End Well 2024

Friday, November 22, 2024
Los Angeles, CA

Agenda

End Well 2024

Speakers         Details         Agenda        Register Now

Not Just A Symposium. A Revolution.

25 voices, from celebrities to unsung heroes, on one electrifying stage, all talking about end-of-life. 

Grim? Hardly! You'll find humor, truth, fresh thinking and age-old wisdom offered by some of the world's most engaged thinkers and doers in the fields of medicine, design, spirituality, caregiving, activism and more.

Meet life-changing friends and collaborators.

Past attendees have gone on to found companies, create professional networks and transform their communities. With plenty of time for real conversations and opportunities to connect, you're guaranteed to expand your work and world by coming to End Well.

Get credit.

We're offering continuing education credits for healthcare professionals.

Want to learn more?

Check out our previous events here.

Speakers to date

(click to see bio… and more coming soon.)

Yvette Nicole Brown
Actor, Director, Advocate

Chaplain, Author, Online Educator

Buddhist Teacher, Founder of Upaya Zen Center, Author, Social Activist

Podcast Host, Author, Grief Activist, Social Worker

Actor, Writer, Producer

Pediatric Palliative Physician, Educator

Critical Care Nurse, Integrative Therapist, End-of-Life Doula

Veteran, End-of-Life Doula, Storyteller

Founder, End Well & Host and Producer, TED Health

Death Doula, NY Times Bestselling Author

Otolaryngologist, Author, Consultant

Founder,  E-Motion & Author, Activist

Entrepreneur, Physician-Scientist

Childhood Grief Advocate, High School Student

Somatic Teacher, Spiritual Guide, Podcast Host, Author

Educator, Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse

Actor, Director, Advocate
Change Agent, Innovator
Chaplain and Storyteller
Television Producer and Change Agent
Death Doula and Children’s TV Writer
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Actor, Director, Advocate
Grief Therapist, Author
Physician and Psychedelics Researcher
Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist
Organizer, Caregiver, Author
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Actor, Director, Advocate

Nurse, NY Times Best-Selling Author

Musician, Movement Builder

Pediatric Nurse and Advocate, CHLA

Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Filmmaker, Director, Producer
Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Manager, Advocate
Healthcare Change Agent, Advocate
Policy Expert, Storyteller

Founder, End Well & Host, TED Health

Sponsors

Additional Support From

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

Meet Our Community Partners

Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate
Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate

Agenda

This is a full-day event. Doors opens at 8am and the event concludes with a reception which ends at 6:30pm. More details coming soon.

01 MORNING SESSION: BEING THERE
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Time To Grow 
Ira Byock, MD, FAAHPM 

During his early training, physician Ira Byock discovered that when managed with care, the process of dying allows for profound personal and collective growth. This understanding shaped Ira’s journey in emergency and palliative medicine where his own experience, and the data, show that exceptional hospice and palliative care is both feasible and affordable. Yet challenges arise from America’s profit-driven healthcare system. Our work ahead entails fostering cultural maturation, empowering people to imagine and realize their human potential for well-being through the end of life.

In The Meantime: The Cost of Systems Change
Adimika Meadows Arthur 

What happens when systems change takes so long that the “meantime” lasts a generation or more? Health policy change agent Adimika Meadows Arthur examines the amount of time the 85.6 million adults enrolled in Medicaid are expected to spend qualifying for, maintaining and accessing care; and, why this matters if we hope to unlock human potential and make the meantime a little bit kinder to us all. 

Time After Time 
Hadley Vlahos, RN

When Hadley Vlahos began her journey as a hospice nurse, she was skeptical about fellow nurses’ claims of patients conversing with their departed loved ones. However, witnessing it firsthand changed her perspective. Now, Hadley perceives dying as a profound moment of mystery and a bridging to a comforting dimension we can’t quite quantify or describe. By sharing this revelation, she aims to offer solace to those apprehensive of life’s inevitable conclusion and diminish our shared unease of the vast unknown.

Brotherly Love
Harry Hudson, Remington Rhodes, Simon Davies

Singer-songwriter Harry Hudson seemed destined for success until his life took an unexpected turn at the age of 20, with a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This diagnosis not only disrupted his life but also became a profound challenge for his brother, Remington, who had to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system to ensure Harry received the best care possible. In this conversation, Harry and Remington reflect on the strong bond they formed during this challenging period, shedding light on the unique hurdles that young people with serious illnesses face in accessing the emotional support and encouragement they desperately need during this fragile stage of life. Joining them is Simon Davies, the Executive Director of Teen Cancer America.

 

02 MORNING SESSION: KEEPING PROMISES
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Seeding Joy 
Darnell Lamont Walker

For most people, childhood seems far away from the person they’ve become. Darnell Lamont Walker sees things differently. As a children’s television writer, he infuses qualities of curiosity, vulnerability, joy and empathy into the characters he creates. Qualities that as a death doula, he believes serve us well at the end of life. 

The Long Arc of Loss 
Laurel Braitman, PhD

After years of attempting to use work and achievement to elude her deepest grief, Laurel Braitman realized that she was hiding from what scared her most: love at the cost of loss—a price she’d paid as a teenager when her father died and then repeatedly over the next 25 years. It was only by engaging with her grieving younger self that Laurel was able to create a life in which she now defines bravery as the vulnerability it takes to love big in the face of loss.

Practitioner, Parent, Patient 
Hui-wen Sato, RN, MSN, MPH, CCRN

Clinicians are trained to compartmentalize their personal from their professional lives. Hui-wen Sato challenges this notion by questioning who we’re really leaving out when we leave part of ourselves at the door. By bringing her full experience as a nurse, mother and patient into the room, she creates compassionate spaces of healing for her pediatric patients, their families, and herself.

Healing Without Hurt
Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP

In healthcare, pain, even among children, is frequently seen as an unfortunate byproduct of treatment. Stefan J. Friederichsdorf firmly believes this shouldn’t be the case. As the medical director of the Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative, and Integrative Medicine, he blends modern techniques with timeless treatments to minimize pain, be it from a procedure, illness, or a chronic condition. These are expertise one would wish every healthcare professional possessed, regardless of their patient’s age.

FIRESIDE CHAT
12:00 – 12:30 PM

Getting Real
Tig Notaro with Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider

The night Tig Notaro first shared her breast cancer diagnosis with an audience she said, “With humor, the equation is tragedy plus time equals comedy…I am just at tragedy.” Since then, Tig has manifested great success as a writer, an actor, and a comedian. Famous for literally and figuratively baring herself on stage, Tig hopes that by sharing her vulnerability she can inspire a more open and honest culture around serious illness and survivorship, and invite a few laughs along the way. Tig will be in conversation with End Well’s founder, Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider.

LUNCH
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

03 AFTERNOON SESSION: CHALLENGING CONVENTION
2:00 PM – 3:15PM

Visual Healing
Louie Schwartzberg

After decades of hearing from viewers that his images of nature changed their lives, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg embarked on a mission to develop Visual Healing to bring life-like natural environments into the hospital setting. With several research studies completed and underway, Louie is working closely with healthcare providers to better understand how images of nature may be introduced into clinical care to help lessen physical, emotional and existential distress.

Conscious Caring
Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC

Having lost both parents in her twenties, therapist Claire Bidwell Smith is no stranger to grief. Lately, numerous clients reveal that their anguish stems not only from the loss of their dear ones but also from distressing encounters within the medical system. A problem-solver by nature, Claire shares her insights into how empathy, effective communication and kindness can reshape care, making the journey of loss a bit more bearable.

See One, Do One, Teach One, Be One 
Anthony Back, MD 

In 2018, Tony Back became the first (and, so far, the only) physician to publish a first person account of his experience with psychedelic medicine. Since then, he’s gone on to lead a clinical trial into the benefits of psilocybin-assisted therapy for clinicians suffering from burnout and is now designing a trial for people with metastatic cancer. We love how Tony is taking the medical adage of “see one, do one, teach one” to the next level by being the change he hopes to see in the world.

Hello, It’s Me: Befriending Your Future Self  
Hal Hershfield, PhD

We’re all occasionally guilty of picking immediate gratification over the choices we know might make our future selves healthier and happier. Pioneering psychologist Hal Hershfield shares his groundbreaking research into how envisioning our older selves with affection can help us make better long-term choices now, and maybe get us a bit closer to living and dying as the people we hope to become. 

Earthly Vessels: Body Composting 
Katrina Spade

Driven by the idea of a sustainable alternative to conventional death care, designer Katrina Spade invented human composting and has worked tirelessly to bring the process to the world. From perfecting the composting vessel and mix of wood chips, alfalfa and straw, to advocating for changes in state policy, to creating space for ritual, Katrina believes that every aspect of her work must embody the deep reverence and awe she holds for the human body and its capacity to gift itself back to the world.

SPOTLIGHT
3:15 – 3:30 PM

Common Ground
Pieter Deknudt

How do we create a healthy culture around death? For musician and movement builder Pieter Deknudt, the answer is by building it from the ground up. What initiated as a solitary concert in a neighborhood cemetery has now expanded throughout Belgium, giving rise to the vibrant “Mourning Revolution.” Pieter advocates for the arts as the secret to breaking down the barriers that can isolate people in their times of need.

04 AFTERNOON SESSION: FUTURE FOCUS
4:00 PM – 4:55 PM

Beside You In Time 
D.S. Moss

As the thought-provoking host of the podcast The Adventures of Memento Mori, D.S. Moss deeply understands that we’re all on the clock. Now serving as the chaplain to a man on death row, D.S. is finding that spiritual care is not what we say that matters so much as bearing witness to the very human struggle to make peace with life—particularly when one’s death date looms large on the calendar. 

Healing Through Story  
J.J. Duncan 

Having mothered a child through his dying, J.J. Duncan is now focused on helping our culture “grow up” about death. The showrunner for The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, she knows that the stories the media presents are powerful agents for change. J.J. believes that each of us has a story to tell that can help those around us learn from the deaths we’ve witnessed, the pain we’ve borne and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. 

The Care Economy
Ai-jen Poo

While working at a domestic violence call center, Ai-jen Poo recognized that many women were confined in abusive relationships because their wages as caregivers were so low they couldn’t afford to leave. This realization propelled Ai-jen to spearhead a significant movement championing the rights of domestic workers and promoting support for both paid and unpaid caregivers. Ai-jen emphasizes that by prioritizing care at the heart of our economy, we can envision a future where every individual has the opportunity for a dignified life and a gracious end.

Back To The Future
Andrew MacPherson

Health policy expert Andrew MacPherson delves into the evolution of hospice and palliative care since Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s seminal 1972 Senate testimony. He reflects on the unchanged landscape of end-of-life care against today’s complex healthcare system, emphasizing the need for policy reform that aligns with changing demographics, healthcare economics, and personal narratives. Andrew underscores the power of personal stories in driving policy changes and fostering a more empathetic, effective approach to end-of-life care.

CLOSING CONVERSATION
4:55 – 5:20 PM

Public / Private
Amanda Kloots, Yvette Nicole Brown

Navigating the tension between public and private can be difficult at the best of times but when grieving the loss of a loved one or caring for someone who is ill, knowing what to share can be particularly difficult. TV host and fitness star Amanda Kloots and actor and director Yvette Nicole Brown discuss why they chose to become advocates and what they’ve learned from lending their voices and personal stories to advance social change.

NETWORKING RECEPTION

BOOK SIGNING

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Event Details

Food and Beverage

We provide coffee and tea all day, breakfast, lunch, afternoon refreshments and a cocktail reception. 

Continuing Education Credits

We will be offering continuing education credits (CE) for physicians and nurses this year for attending the event. More details coming soon.

Coat Check

Free and supervised all day.

Airports

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Burbank Airport (BUR) 

Parking

Free onsite parking, please plan on 10 minutes to get from your car to registration. 

Refund Policy

We understand that circumstances may arise that require you to cancel your attendance at our event. We offer a 60-day refund policy that provides a full refund if you cancel your registration more than 60 days prior to the start of the event.

If you need to cancel your registration less than 60 days before the event, we we will not be able to issue any refund. To request a refund, please contact our team at hello@endwellproject.org and provide your registration information. We will process your refund within 5-7 business days of receiving your request.

We strive to provide fair and reasonable refund policies for our attendees, while also ensuring that we are able to cover the costs associated with organizing and hosting the event.

Speakers

Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown is an Emmy-nominated actress, writer, producer and host best known for her roles on the television shows: Community, The Mayor, Drake and Josh, The Odd Couple, Disney Plus’s Big Shot, and Act Your Age and films including Dreamgirls, Tropic Thunder, Avengers: Endgame, and Disney’s Disenchanted. She is also a 2020 NAACP Image Award Nominated writer for Always A Bridesmaid – the Romantic Comedy she penned and Executive Produced that is streaming on Netflix and BET+. Yvette sits on the National Boards of Donors Choose, EMILY’s List, MPTF Next Gen and SAG-AFTRA and is a caregiver and advocate.

J.S. Park

J.S. Park is a hospital chaplain, published author, and online educator. For nearly nine years he has been an interfaith chaplain at a 1000+ bed hospital that is designated a Level 1 Trauma Center. His role includes grief counseling, attending every death, every trauma and Code Blue, staff care, and supporting end-of-life care.

 

J.S. also served for three years as a chaplain at one of the largest nonprofit charities for the homeless on the east coast. J.S. has a MDiv completed in 2010 and a BA in Psychology. He also has a sixth-degree black belt. He is the author of As Long as You Need: Permission to Grieve, releasing April 16th, 2024 and published by W Publishing of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

 

J.S. currently lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife, a nurse practitioner, and his daughter, newborn son, and adopted dog.

Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. is a Buddhist teacher, Founder and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a social activist, author, and in her early years was an anthropologist at Columbia University (1964-68) and University of Miami School of Medicine (1970-72). She is a pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress, received the Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care by HealthCare Chaplaincy, the Sandy MacKinnon Award from Covenant Health in Canada, Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care, received an Honorary DSc from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She has received many other awards and honors from institutions around the world for her work as a social and environmental activist and in the end-of-life care field.

From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness, A Journey Through Buddhist Practice; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; Standing at the Edge:Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet; Sophie Learns to Be Brave; and her latest work, In a Moment, In a Breath.

She has been involved with the Mind and Life Institute since its inception and is founder of the Varela International Symposium.

For more about Roshi Joan’s life and work, please visit her website: www.joanhalifax.org.

Lisa Keefauver, MSW

 

Lisa Keefauver, MSW is a grief activist with more than two decades of professional experiences with grief and loss; working as a social worker, narrative therapist, and educator within multiple settings from non-profits to corporations and universities. Lisa’s wisdom and understanding of grief is also embodied from her personal losses including the death of her husband Eric from Brain Cancer in 2011.

 

Lisa’s grief advocacy led her to found Reimagining Grief, with a mission to illuminate and dismantle the limited and misleading collective story of grief that causes so much unnecessary suffering. It also inspired her to create and host the top-rated podcast, Grief is a Sneaky Bitch; serve as an adjunct professor of Loss and Grief at the University of Texas at Austin; act as an organizational consultant to facilitate grief-smart organizations; write/appear as a thought leader across media platforms and as a keynote speaker. 

 

Just before beginning treatment for Triple Positive Breast Cancer in 2023, she took to the TEDx stage to deliver her, Why Knowing More About Grief Can Make it Suck Less. Learn more about why she is on a mission to change the narratives of grief by watching her Media Maker Profile by Medicinal Media. You can pre-order her heavily anticipated book, Grief Is A Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating Loss now. It arrives in bookstores June 4, 2024.

 

 

Tembi Locke

 

Tembi Locke is the New York Times bestselling author of her memoir From Scratch, and an actor, producer, and screenwriter with a passion for connecting with an audience both on the page and on the screen. From Scratch is a Reese’s Book Club pick, an Audie Awards Best Audiobook Finalist, and a Goodreads Best Books Finalist. Along with Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine, Tembi served as an executive producer and co-writer for the hit Netflix limited series inspired by her book.

 

Tembi thrives at the intersection of storytelling and advocacy. She credits her advocacy work to beginning with her parents, who always encouraged her to do her part in nurturing a more just and humane world. Tembi speaks on healing after loss, reclaiming your personal narrative, everyday resilience, creativity and the deep belonging found through human connection. Her work includes giving a TEDx talk, keynotes around the country, and being an ambassador to organizations doing the vital work of changing our systems and society for the better. She is also a prolific actor, who cut her teeth with iconic comedies like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends before going on to star in over sixty television shows including The Magicians, Bones, NCIS, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the global hit Never Have I Ever. Through all of Tembi’s ventures, her hope is for her work to inspire people to love more deeply, embrace resilience, and honor the fundamental humanity that connects us all.

 

When not on set or with family, Tembi is at work on her forthcoming book. An intimate and interweaving look at family history and her pilgrimage to uncovering lost stories, it is a book of optimism and reckoning.

 

Jared Rubenstein, MD

Jared Rubenstein, MD is a pediatric palliative care doctor and medical educator at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX, USA.  He is passionate about helping people talk about difficult things and believes that the use of satire, animation, and humor can facilitate these conversations.  When he’s not talking about palliative care, he loves traveling and spending time in nature with his wonderful wife and two hilarious kids.

Lindsay Brant, RN, BSN, CCRN, EOLD, MFA

Lindsay Brant has been a critical care nurse in the Cardiothoracic ICU at UCLA Health for over a decade. Along with a rigorous and perceptive clinical approach, she is a trained Integrative Therapist and Death Doula, equipped with a diverse skill set to engage the mind, energy and spirit of each patient while tending to the body. Lindsay founded and chairs COMMUNITY, a nurse-led committee whose mission is to promote inclusivity, transparency and resilience in the CTICU and to ask the question, how can we show up for each other as we serve and ensure the dignity and autonomy of our patients? Lindsay believes in and practices the power of service. As a member of Upaya Nomads Clinic, alongside Nepali and western clinicians, she provides medical care and practical support to the high-altitude communities of the Himalayas.

Qwynn Galloway-Salazar, PhD

Dr. Qwynn Galloway-Salazar, affectionately known as Doc Q, is the Founder and CEO of In Their Honor. As an Army Veteran, Spouse to a Combat Veteran, End-of-Life Doula, Storyteller, and Educator, she has devoted over two decades to supporting military and Veteran communities. Through her visionary leadership, she has fostered national conversations and shaped programming addressing the unique needs of Veterans and their caregivers, promoting quality of life through the end of life. 

 

In 2023, her groundbreaking work alongside PsychArmor Institute on the “Caring for Veterans Through the End-of-Life Collection,” launched. The collection addresses the challenges faced by Veterans and offers invaluable guidance and support for Compassionate Communities, Caregivers/Loved Ones, and Healthcare Providers.

 

Beyond her role at In Their Honor, Qwynn remains deeply engaged in supporting various organizations dedicated to military and Veteran communities. She lends her expertise to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s End-of-Life Doula Council and sits on the Veterans Studies Association advisory board. She is also a founding member of the Compassionate Communities Think Tank (U.S.). In her spare time, she mentors Master’s and Doctoral students, nurturing the next generation of leaders in her field.

 

Qwynn’s tireless efforts have garnered well-deserved recognition, with USA Today honoring her as one of their 2024 Women of the Year. This prestigious accolade, coupled with her previous distinction as the inaugural Woman Veteran of the Year (2022-2023) by the Georgia Department of Veterans Services, is a testament to her impact on her community and the nation at large.

Shoshana Ungerleider, MD

Shoshana Ungerleider, MD is an internal medicine physician, the host of the TED Health Podcast and leading voice in healthcare who regularly appears as a medical expert voice on CNN, MSNBC and CBS News. She has been involved with 2 Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentaries on end of life. During her training and early years practicing medicine, she often found herself caring for frail, often older patients who were alone, suffering in pain and surrounded by strangers in a hospital setting. Shoshana knew there had to be a better way, a way to make the end of life more dignified and human-centered so that ending well became a measure of living well. She founded End Well in 2017 to do just that.

ALUA ARTHUR

Author of BRIEFLY PERFECTLY HUMAN: Making an Authentic Life by Getting Real About the End, Alua Arthur is the most visible death doula in America today. She is a recovering attorney and the founder of Going with Grace, a death doula training and end-of-life planning organization. Her TED Talk titled, “Why Thinking About Death Helps You Live a Better Life,” went online in July 2023 and has already received over 1.5 million views. A frequent guest on TV and radio, Arthur has been featured on CBS’s The Doctors and in Disney’s Limitless docu-series with Chris Hemsworth, as well as other national media outlets, such as Vogue, InStyle, the Los Angeles Times, The Cut, The New Yorker, New York Times, Marie Claire, and CNN. She has appeared on dozens of podcasts, and a Refinery29 video feature on Arthur and her work received ten million views across social platforms. She travels the country and world as a keynote speaker, addressing audiences at medical and end-of-life conferences, universities, seminaries, senior citizens’ communities, and more, and is perpetually in the quest for donuts.

Anthony Chin-Quee, MD

Anthony Chin-Quee is a board certified Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon) with degrees from Harvard University and Emory University School of Medicine. He has done multiple performances for The Moth, where he’s won their local Story Slam, placed as a runner-up in the Detroit Grand Slam, and performed on their NYC, Chicago and London Mainstages. He was a medical consultant for ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and a member of the writing staff of FOX’s “The Resident” for two seasons, distilling complex medical and social issues into palatable and understandable mainstream storylines. His memoir, “I Can’t Save You”— a candid account of the ways in which medical residency training shattered the mind of an empathetic, well-intentioned doctor, and the arduous task of piecing it back together again through painful and overdue self-discovery—was released by Riverhead Books on April 4th, 2023 to critical acclaim. He has published opinions in Forbes and been interviewed by NPR on the topic of systemic racism in medical education.

Anthony currently resides in England with his wife and two children.

Myra Sack

Myra Sack is the author of “Fifty-Seven Fridays: Losing Our Daughter Finding Our Way,” and founder of E-Motion, Inc. a nonprofit organization created to support community, movement and ritual to enhance coping and resilience. Myra’s life changed when her older daughter, Havi, was diagnosed with a fatal neurodegenerative disease in December 2019. Havi died on January 20, 2021 of Tay-Sachs disease. E-Motion evolved out of a new way of living with the most difficult reality, blending Myra’s lived experience and knowledge as a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care provider with her lifelong identity as an athlete and career in social impact. Myra holds an MBA in Social Impact from Boston University, and graduated with a B.A. cum laude from Dartmouth College, where she captained the women’s soccer team and earned All-America honors. She has devoted over a dozen years to youth-serving nonprofits, including serving as Chief Program and Strategy Officer at Squashbusters, Inc. and leading program development across Latin America for Soccer Without Borders. A writer, speaker, and activist, Myra serves on the Board of the Courageous Parents Network and lives in Boston, MA with her husband Matt, their second daughter, Kaia, and son Ezra. Her writing has appeared in numerous national outlets including the Boston Globe Spotlight, Today.com, Hadassah Magazine, and Upworthy.

Matthew Goldstein

Matt Goldstein is a physician-scientist and entrepreneur. He has founded companies, built R&D teams, and led strategy and execution of both pre-clinical research and clinical development. Prior to joining JScreen and Emory University, Matt was a Partner at Related Sciences, a venture creation firm. As an entrepreneur at Third Rock Ventures he spent a decade building and operating Third Rock portfolio companies. He was responsible for building and leading the Immunology program at Tango Therapeutics, the centerpiece of Tango’s strategic multi-billion dollar partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. He also served as the development head for Tango’s lead program which entered the clinic in 1H 2022. Matt was a co-founder of Neon Therapeutics leading Translational Medicine and Early Development through completion of their first clinical study and initial public offering. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the MD/PhD program at Stanford University, where he pioneered novel cancer immunotherapies in the lab of Ron Levy, MD. He completed his clinical training in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital. 

 

He lives in Boston with his wife, Myra, their second daughter Kaia and son Ezra. His oldest daughter Havi died on January 20th, 2021 of Tay-Sachs disease.

Kennedy Murphy

Kennedy Murphy is a 16-year-old from sunny San Diego with a passion for sports, media production, and supporting others through their grief. Her father, Don Murphy, passed away from a heart attack when she was just 5 years old. At the age of 7, she began attending Experience Camps California, a grief camp that has profoundly shaped her dedication to helping others navigate their own loss.

Sah D'Simone

Sah D’Simone is a spiritual revolutionary, artist, and the internationally bestselling author of Spiritually, We and Spiritually Sassy. He’s known for hosting the top-rated Spiritually Sassy Show podcast and for creating the Somatic Activated Healing (SAH) Method™. Sah works in the Spiritual Care Department at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and is a guest lecturer at Columbia University. His remarkable contributions to homeless youth in Venice Beach, California earned him the CARE award from the city and county of Los Angeles.

Andrya Rene Rivera-Burciaga, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ACHPN

Andrya R. Rivera-Burciaga is an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and oversees the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She has over 23 years of clinical experience as a registered nurse, and 12 years as a family nurse practitioner, including nursing administration and education. For over 13 years, Dr. Rivera-Burciaga has focused her clinical practice on Hospice and Palliative Care, and as a PhD student, her research focus is on Healthcare disparities among Hispanics in palliative care and end-of-life.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Baylor University in May 1999. In 2010, she completed her Master of Science in Nursing, focusing on Adult Health. In May 2011, she also received her Post Masters Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Texas-Pan American. In 2017, she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston – School of Nursing. She has also completed the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Fellowship. She is currently a PhD in Nursing Science student at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.

In 2023, the Cambia Health Foundation awarded Andrya an esteemed opportunity to participate in the Cambia Sojourns Scholar Leadership program, for a proposed project focused on healthcare disparities among Mexican Americans living with serious illnesses.

She is married and has 1 son.

Adimika Arthur


Adimika Arthur, “Madam Medicaid,” is a hospital/health system leader, social entrepreneur, board member and revolutionary changemaker. An experienced clinical epidemiologist and hospital/health system executive, she currently serves as the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Director for Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M), a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting innovation in Medicaid, the nations’ largest insurer. By further improving the quality, equity and access to care for vulnerable Medicaid populations, their families and communities, HT4M is radically changing the pace of innovation in Medicaid through innovative program service delivery, infrastructure/ecosystem development and issue/policy advocacy

D.S. Moss

D.S. Moss is a Humanist (nontheist) Chaplain unwavering in his pursuit to relate stories that connect us to our humanity. A natural explorer, he uses playful inquisition to examine the complexity of the human condition and the intrinsic meaning of life. Moss maintains an interdisciplinary practice of storytelling, street philosophy, and practical altruism. In 2015, Moss created The Adventures of Memento Mori podcast.. The consequence of this deep meditation on impermanence was life-changing. Uncertain of what happens after we die, Moss has dedicated his life to the positive changes that can happen while we’re still alive.

J.J. Duncan

J.J. Duncan is an Executive Producer of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

and Bravo’s mega-hit: Project Runway. She is a writer, a  health-care advocate, and a public speaker. She is also a mom, a wife-of-a wife, and an exuberant story teller at most any dinner party. In short – J.J. is busy.

Darnell Lamont Walker

Darnell Lamont Walker is an Emmy-Nominated children’s television writer who understands the power of representation and joy, creating content in hopes that all children get the opportunity to not only see themselves, but see how incredible they are and can be. Darnell has written for outstanding shows, including PBS Kids’ Work It Out Wombats!, Netflix’s Karma’s World, and Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues & You. He’s a death doula, helping individuals and communities move through grief and toward healing and happiness. Currently living between the Chattahoochee National Forest of Georgia and Johannesburg, South Africa, Darnell’s goal is to continue to support children, adults, and whole communities around the world through the building of safe and happy spaces.

Hui-wen Sato

Hui-wen is a pediatric ICU nurse based in Los Angeles. She holds an MPH and MSN from UCLA, and is currently obtaining her Certification in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. She has been published in the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, the Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work, and The Healer’s Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief. She is a regular contributor to AJN’s blog, Off the Charts. She has been a keynote speaker for various local and national nursing conferences. Her 2017 TEDxTalk was promoted to the main TED webpage in 2020, titled “How Grief Helped Me Become a Better Caregiver.” She has been featured in podcasts with NPR TED Radio Hour, The Silent Why, Grief is a Sneaky B!tch, and The Apologies Podcast, as well as webinars for Happify and the Speaking Grief Initiative. She and her husband have two daughters, two tortoises and one complicated dog. You can follow her work at http://heartofnursing.blog.

Claire Bidwell Smith

Claire Bidwell Smith is a therapist specializing in grief and the author of multiple books including Conscious Grieving and Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief and her work has created new and innovative ways to heal and transform through her grief and loss. Led by her own experiences with grief and fueled by her work in hospice and private practice, Claire strives to provide support for all kinds of people experiencing all kinds of loss. Claire offers numerous programs in addition to working with people one-on-one, as well as training other clinicians to work in the field of grief and loss. Claire has been featured in and written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Scientific American, The LA Times, CNN, MSNBC, Forbes, The Today Show, Goop, Oprah Magazine, and Psychology Today. She deeply loves her work and is devoted to expanding the conversation about grief and loss. www.clairebidwellsmith.com

Anthony Back, MD

Dr Anthony Back is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. He was educated at Stanford University and Harvard Medical School, and did his postgraduate medical training at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His research into patient-oncologist communication, funded by the National Cancer Institute and numerous other foundations, led to the founding of VitalTalk, a 501c3 with the mission of disseminating communication skill training to doctors and nurses who care for patients with a serious illness and their families. VitalTalk is one of the most successful non-profit startups in medical education and has trained >800 faculty who teach workshops that have reached >28000 clinicians to date. In 2018, Dr Back turned his attention to psychedelic therapy, writing what remains the only first person account by a physician of a guided psychedelic experience to be published in a medical journal (“What Psilocybin Taught Me About Dying”). He is now conducting the first clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted therapy for doctors and nurses with symptoms of depression and burnout associated with their frontline work in the COVID pandemic, funded by the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation and covered by NBC, National Public Radio, and Forbes. His second study in psychedelic medicine is a study of a group psilocybin-assisted therapy for patients with metastatic cancer.

Hal Hershfield

Hal Hershfield is a Professor of Marketing, Behavioral Decision Making, and Psychology at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. His research, which sits at the intersection of psychology and economics, examines the ways we can improve our long-term decisions. 

Hershfield’s book, Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today, was published in June. Hal publishes in top academic journals and also contributes op-eds to the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. He consults with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many financial services firms such as Fidelity, First Republic, Prudential, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Avantis, and marketing agencies such as Droga5. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Hershfield was named one of “The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World” by business education website Poets & Quants.

Ai-jen Poo

Ai-jen Poo is a next-generation labor leader, award-winning organizer, author, and a leading voice in the women’s movement. She is the President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Executive Director of Caring Across Generations, Senior Advisor to Care in Action, Co-Founder of SuperMajority and Trustee of the Ford Foundation. Ai-jen is a nationally recognized expert on caregiving, the future of work, and organizing. She is the author of the celebrated book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. Together with Alicia Garza, Ai-jen co-hosts the podcast, Sunstorm. Follow her at @aijenpoo.

 

She has been recognized among Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and she has been the recipient of countless awards, including a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Award.  Ai-jen has been a featured speaker at TEDWomen, Aspen Ideas Festival, Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Skoll World Forum, and the Obama Foundation Inaugural Summit. She has made TV appearances on Nightline, MSNBC, and CBS, and her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Maire Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and CNN.com among others. Ai-jen has been an influential voice in the #MeToo movement and attended the 2018 Golden Globe Awards with Meryl Streep as part of the launch of #TimesUp.

Hadley Vlahos, RN
Hadley Vlahos is a registered nurse with over eight years of experience, including six years in hospice care. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The In-Between: Unforgettable Encounters During Life’s Final Moments. Hadley’s passion for healthcare and storytelling has garnered a vast online following, where she is affectionately known as “Nurse Hadley.” Currently, she is working on opening a family-centered, nonprofit hospice house. She hopes to provide a place of respite where patients and their loved ones can have meaningful gatherings, celebrating a life well-lived.
Pieter Deknudt
Pieter Deknudt, founder of Reveil, is a Belgian singer-songwriter who loves life and channeled the loss of a friend into a search for a warmer, more collective approach to death and bereavement. What began in 2014 as one concert in his hometown cemetery has now grown to almost one in two Flemish cities with local poets, singer-songwriters, brass bands, dancers, storytellers and visual artists paying tribute to the forgotten stories behind the tombstones. Through Reveil, Pieter has become a leader in Belgium’s burgeoning grieving culture with dozens of organizations unifying efforts to catalyze a “Mourning Revolution.”
Louie Schwartzberg

Filmmaker, Director, Producer

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who has spent his career providing breathtaking imagery using time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. Stunningly life-like, his high-resolution immersive films that celebrate life seamlessly bring nature and technology together to transform physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Louie is now pioneering the field of Visual Healing through research partnerships with the Providence Saint John’s Pacific Neuroscience Institute, University of California San Diego, University of California San Francisco, the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas and more.

 

Remington Rhodes

Manager, Advocate

Music manager, Remington Rhodes, was thrust into the role of primary caregiver for his brother, Harry Hudson, when they were both in their early 20s. Having seen the challenges the healthcare system places on people with serious illness and their families, as well as the lack of resources for youth and young adults, Harry and Remington founded the charity Hey I’m Here For You (HIHFY) to support young people undergoing cancer treatment by providing resources to help them discover and pursue their passions.

Simon Davies, MSW

Healthcare Change Agent, Advocate

Simon Davies, MSW; Hon DEd, is Executive Director, Teen Cancer America, the only national nonprofit working directly with hospitals to advise, support and fund them in the development of specialized programs and facilities for adolescents and young adults with cancer. His early career was in the management of substantial social and health care services in the fields of Learning Disability and Mental Health. Awarded an honorary Doctorate in Education by University of Coventry for the advancement of AYA professional education, Simon has developed an international reputation for success in bringing about change within traditionally structured health systems.

Andrew MacPherson

Policy Expert, Storyteller

Andrew MacPherson is Founding Principal and Managing Partner at Healthsperien, LLC, with two decades of federal and state health care legislative and regulatory policy and political experience. As Managing Partner, Andrew co-leads a team of over forty experts who specialize in developing comprehensive legislative and regulatory policy strategies, in-depth analyses, and strategic advocacy and communications initiatives for a wide-range of healthcare organizations, including Fortune 100 businesses, public sector purchasers, national health plans, professional associations, issue-based coalitions, health care start-ups and market innovators, and not-for-profit providers. Andrew has been featured in a variety of national media outlets on a range of health policy issues, including The Washington Post, Health Affairs, InsideHealthPolicy, Home Health Care News, Scripps News, The Messenger, and National Public Radio.


Andrew has a special emphasis and speaks regularly to national audiences on policy and political issues related to person-centered health care delivery transformation, including the public health crisis of social isolation and loneliness in the U.S., value-based insurance design (V-BID), and person-centered advanced illness and end-of-life care delivery. Andrew has been featured in a variety of national media outlets on a range of health policy issues, including The Washington Post, Health Affairs, InsideHealthPolicy, Home Health Care News, Scripps News, The Messenger, and National Public Radio.

D.S. Moss
Led by medical director, Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP, The Stad Center for Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country. 
 
The interdisciplinary program is devoted to prevent and treat pain for pediatric patients in close collaboration with all clinicians and subspecialties at the Benioff Children’s Hospitals on Oakland and San Francisco. The palliative care team provides an extra layer of support to the care of children with serious illness and their families. Integrative Medicine provides and teaches safe evidence-based integrative therapies (such as massage, acupuncture/acupressure, biofeedback, aromatherapy, self-hypnosis) to provide care that promotes optimal health and supports the highest level of functioning in all individual child’s activities. The Stad Center was established following a gift from Elisa and Marc Stad.