“We give children and families the chance to build memories as a family, outside of the rigidity and constraints of a hospital setting.”
Nurse George Mark Children’s House
Our Care Team
Linda Ashcraft Hudak, JD CEO
Our CEO, Linda Ashcraft Hudak, formerly served on the George Mark Children’s House Board of Directors for five years. Linda’s devotion to the mission and values of the House, coupled with the experience of serving on the Board, provides her with great insight into how to lead and operate the organization.Linda has extensive experience serving as an employment law attorney in the public, private and non-profit sectors including the University of California, the California State University system, the Judicial Council of California, Contra Costa County and Fortune 500 companies. Linda was also a teacher in Oakland shortly after moving to California from her native Montana.
Linda and her husband Richard, a retired Colonel from the U.S. Army and a recently retired attorney, have resided in Walnut Creek for 30 years. Their two daughters, Schulyer and Whitney, reside in San Francisco, one as a founder of a start-up and the other as a tech attorney.
Barry retired from Adobe in February, 2020, and now volunteers at George Mark Children’s House as its CFO and Board President. He worked for nearly 30 years in the world of Finance, primarily in the corporate taxation field. He holds a bachelor's degree in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in Taxation from San Jose State University.
Kathy is the staff psychologist and President of the Board of Directors of the George Mark Children’s House. She has been active in clinical psychology for more than 30 years. She has devoted the last 15 years of her professional life to developing and sustaining the house, as well as working with our children and their families.Kathy is also an adjunct staff member of Children's Hospital Oakland, where she spent five years as part of an interdisciplinary team that treated young oncology patients and their families. She has been a staff member at the Ann Martin Children's Center, a local non-profit organization that offers low-fee counseling services to the culturally diverse Oakland community.
Kathy is a member of several professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Northern California Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and the Association of Transpersonal Psychology. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; a Master of Arts in marriage, family and child counseling from Santa Clara University; and a Doctor of Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Kathy is married to Bill Gisvold and has seven daughters, one son, and eight grandchildren. Life is never dull at the Hull/Gisvold house!
Dr. Joan Fisher, the George Mark Children’s House Medical Director, is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine with post-graduate training in pediatric hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant. She received additional training in pediatric palliative care from the Center for Palliative Care at Harvard Medical School.
Joan is the director of outreach for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology for Stanford University. Her work takes her to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. Wherever she goes, she takes the opportunity to integrate the principles of palliative care into the practice of pediatric medicine. She also spreads the good word about what happens here at George Mark. While most feel that this is only important at end of life, families understand the importance of good palliative care from the beginning of any journey that threatens the welfare of their child. For Joan, taking care of children with medical needs—and their families—while making every day their best day, is what makes the practice of pediatrics worthwhile.
Joan has lived in many places, yet the Bay Area is her home. She is honored to be able to serve this community in a capacity that she loves, and looks forward to many years of memories with the George Mark family. Joan and her husband, Allen Eskenazi, a pediatric physician, reside in San Carlos.
As a clinical psychologist, Pascale has held many positions. She was a family therapist in her early career until her interest turned to the field of death and dying. She became a palliative care counselor, supporting the dying and their families, for a few years before training to work as a grief counselor, first to adults who lost a loved one, and then to parents whose babies died during pregnancy and infancy work she is continuing up to the present and which she is passionate about.
Pascale has always been interested in crisis and trauma counseling and in disaster mental health. She has trained prospective paramedics in handling sudden death in the field , and staff of a pediatric palliative care home in burnout prevention and self-care. As a volunteer for the American Red Cross for 8 years, she has been deployed to Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama to provide grief counseling to people affected by tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. In addition, Pascale joined an international humanitarian organization ten years ago and has worked in places like Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, the Philippines and South Sudan as a trauma and grief counselor and as an instructor of stress management and self-care to staff working in those countries under challenging conditions.