End Well 2023
It's About Time

Thursday, November 16, 2023
Los Angeles, CA


Not Just A Symposium. A Revolution.

Break the conference mold and leave not only informed but transformed. Be part of the seismic shift to make end of life, part of life.


To: Learn how to show up for others • Change policy to value caregivers • Explore psychedelic-assisted therapy • Tear down barriers to care • Rethink pain • Grieve consciously • Leave a green legacy • Trust the wisdom of children facing illness • Befriend our future selves • Talk about death accurately in the media.

Plan Your Day

25 voices, from celebrities to unsung heroes on one electrifying stage.

We spotlight pioneering minds and offer them a platform to take their ideas to the next level with fresh talks or in unexpected conversations. We are known for identifying emerging talents who soon capture global attention and this year promises the same. 

Wondering if this event is for you? Everyone is invited to attend, whether you’re an expert or just passionately curious.

Mingle at Lunch and After-hours:
The most cherished aspect of our experience? The connections made over meals and drinks. Enjoy an outdoor lunch with a thoughtfully curated seating arrangement and an engaging lunch host, fostering genuine connections on a topic of your choice. As the sun sets, we’ll guide you to a reception to mix and mingle with speakers and fellow attendees.

Speakers to date (click to see bio)

Founder, End Well & Host, TED Health

Palliative Physician, Author, Advocate

Founder & CEO Recompose

Author, Teacher, Chaplain-in-Training
Actor, Director, Advocate

Stad Center for Pediatric Palliative, Pain & Integrative Medicine

Actor, Writer, Producer

Pediatric Nurse and Advocate, CHLA

Actor, Director, Advocate
Anesthesiologist and Teacher
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

President and CEO, SCAN Group & Health Plan
Musician, Movement Builder
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate

Presenting Sponsor

Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate

Additional Support From

Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate

Community Partners

Actor, Director, Advocate
Pediatric Nurse and Advocate

Plan your schedule

End Well will take place on Thursday, November 16, 2023 in Los Angeles at the Skirball Cultural Center. Plan on a day beginning with a continental breakfast at 8:00 AM and concluding with a reception at 5:30 PM.

There are many hotels in Los Angeles near the Skirball at a variety of price points. We encourage you to make your reservations early.


We offer a range of tickets including discounted student and nonprofit tickets and early bird pricing. Note: No portion of your ticket price is tax deductible. Registration includes access to all programming on November 16th, as well as continental breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception.

COVID-19 Safety: At End Well, your safety is our top priority. We want to assure you that we will be following the most up-to-date CDC and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 protocols including utilizing outdoor space when able, increased ventilation, hand hygiene stations and encouraging masking. We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable event experience for all attendees.


Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N Sepulveda Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90049


End Well Symposium 11/16/2023

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.

Ira Byock, MD, FAAHPM
Dr. Ira Byock is an acknowledged visionary and pioneer in palliative care who has made important contributions as a clinician, author and educator. As Founder of the Institute for Human Caring, a component of Providence St. Joseph Health he drove transformation in clinical systems and culture to make caring for whole persons the new normal. He has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978 and his research has contributed to conceptual frameworks for the lived experience of illness along a continuum from suffering to wellbeing; measures for subjective quality of life during illness; and counseling methods to support life completion. He is a past president of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Directed Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program that developed prototypes for concurrent palliative care of people with life-threatening conditions. He directed the palliative medicine program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and continues to be an active emeritus professor of medicine and community & family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Ira is the author of Dying Well, The Four Things That Matter Most, and The Best Care Possible which tackles the crisis that surrounds illness and dying in America and the transformation that is possible. He lectures nationally and internationally and has been a featured guest on national television and radio programs, including CBS’ 60 Minutes, PBS News Hour, Fox and Friends, and NPR’s All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and On Being.
Katrina Spade
Katrina Spade is founder and CEO of Recompose. Driven by the idea of a sustainable alternative to conventional death care, she invented human composting and has worked tirelessly to bring the process to the world. In 2017, Katrina founded Recompose, a Public Benefit Corporation based in Seattle and the world’s first human composting company. Recompose started accepting bodies for human composting in December 2020. Katrina has been an entrepreneur and designer since 2002. Her background is in project management, finance, and architecture, with a focus on human-centered, ecological solutions. While earning her Masters of Architecture, Katrina invented a system to transform the dead into soil, which is now patent-pending. In 2014, she founded the 501c3 Urban Death Project to bring attention to the problem of a toxic, dis-empowering funeral industry. In 2017, she founded Recompose, a Public Benefit Corporation. Katrina has been featured in the Guardian, NPR, Wired, Fast Company, and the NYTimes. She is an Echoing Green Fellow, an Ashoka Fellow, and a Visiting Social Innovator at Harvard Kennedy School.
Laurel Braitman PhD

Laurel Braitman PhD is a New York Times bestselling author and the Director of Writing and Storytelling at the Medical Humanities and the Arts Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She holds a PhD in Science, Technology and Society from MIT, and is a Senior TED Fellow. Her most recent book What Looks Like Bravery: An epic journey from loss to love was published this March and her last book, Animal Madness, was a NYT bestseller and has been translated into eight languages. She is the founder of the global community of writing healthcare professionals, Writing Medicine, now in it’s third year. Her work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, Good Morning America and Al Jazeera. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, on Radiolab, in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, National Geographic and other publications.

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.

Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP
Dr. Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf is Medical Director, Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative & Integrative Medicine. A pediatric pain and palliative medicine specialist who treats children experiencing acute and chronic pain, he also provides holistic care for pediatric patients with life-limiting diseases and with his team adds an extra layer of support to the care of children with serious illness and their families. Friedrichsdorf is principal investigator for a study by the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute examining the creation, implementation and results of the curriculum “Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (EPEC) – Pediatrics,” which so far has trained 990 clinicians worldwide from all six continents. He founded and directs the annual Pediatric Pain Master Class, a unique weeklong intensive course for interdisciplinary health professionals, which so far has trained more than 600 clinicians from 40 countries. Friedrichsdorf has received many awards for his work, including the American Pain Society’s Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements in the Field of Pain as well as the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award. Friedrichsdorf has been a newspaper delivery boy, tour guide, factory worker, youth group leader, not-particularly-talented actor, assistant nurse, journalist, paramedic, EMT, lifeguard and children’s theater director.
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.
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.

Adjoa Boateng Evans

Dr. Adjoa Boateng Evans is an anesthesiologist, ICU physician, mother and writer. She currently serves at Stanford as clinical assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology. Outside of her patient care, she teaches a medical humanities course for medical students which has focused on: healthcare of the incarcerated, obesity medicine, trauma/gun violence, medical sustainability, LGBTQ health and assisted reproductive technologies. Additionally, she is heavily involved in Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse programming, an interdisciplinary group that marries various facets of visual, literary and musical art to medicine. 

Adjoa is particularly interested in stories about the complex decision making that families, patients and providers must make at the end of life especially those around faith. She also is currently investigating racial/ethnic disparities in critical care medicine and has an interest in highlighting stories around maternal mortality disparities or cultural differences around the use of hospice/palliative care at the end of life.

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.

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.
Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA, FACP
Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA is CEO of SCAN Group and SCAN Health Plan, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans, which serves more than 285,000 members across California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas. Since Dr. Jain joined SCAN in 2020, SCAN has maintained its 4.5 STAR rating for the sixth year in a row, launched a range of new products—including the first ever LGBTQ+ health plan product—and expanded its operations into three Southwestern states. SCAN has also launched four subsidiary medical groups intended to support seniors through the full range of inflection points in the aging process. In less than three years, SCAN’s total revenues have grown by more than $1.2B. Previously, Dr. Jain was President and CEO of CareMore Health and Aspire Health, served as Chief Medical Information & Innovation Officer at Merck & Co. and was Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and was the first Acting Deputy Director for policy and programs at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). A widely read Forbes columnist, Dr. Jain has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the “100 Most Influential People in US Healthcare” and LinkedIn named him its top voice for healthcare industry-related content.  
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.”
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.