Death By Design
Kathleen Vallee Stein
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.