leadership team

Amit Agrawal, MD

Medical Director

Quality improvement and educational excellence are two of Dr. Agrawal’s interests. With these pillars, Dr. Agrawal directs our medical staff at Jacob’s Hope. He is certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine, and is associated with Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.

He currently is the Regional Medical Director and Interim Site Medical Director for Neonatology with Envision Physician Services.  Dr. Agrawal draws on his excellence of care and strives to improve the quality of life for each newborn recovering from the pain and discomfort of drug withdrawal.

Lyndsey Steele, BS

Associate Director

Lyndsey Mathiowetz, BSN, RNC-NICU

Clinical Manager

Lyndsey has been a NICU nurse since 2001 and brings a wide array of infant and family experiences to Jacob’s Hope. She looks forward to sharing her expertise with the babies, families and staff at Jacob’s Hope.

I have loved babies for as long as I can remember and my only career goal was to become a NICU nurse. I graduated from nursing school in 2001 and I started my first job in a NICU in Denver shortly after. I have worked in several NICUs over the last 20 plus years but the last several years have taken a turn as far as the patient population I have seen. There are many babies that are in the NICU because their drug withdrawal is so severe that they require medication and/or feeding tubes. My heart has been absolutely broken when I am caring for these babies because often I have been assigned 2-3 other patients and I have to leave them to care for my other patients. I had been following facilities like ours over the last few years and in January of 2022, I decided to take the leap by joining the nursing team. I quickly regained the passion for my career again. I felt like I was finally able to give the babies and their families the time and care they deserved. I love our team at Jacob’s Hope and I am so excited for the future!

Samantha Bailey, MC. LPC

Behavioral Health Director

As a Licensed Professional Counselor Samantha has worked with children and adults of all ages in specialized treatment programs including crisis intervention and outpatient services. Samantha holds a Masters degree in Clinical Counseling from Grand Canyon University and has experience in treating complex trauma and PTSD using multiple therapeutic modalities. She has a genuine interest in aiding others and has been dedicated to helping her community through counseling for the last five years. Samantha enjoys reading, traveling, trying new restaurants around town and volunteering at Phoenix Children’s Hospital where she serves as Chair for the Cardiac Patient and Family Advisory Council. Samantha is looking forward to assisting Jacob’s Hope staff utilize their empathetic talents and help our patients and families create long term connections within the community.

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

Jo Jones, Board President

Executive Director

Jo’s commitment to improve the lives of Arizona’s most fragile stems from her own experience, as a mother of five children—four of which are adopted, including her beloved Jake. She has been involved with foster care and adoption for almost 29 years, serving on the AZ Supreme Court Foster Care Review Board for over 15 years. Determined. Impactful. Jacob’s Hope fuels Jo’s passion for the tiniest infants and families in need of a fresh start.

Leslie Blowers, AA, Vice President

Retired, Community Advocate

Jacob’s Hope is close to Leslie’s heart, having known Jacob since he was a baby. Leslie has more than 25 years of administrative experience; most recently in the insurance industry. She has a passion for at-risk children and has tutored many young children. Leslie has three daughters, one whom is adopted. Her passion for Jacob’s Hope mission is to care for prenatal substance exposed babies in order that they may have a bright future regardless of their challenging start in life.

Matt Watson, CPA, Treasurer

Co-Owner, Watson CPA, PC

Matt Watson brings over 40 years of experience in finance and accounting to Jacob’s Hope. He is an ASU graduate in accounting, and received his CPA license from the AZ State Board of Accountancy in 1989.

He is the co-owner of Watson, CPA PC in Gilbert, Arizona. Matt has served the community in leadership roles at Bethany Learning Center, Chandler Horizon Rotary Club, Chandler High Band Boosters, and East Valley Runners. Matt is honored to be a part of Jacob’s Hope.

Lindsey Augeri, Secretary

Educator

Lindsey is a former Mesa Public School teacher who recently decided to stay at home with her young daughter and infant son. She loves kids and is passionate about working with at-risk children. She and her husband were also foster parents for two years. Lindsey remembers growing up with Jacob and looks back fondly on the way he loved others so well. Lindsey has a desire to see kids grow up with a strong support system. She believes that Jacob’s Hope is a necessary step for that to become a reality in the lives of these infants.

BOARD MEMBERS

Cynthia Handy, BS

Director of Revenue Cycle Management, MIND 24-7

Cynthia has worked in the mental health field in Arizona for 20 years as a director of claims and billing for several behavioral health agencies. Cynthia served as a founding board member for a local adoption agency. She volunteered as an AZ Supreme Court Foster Care Board member for almost 20 years.

As a foster mother for four years, Cynthia knows firsthand the challenges and rewards of caring for substance exposed infants. It is easy to see how foster care and adoption hold a special place in her heart.  Cynthia enjoys reading, hiking, and cooking in her spare time.

Michael J. Lucherini, MD, MS

Physician, Summit Medicine and Pediatrics

Massachusetts born and raised, Dr. Michael Lucherini’s extensive education includes multiple degrees from Brown University and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In 1998, he and his wife, Mary Ellen, made their home in Mesa. He began a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics in Phoenix hospitals. Dr Lucherini has been in private practice for over 20 years.

In 2013, he launched his Direct Access Medicine® practice, Summit Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Mike and Mary Ellen love life and are very proud of their two beautiful daughters whose education and careers are rising to great success.

Jerome Przystup, BS

Compliance Project Manager, AHCCCS

Working as Case Manager and Crisis Clinician for over 10 years, Jerome has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with behavioral health and substance abuse issues.  His extensive experience also includes regulatory and compliance management within medical facilities in Arizona.  Having served on three previous Board of Directors, Jerome looks forward to serving on the Board at Jacob’s Hope.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family doing outdoor activities like hiking, or watching his son play soccer.

Matt Anderson, BS, JD

Chief Legal Officer, MIND 24-7

Matt has a passion for helping others and solving problems. Matt serves these interests in his day job as Chief Legal Officer of MIND 24-7, a 500+ employee provider of behavioral health services. As head of MIND 24-7’s legal department, Matt develops and leads corporate legal strategy to promote the Company’s expansion and strategic partnerships, in addition to overseeing all legal-corporate governance matters. For nearly 15 years, Matt has advised companies across several industries on matters involving contracting, real estate, litigation, employment, and compliance. Matt brings his diverse legal background in health care to Jacob’s Hope where he assists with compliance, growth, and other governance matters. Matt received a B.S. in physiology from the University of Iowa and a J.D. from Drake University Law School.

Tobin Cookman, BA, MBA

Senior Vice President Human Resources, ON Semiconductor

Tobin is a former Human Resources executive who recently retired from his corporate job to spend time with his wife Jennifer, their children, grandchildren and to give back to the community.  Tobin and Jennifer have provided long term foster care and foster respite care for NAS babies the past few years.  Tobin has a desire and passion to see NAS babies thrive within a strong and loving support system.  The care provided by employees and volunteers at Jacob’s Hope align to Tobin’s passion.  He believes that Jacob’s Hope provides the specialized, attentive and compassionate care NAS babies require and deserve.  Tobin enjoys running, hiking and spending time in the outdoors with his wife Jennifer.

Ashley LeDuc, BS

RCM Special Projects Manager, MIND 24-7

Lindsey is a former Mesa Public School teacher who recently decided to stay at home with her young daughter and infant son. She loves kids and is passionate about working with at-risk children. She and her husband were also foster parents for two years. Lindsey remembers growing up with Jacob and looks back fondly on the way he loved others so well. Lindsey has a desire to see kids grow up with a strong support system. She believes that Jacob’s Hope is a necessary step for that to become a reality in the lives of these infants.

Syria Watson, MEd

Retired Educator

Syria has a passion for children and worked as an educator in the east valley for 25 years. Communication is key. Syria has experience presenting parent and teacher education,  organizing family events, and serving on the board of directors for Bethany Learning Center. Syria was a member of the Mahnah Club of the East Valley, supporting organizations including Save the Family and Child Crisis Arizona. She’s a member of the East Valley Runners, and finds great meaning in supporting the community at Jacob’s Hope.

Brian Jones, MA Ed, M Div

Retired Educator

As a resident of Arizona for over 59 years, Brian enjoyed a 28-year career as an elementary school teacher. He retired in 2014 and established an independent painting contracting company. He serves alongside his wife, Jo, on the board for Jacob’s Hope. Brian is Jacob’s father, so this center is near and dear to his heart. Being involved in foster care and adoption has given him the skills needed to help these newborns. He brings a caring heart for babies and a nice warm lap for them, as well. Jacob’s Hope is dedicated to Brian and Jo’s son, and will always be a very important part of their lives.

DIRECTOR EMERITUS

Larry Brewer

Change a life today

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The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
– Matthew 25:40.