Thanh Neville, MD, MSHS
Pulmonary and Critical Care
Medical Director and co-founder
Dr. Thanh Neville obtained her medical degree, completed her Internal Medicine Residency, Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship, and her Masters of Science in Health Services all at UCLA. She joined the faculty in the UCLA Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care in 2012 and is both a clinician and a researcher. In 2017, she co-founded the 3 Wishes Program and is currently its Medical Director.
She strongly believes in practicing compassionate, patient-centered care in the ICU and knows that acts of kindness, especially at the end-of-life, are essential to the healing process for all stakeholders involved.
Peter Phung, MD
Dr. Peter Phung is a Palliative Care Physician and completed his Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship, and Master in Business Administration at UC San Diego. Peter joined the Palliative Care Program at UCLA in 2016 and co-founded the 3 Wishes Program in 2017.
Peter loves how the 3 Wishes Program supports frontline staff in connecting with patients and families on a human level. He believes these interactions leave a long lasting positive impact on all members involved.
Danielle Bear is the project manager for the 3 Wishes Program. While the program is nurse-sustained, Danielle helps to expand the program to new units, train nurses and assist with wishes whenever she can.
Danielle believes that the 3 Wishes Program exemplifies how small acts of kindness can go a long way. She has seen first hand the impact that this project has on the way loved ones perceive the end of life and the greiving process.
Sherry Xu, MSN, RN
Sherry has been a critical care nurse in the Medical ICU (MICU) for over 15 years and she finds it most rewarding to be able to help others. Sherry received her Master of Science Degree in Nursing with a focus on Gerontology from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2013. Sherry is currently serving as the nursing unit director for MICU. She is proud of her amazing team of staff and appreciates the collaboration with others at UCLA
Sherry believes the 3 Wishes Program (3WP) is a reconfirmation of the essence of nursing - the ability of rending care even during the darkest time of losing a loved one. 3WP provides creative and outside-the-box opportunities to bear witness of the grief and help when the help is most needed. Sherry wants to thank all the generous philanthropic support from the community!
Yuhan Kao, MSN
Yuhan Kao obtained her MSN from Loma Linda University and is currently working as the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Medical Intensive Care Unit in Ronald Regan Medical Center.
The 3 Wishes Program provides dignity to the patient at the end of life and provides closure to the family and to the health care staff as well. The 3WP provides the opportunity for Yuhan and health care staff to redirect the focus to honoring the dying patient and creating memories that have lasting impact on families and many times, them too.
Jessica Hainje, RN
Jessica Hainje is a registered nurse with over 10 years critical care nursing experience who currently works in the Medical ICU at RR UCLA Hospital for the last 4 years. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and graduated as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in 2020. She looks forward to continuing the 3 Wishes Program wherever her career takes her.
Jessica believes the 3 Wishes Program has helped to improve the meaningful end of life practices that bedside nurses have been doing for many years with the addition of research-based evidence and grant support. She will always cherish the simple act of making a fingerprint keychain or a word cloud which allows me to be an active participant in honoring my patient at the end of life while also creating an intimate, lifelong keepsake for the family. The 3 Wishes Program allows her and other nurses to create these keepsakes for families to take home in situations when our words will never be enough to show our sympathy.
Kristen Hjelmhaug, RN, BSN, CCRN
Kristen is a bedside and relief charge nurse in the Medical ICU for over 6 years. She strives to create an environment that fosters the privileged bond between patient/family and nurse.
The 3 Wishes Program means the world to Kristen because it provides a special opportunity for her to support and comfort those who are grieving beyond whatis considered normal. Overall, she believes the 3 Wishes Program serves as a symbol of compassion and support for families, as well as a way for nurses to complete the circle of caring in which aggressive, cure-driven care becomes palliative care and peaceful death.
Allegra Bell, RN
Allegra Bell is an oncology nurse at UCLA Santa Monica and a 3WP Nurse Champion on her unit.
The 3WP has brought forth an opportunity to give back to our patients, many of whom we have established relationships with spanning years. Allegra's favorite 3WP memory is creating a spa day for a patient, with a facial performed in the room. The patient was glowing, inside and out!
Natalie Sanaee, RN
Natalie Sanaee is an ICU RN at UCLA Santa Monica ICU, she started working there as a student since 2014, and has been dedicated to helping patients and their families through their most difficult moments. Natalie was also the president of the UCLA chapter for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses from 2016-2018 which focused on assisting the community, mentoring new nurses and helping further the nursing profession.
The 3 Wishes Program is to immeasurable to Natalie. As a staff nurse, she works for the betterment of her patient and their family but sometimes finds herself without any tools to help. The 3 Wishes Program brought a tool to nurses to help the patients and families through a difficult time and gives nurses the ability to find a small ray of light in tough situations. For the families of their patients who they stand by while they try to cope with their new realities, with the 3 Wishes Program allows them to start to find peace with their family members. Natalie believes that her and her team can bring back the joy they may have felt before they became ill, and says that being able to bring a small amount of normalcy to their last moments is magical. Natalie thinks that by being able to help a family member remember their loved ones life and not just the last few minutes of their death is so profound and helpful to all involved.
Melanie Donovan, RN, BS
Melanie has been at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for 24 years. She is currently the Assistant Unit Director of the Transplant Surgical ICU.
The 3 wishes Program has meant so much not only to the staff, but also the multidisciplinary team such as Social Workers and physicians. Melanie believes that the project has provided an opportunity for everyone to give that extra support and comfort during a very difficult time to our patients and their families. The 3 Wishes Program has meant so much to Melanie and the nurses on her unit because it provides an additional opportunity to comfort our families during the grieving process that is not only meaningful, but unique and special to the patient.
Also part of the team:
Rayna Ewer, RN, 4SW
Elyse Nickell, RN, 4CWICU
Jocelyn R Rodriguez, RN, L&D
Cristina Castillo Tuano-Verayo, RN, L&D
Abby Lockhart, RN, 8ICU
Leora Shachat, RN, 7ICU
Lindsay Brant, RN, 7ICU
Dawn Gottula, RN, 5NW
Erin Castle, RN, 5NW