home care at BrightStar Care in Kane County.

    Jessica Eldredge
  • Jo-Ann O'Neil, RN, CRRN

    Kane County Care Manager
    Having recently been involved with the care of her own father, Jo-Ann knows what it is like to provide care for a parent in need. Jo-Ann is an experienced nurse with a great background for a Nurse Care Manager. She has worked in schools, long-term care, case management, and home health. As a Certified Rehabilitation Nurse, she is uniquely qualified to guide our clients on their road to recovery and promote health and safety. Jo-Ann is a valuable resource for our staff, clients and families alike.

    Jo-Ann O'Neil
  • Tom Koenig

    Retired / Co-Owner
    Tom Koenig co-founded BrightStar Care of Schaumburg, Park Ridge, Kane and DeKalb Counties in 2008. He is now retired and enjoys his time with his wife, Barb, and their increasing number of grandchildren. Tom’s prior experience wasn’t in home healthcare. He was busy in real estate and raising his family when his mom first began to act differently. She always had a keen mind but started to become forgetful and then started to misplace things. Over time she became increasingly erratic and then combative in her behavior. That’s when, after testing, Tom realized that she had dementia. This family tragedy, which so many other families have experienced, became a turning point in his life. In 2008, Tom decided to join the BrightStar family and devote his life to caring for people like his own mom. Tom’s mom has since passed away. Now it is his father who requires care. Although mentally sound, like so many people his age, he is a fall risk. His live-in caregiver have been a blessing. The ability to have live-in care has allowed Tom’s family to be loving children and grandchildren again instead of caregivers. Our goal, our commitment as a company, is to care for our clients as though they were members of our own family. We want, and expect, that all our clients will be cared for as we care for Tom’s father. 
    Tom Koenig

Our Caregivers and Nurses

Our team of care professionals thoroughly screened and trained to provide the highest quality care to your family or your patients. Learn more about our compassionate and trustworthy nurses and caregivers.

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Please contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation or call BrightStar Care Kane County at 630.938.4738.

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