Our Staff at BrightStar Care® Northern Michigan

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

  • John and Sharon Zimmerman

    John and Sharon Zimmerman are the owners of BrightStar Care of Northern Michigan. John spent most of his career in the health field first as a pharmaceutical representative and later as a district manager for several Fortune 100 companies in the Pharmaceutical Industry.  He has years of experience marketing products for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Incontinence, as well as extensive knowledge of IV antibiotics and chemo-therapeutic agents. John and Sharon are both from Central Illinois where John served as a Volunteer Fireman and as an EMT for nearly 20 years.  John was a Scoutmaster for 15 years, JFL football coach for 18 years, and served on many service organizations in his local community. Sharon worked as a bookkeeper for a local business, volunteered as a Cub Scout Leader, Girl Scout Leader, and served on the local School Board for nearly 20 years.  Sharon has served in Music and Liturgy ministry for over 20 years in Illinois, Wisconsin and northern Michigan.  In 2009 John and Sharon decided to start their own home care business in Traverse City, Michigan.  With aging parents living many hours away John and Sharon have experienced searching for care for their parents and understand the need for high quality, compassionate care for our aging population.  Their goal is to be just and generous employers and to provide the same level of care they would expect for their parents.  “We will not put someone in your home we would not put in our parent’s home.”
  • Dana Balcom

    Director of Operations
    Dana grew up assisting both her parents with their in-home businesses. Her mother owned an AFC home and her father owned a mechanic/body shop. She has been a business owner herself as a Subway Franchise owner of 2 locations here in Northern Michigan and currently as a Mini Storage owner for the last 15 years. It was a privilege to have both parents working from home and she learned a lot about life and work from watching them interact with both customers and clients.  
    Dana Balcom
  • Maria Wardell, RN

    Director of Nursing
    How long have you been a nurse?
    I have been a nurse since 2019. I practiced as an LPN for a year while I completed my Associated Degree in Nursing and am currently working on my bachelor’s degree in nursing.
    What expertise and experience do you bring to BrightStar Care?
    I have been in the healthcare field for over 16 years in many different roles including as a home health aide, in management, to payroll/billing and now in nursing. A large majority of my experience prior to nursing has been with Brightstar Care of Northern Michigan.
    As an LPN, I worked in a Skilled Nursing Facility which provided me the environment to gain experience in a wide range of skills including wounds, dementia, hospice and more. After I graduated with my ADN, I was a bedside nurse for a medical/surgical unit at Munson Hospital for 8 months before deciding my heart is in home-based care. I have spent the past year and half as a Hospice RN Case Manager out in our community.
    What part of your job are you most passionate about?
    I’m passionate about improving patients’ quality of life and meeting them where they are. If a patients’ wish is to stay at home, then I am passionate about helping them achieve that. The quality of care we provide is of the utmost importance.
    What are three unique strengths you bring to BrightStar Care?
    1. I worked for Brightstar from 2011 until beginning of 2018. I began as the scheduler and then was promoted to recruiter and then accounts receivable manager.
    2. I have the unique strength of combining my clinical knowledge with my intuition to meet clients where they are at and helping them achieve their goals.
    3. I have an unwavering calm demeanor. I find this skill has been helpful when walking into people’s homes, typically in a crisis of needing care for a loved one.
    Maria Wardell, RN
  • Kari Erdman, RN, BSN

    Assistant Director of Nursing
    How long have you been a nurse?
    I have been a nurse since 2003, I graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. I have been a Pediatric nurse for my entire career, 19 years. I have practiced at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and McLaren Northern Michigan. In addition, I practiced as an Obstetric and Labor and Delivery nurse for 7 years.

    What expertise and experience do you bring to BrightStar Care?
    With my experience in Pediatrics and Obstetrics, I have learned to care for the entire family. I feel this is especially important at BrightStar Care of Northern Michigan. In order to provide the best possible care for each client, we must be able to meet the needs of the family as well. Throughout my career, I have prided myself on providing excellent patient and family education through professional communication. Communication is another crucial aspect of the care we provide at BrightStar Care of Northern Michigan.

    What part of your job are you most passionate about?
    I am passionate about providing quality and compassionate care to all our clients and their families. The primary goal is keeping clients in a place that makes them happy and comfortable. Helping clients to stay in their homes, safely and around loved ones, while meeting their needs is a priority.

    What are three unique strengths you bring to BrightStar Care?
    1. Communication- Being able to communicate with clients and families to best meet their needs to provide an ongoing plan of care. Having the ability to listen to help guide the care we provide at BrightStar Care of Northern Michigan. As well as interpret, clarify, and assess the non-verbal cues and the environment.
    2. Quality and compassionate care- Providing the highest quality, compassionate care to meet the unique needs of every client.
    3. My passion for nursing and the care of people has always been a strength in all my nursing roles. Nursing to me involves so many aspects; caring for people, educating patients and families, being a person to confide in, one who brings comfort, as well as being a person to hold someone’s hand.
    Kari Erdman, RN, BSN
  • Ann Hadfield, RN

    Director of Infusion Services
    How long have you been a nurse?
    I have been a nurse since 2004.  Much of my career has been focused specifically as an oncology nurse. I have been able to develop a diverse and valuable skill set encompassing in-depth patient assessments, chemotherapy education, phone triage, chemotherapy infusion both in-patient and out-patient, and auditing patient charts in compliance with the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative.  Prior to becoming an RN, I worked as a nursing assistant at a summer camp and on a medical/surgical/stroke unit.  I also worked as a nurse technician and received excellent mentorship from strong, capable, and experienced nurses.

    What Experience and Expertise do you bring to BSC?
    My experience providing direct patient care, education to patients and their families, and working to provide exceptional care to each patient is an asset to Brightstar Care.  I have worked with countless families during difficult life transitions and have worked to provide compassionate, patient-centered care.  My desire is to take what I have learned and use it to provide care that is focused and unique to each client I will have the honor of serving.
    What part of your job are you most passionate about?
    I am passionate about providing quality, compassionate care. I am equally passionate about helping to train and equip our care team to provide Brightstar Care’s model of client-centered care. Each client, each family has a unique set of needs and goals and I absolutely love meeting with people and putting together a path forward to help meet those needs and goals.  I am excited to broaden my own skill set in ways that will serve our clients and company well.  I am proud to be a part of Brightstar Care!
    What are 3 unique strengths you bring to BSC?
    1.  I have always had a very strong work ethic which was instilled in me at a very young age.  I believe that hard work, dedication, and the passion behind those things can move mountains and make dreams happen. 
    2.  Compassion is the heart of a nurse in so many ways and truly represents mine.  I hope that I can always use this strength to bless my clients and coworkers. 
    3.  I have keen clinical intuition and experience and am very thorough in assessing client needs.  These skills are needed in creating Plans of Care that are unique and focused to each individual client and family. 
    Ann Hadfield, RN
  • Keren Bird, RN

    Compliance Officer
    Keren has been a nurse for 49 years.  She has been a school nurse, a midwife, a community health nurse, a trainer/educator for SOM Department of Mental Health, administrator, and director of nursing.  Keren also owned a flower shop with her husband for 11 years during her nursing career.  Keren began working with John and Sharon Zimmerman in 2010 and retired as the Director of Nursing  in 2014.  She liked working for BrightStar so much, she returned to work as the Clinical Compliance Officer.  "It is a joy and privilege to work with the BSNM team.  I am passionate about quality care for our clients, embracing BrightStar’s model to ensure that our clients get the best care possible and that our care team is well trained and supported in delivering on that promise."  
    Keren Bird
  • Bethany Phillips

    Customer Care Coordinator
    Bethany started with BrightStar Care in 2018 as a caregiver and was invited to join the office team as a Customer Care Coordinator in 2021. Prior to that, she helped care for several family members and friends, some of them through end-of-life, and as such Hospice Care holds a special place in her heart. She currently cares for her mother at home, who is retired after 25 years as an LPN working in long-term care facilities. Her mother moved in with her several years before retiring and has helped raise Bethany's teenage daughter since she was a young girl. Because of this experience, Bethany is a passionate supporter of multi-generational families and keeping our loved ones at home for as long as possible.
    Bethany Phillips
  • Rachel Taylor

    Customer Care Coordinator
    Before coming to BrightStar Care in 2019, Rachel was a homeschooling, stay-at-home Mom to five rambunctious boys.  During that time, she also cared for various family members and neighbors, including her aging Grandparents through the end of their lives.  Those experiences led Rachel to caring for people as a career.  She chose BrightStar Care because she wanted to work for a company with high standards and a reputation for providing excellent care. From a caregiver to a “caregiver to the caregivers” Rachel's goal has always been to set people up for success by giving them the tools and support they need to thrive, wherever they are in life’s journey.
  • Sondra Gee

    Sondra has worked for Brightstar Care since 2012, starting in the field as a caregiver.  She has had a variety of clients during her time with Brightstar.  Sondra joined the office staff in the role of Recruiter.  In her prior work life, she was in retail management and professional staffing/recruiting; this mixed with her years of caregiving bring a unique perspective to the job.  Sondra is also very active in her community and family.
    Sondra Gee
  • Kelsey Zimmerman

    National Accounts Manager
    Kelsey has been with BrightStar Care since 2008. The daughter of John and Sharon, she started helping her parents out at the office during the summers while she was in college.  After graduating she started working at the office full-time to help organize skilled care referrals coming in from national accounts. She has a masters degree in pyschology that has allowed her to succeed in communicating with clients, case managers, and companies.  In 2018 she moved to Ohio with her husband and continues to work remotely to manage our infusion services, national accounts, and skilled account billing.
    Kelsey Zimmerman
  • Scott Stahl

    Business Development/Community Liaison
    Scott joined the BrightStar Care Team in 2023.  Scott began his career in Detroit, earned an M.Ed., and focused on helping companies grow and succeed. After moving north in 2003, Scott worked with all our northern Michigan hospitals for nearly 15 years.  He helped our hospitals determine if terminal patients could save lives through organ and tissue donation.  This role also gave Scott the privilege to help families work through their unexpected tragedies to determine if organ and tissue donation was the right choice for them.  Scott is a volunteer EMT with a local Emergency Medical Service.  Scott’s work experience provides a natural segway to assist residents recover from ailments or stay in their home longer with home care and medical assistance and BrightStar Care is the perfect place for Scott to fulfill his goals.
    Scott Stahl

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 Northern Michigan at 231.929.7827.

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