Death By Design

2/25/2021

Kathleen Vallee Stein

Season 3, Ep. 50
Kathleen Vallee Stein worked as an advocate for Medicare beneficiaries for many years. She became familiar with the Medicare Hospice benefit and the reluctance on the part of families to consider it. When her father was terminally ill, she experienced first-hand the difficulties families face when confronted with end-of-life issues. The dreaded decision to stop curative care and begin comfort care was monumentally difficult but resulted in a transformative experience for Ms. Stein and her family. She was moved to write a book about it, from a family member’s point of view. Ms. Stein’s opinion pieces have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News, Orange County Register, and the Jewish Journal for more than twenty years. She writes about a variety of life experiences, such as caring for aging parents, raising children, and reflections on work, friendship, and nature. Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing: Why My Family Chose Hospice is her first book. Ms. Stein was Manager of the Los Angeles County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) for the California Department of Aging. She trained volunteer peer counselors in Medicare and related health insurance, provided community education, and advocated for changes in Medicare law to benefit seniors. She was Director of Volunteers at the Aviva Center, a residential treatment facility for abused and neglected adolescent girls. As Director of Volunteer Development for Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, she trained Girl Scout leaders in outdoor skills and troop management. As Park Ranger at Monrovia Canyon Park, she trained and directed a corps of Volunteer Rangers and led local schoolchildren on educational hikes through the canyon. Ms. Stein received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from California State University – Northridge.https://www.valleeview.com
2/21/2021

Allison Gilbert

Season 3, Ep. 49
Allison Gilbert is an Emmy award-winning journalist and one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on grief and resilience.The author of numerous books including the groundbreaking,Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive,her stirring work exposes the secret and essential factor for harnessing loss to drive happiness and rebound from adversity. She serves on the Board of Directors for theNational Alliance for Grieving Childrenand the Advisory Board for theTragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the preeminent national organization providing grief support to families of America’s fallen heroes.Allison’s other books include,Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our ChildrenandAlways Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents. She is also co-editor ofCovering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists ReportSeptember 11,the definitive historical record of how broadcast journalists covered that tragic day. The landmark book was turned into adocumentary by the U.S. State Departmentand distributed to embassies and consulates around the world. Allison is theofficial narratorof theNationalSeptember 11Memorial & Museum’score historical exhibitionaudio tourand her voice is introduced by Robert De Niro on the museum’s “Witnessing History” tour, the only female journalist to be so honored.On Allison’s populargrief and resilience blog, she features Q & A’s with some of the most notable names in our culture today including,Arianna Huffington,Jon Stewart, and New York Times bestselling authorsGretchen Rubin,Dani Shapiro, andSusan Orlean.Allison is a sought-after expert on grief, loss, resilience, cancer prevention, and September 11, appearing onTODAY,CNN, andMSNBC. She’s appeared at New York Open Center withHenry Louis Gates, Jr. andSoledad O’Brien, and she’s frequently quoted in print and online, her perspective featured inThe New York Times,The Washington Post, and other publications.Allison is a popularworkshop leader and keynote speaker, helping individuals transform personal and professional setbacks intoopportunity. She has spoken to such diverse groupsasGoogle,Time Warner, National Association for Female Executives,Women’s Enterprise Development CenterInc.,JCC in Manhattan,92Y,Gilda’s Club, andNew York Public Library. She also partners with hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and religious institutions, to bring her one-of-a-kindMemory Bash® events to communities across the country. She has run these fun and meaningful events for many groups, includingNew Song Center for Grieving Childrenin Phoenix,Hospice of the South Shorein Boston, andNorthShore University Hospital and Hospicein Chicago, to name just a few. Allison has served as Executive Family & Memories Editor forLegacy Republicand spokesperson forFuneral Service Foundation’sHave the Talk of a Lifetimecampaign.Her work can also be quite personal and revealing. After the death of Allison’s mother to ovarian cancer and her aunt and grandmother to breast cancer, (and following genetic testing that determined she isBRCA1positive), she made the life-affirming choice to have twopreventative cancer surgeries. Her pioneering series for HuffPost,“My Journey to Prevent Ovarian Cancer,”chronicles her decision to have a prophylactichysterectomy. Allison writes about undergoing adouble mastectomyinThe New York Timesand talks about the operation and recovery onMSNBCand withCNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.Allison started her career in TV news, covering most every major news story in the last 20 years — including 9/11, when she was on the job and nearly killed by falling debris. AtCNN, Allison produced TV segments and wrote stories forCNN.com. Before CNN, she was a special projects producer atWABC-TVand an investigative producer atWNBC-TV, both in New York.She was also part of the original launch teams forNew York 1 NewsandMSNBC. Allison currently serves as Senior Writer forThe Center for Parent and Teen Communication, located within theDivision of Adolescent Medicineat theChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia.Allison has received threeEmmy awardsand sixEmmy nominationsfor various hard news reporting. She’s been awarded first place for consumer investigation by the National Association of Black Journalists, won “Best Multi-Part Investigative Series” by the Society of Professional Journalists, and received “Best Public Service” award by the Associated Press. ForParentless Parents, she’s winner of the Washington Irving Book Award.Allison graduated from Georgetown University and lives outside New York City. She and her husband have a son in college and a daughter soon to finish high school. You can learn more about her here:www.allisongilbert.com.https://www.allisongilbert.com/courses/
2/18/2021

Allison Gilbert

Season 3, Ep. 49
Allison Gilbert is an Emmy award-winning journalist and one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on grief and resilience.The author of numerous books including the groundbreaking,Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive,her stirring work exposes the secret and essential factor for harnessing loss to drive happiness and rebound from adversity. She serves on the Board of Directors for theNational Alliance for Grieving Childrenand the Advisory Board for theTragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the preeminent national organization providing grief support to families of America’s fallen heroes.Allison’s other books include,Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our ChildrenandAlways Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents. She is also co-editor ofCovering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists ReportSeptember 11,the definitive historical record of how broadcast journalists covered that tragic day. The landmark book was turned into adocumentary by the U.S. State Departmentand distributed to embassies and consulates around the world. Allison is theofficial narratorof theNationalSeptember 11Memorial & Museum’score historical exhibitionaudio tourand her voice is introduced by Robert De Niro on the museum’s “Witnessing History” tour, the only female journalist to be so honored.On Allison’s populargrief and resilience blog, she features Q & A’s with some of the most notable names in our culture today including,Arianna Huffington,Jon Stewart, and New York Times bestselling authorsGretchen Rubin,Dani Shapiro, andSusan Orlean.Allison is a sought-after expert on grief, loss, resilience, cancer prevention, and September 11, appearing onTODAY,CNN, andMSNBC. She’s appeared at New York Open Center withHenry Louis Gates, Jr. andSoledad O’Brien, and she’s frequently quoted in print and online, her perspective featured inThe New York Times,The Washington Post, and other publications.Allison is a popularworkshop leader and keynote speaker, helping individuals transform personal and professional setbacks intoopportunity. She has spoken to such diverse groupsasGoogle,Time Warner, National Association for Female Executives,Women’s Enterprise Development CenterInc.,JCC in Manhattan,92Y,Gilda’s Club, andNew York Public Library. She also partners with hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and religious institutions, to bring her one-of-a-kindMemory Bash® events to communities across the country. She has run these fun and meaningful events for many groups, includingNew Song Center for Grieving Childrenin Phoenix,Hospice of the South Shorein Boston, andNorthShore University Hospital and Hospicein Chicago, to name just a few. Allison has served as Executive Family & Memories Editor forLegacy Republicand spokesperson forFuneral Service Foundation’sHave the Talk of a Lifetimecampaign.Her work can also be quite personal and revealing. After the death of Allison’s mother to ovarian cancer and her aunt and grandmother to breast cancer, (and following genetic testing that determined she isBRCA1positive), she made the life-affirming choice to have twopreventative cancer surgeries. Her pioneering series for HuffPost,“My Journey to Prevent Ovarian Cancer,”chronicles her decision to have a prophylactichysterectomy. Allison writes about undergoing adouble mastectomyinThe New York Timesand talks about the operation and recovery onMSNBCand withCNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.Allison started her career in TV news, covering most every major news story in the last 20 years — including 9/11, when she was on the job and nearly killed by falling debris. AtCNN, Allison produced TV segments and wrote stories forCNN.com. Before CNN, she was a special projects producer atWABC-TVand an investigative producer atWNBC-TV, both in New York.She was also part of the original launch teams forNew York 1 NewsandMSNBC. Allison currently serves as Senior Writer forThe Center for Parent and Teen Communication, located within theDivision of Adolescent Medicineat theChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia.Allison has received threeEmmy awardsand sixEmmy nominationsfor various hard news reporting. She’s been awarded first place for consumer investigation by the National Association of Black Journalists, won “Best Multi-Part Investigative Series” by the Society of Professional Journalists, and received “Best Public Service” award by the Associated Press. ForParentless Parents, she’s winner of the Washington Irving Book Award.Allison graduated from Georgetown University and lives outside New York City. She and her husband have a son in college and a daughter soon to finish high school. You can learn more about her here:www.allisongilbert.com.https://www.allisongilbert.com/courses/
2/4/2021

Laura Sterner

Season 3, Ep. 47
In addition to being a wife and mother, Laura Sterner found her calling is wellness. Finding her place in life has been an evolution. For Laura, it started with poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and excessive stress as a norm. This lifestyle, and a genetic predisposition, yielded a fight with blood pressure issues when she had her firstborn. Holding the new little life, as well as her own health issues, provided a wake-up call to start initiating a lifestyle change. Fast forward 3 years, Laura's middle child, and only son, was born. His arrival also came with a bundle of allergic responses, asthma, and an ALTE, and Laura, still had blood pressure issues. This was where the rubber hit the road. Laura's focus shifted to ingesting as much information as she could regarding wellness to improve her family’s quality of life. She had been on an info gathering mission ever since, but now with a much clearer sense of purpose and a desire to help others who have faced a similar journey and challenges. This new path has drastically changed the quality of life, and Laura's desire is to be able to support others to make positive changes to create a ripple effect of health. In today’s hustle, families have an ever-increased need for guidance navigating the health industry and finding their own balance. With Laura's skill set, Her hope to provide guidance to individuals and families so that they can make decisions to improve their wellness.http://laurasterner.com/
12/10/2020

Garrick Colwell

Season 3, Ep. 43
It was April of 2017 when Garrick and the late Kinsloe Kelley Colwell, LMFT, invited over 20 Austin area healthcare professionals to meet and discuss ways in which they couldassist the Central Texas community in becoming aware of the importanceof completing their advance care directives.Over the next few months, the group met and decided to offer educational programs and resources through a non-profit organization they would call Kitchen Table Conversations.They felt the name of the organization would encourage people to have the end of life conversations in the comfort of their homes instead ofduringa medical crisis in the ICU.July 1, 2017, this web site was launched. The first workshop was offered the following month.In October, AARP of Central Texas began sponsoringThe 3 Ds of Advance Care Planning:How to Decide, Discuss, and Document Your End of Life Wishesworkshops.In 2020 AARP will sponsor four such webinars that will reachthousands of Central Texans.These workshops are facilitated by Garrick Colwell, President, and CEO of Kitchen Table Conversations.Garrick has been a Hospice Volunteer since 1987, servingas an on-callhospital and hospice chaplain. He is aRespecting Choices® Person-Centered CareFirst Steps® Advance Care Planning Certified Instructor and Facilitator.As aCertified Grief Recovery Specialist,he co-created with Hospice AustinConversationsOn Grief, a monthly online grief support program. As a volunteer, heco-facilitates drop-in and loss of spouse grief support groups.Garrick has completed over 200 hours of study with a grief expert David Kessler atgrief.com. David is the author of five bestselling books on grief. His first book,The Needs of the Dying,is a #1 best-selling hospice book praised by Mother Teresa. He co-authored with thelegendary Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, bothOn Grief and GrievingandLife Lessons.David's most recent bookFinding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief,waspublished in November 2019.Recently, Garrick completed 240 hours of training with the author, educator, and griefcounselor Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., CT, and holds aDeath and Grief Studiescertificate fromthe internationally recognized Center for Loss and Life Transition, a privatean organization founded by Dr. Wolfelt that is dedicated tofurthering our understanding of grief.In 2020 Kitchen Table Conversations began offering their Grief Education webinar series.Topics, dates, and times can be found on our Home Page; click on Grief Education.Garrick can be reached at 512-787-3402 orgarrick@KitchenTableConversations.orgHost a Kitchen Table Conversations Webinar, Activity, or EventIf you're interested in hosting a FREE workshop, activity, or event onAdvance Care Planningfor your company, faith community orspecial interest group,please call us today at512-787- 3402.