Ibrahim Abdul-Malik, Ed.D.
Center for Empowerment and Personal Growth, New York, N.Y.
Ibrahim Abdul-Malik is director of the Center for Empowerment and Personal Growth. Dr. Abdul-Malik is also a certified master practitioner of both Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian Therapeutic Hypnosis and a member of the World Health Community of NLP Practitioners.
After earning his doctorate at Harvard University in 1971, Dr. Abdul-Malik continued his work in education with the New York City school system. He served as science adviser for UNESCO in the Republic of Maldives, S.E. Asia, where he organized the first junior college in that country and became its first president. He also served as adjunct professor at The City College and Baruch College, parts of the University System of New York City. For 10 years, Dr. Abdul-Malik taught school-aged actors on Broadway and in television, particularly “The Cosby Show.”
Dr. Abdul-Malik has just completed his third book, entitled: The Joys and Rewards of Prayer-A Guide for Beginners, A Reminder for Believers. He is currently preparing the young person’s edition of this book. Shaykh Abdul-Malik is general secretary of Imams Council of New York, whose members provide religious leadership for more than 100 Masjids throughout the New York metropolitan area. He also is an elder of the Admiral Family Circle Islamic Community, an arm of which, the Malik Shabazz Human Rights Institute, is accredited to the United Nations as a non-governmental organization, with special consultative status.
Fay Burns is the former Interim Director of the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) and directed the Offices of Access and Diversity at the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization in Alexandria, Virginia. She shared the responsibility of assisting and educating providers regarding issues of cultural competency and sensitivity to the uniqueness and diversity of patients that may impact end-of-life-care. Her role as Interim Director for FHSSA focused on supporting organizations in Africa and the United States to provide hospice and palliative care and support services. With more then 27 years of experience in various areas of health care, Ms. Burrs has committed the last 15 years to hospice and palliative care.
Ms. Burrs received a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia Union College and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in health administration. She is an experienced international and national speaker and lecturer on end-of-life care issues, cultural diversity, cultural competency and program development. She was nominated for Nurse of the Year award for her past leadership of the nurse section for the National Council of Hospice Professionals. Ms. Burrs also received recognition from the National Black Nurses Association (D.C. Metro) and Washington area and the Women’s Ministry for the development of Community Health Programs.
Reverend Kelvin T. Calloway, D.Min., was born in Herlong, California. Educated in the Mobile County (AL) public school system, he received the Bachelor of Science (Business Administration) degree from Texas Southern University (Houston, TX ) in 1975. One year later, Calloway earned a Master of Business Administration (Organizational Behavior and Marketing) degree from the University of Illinois - Champaign. Further studies resulted in the Master of Divinity degree from Alabama Interdenominational Seminary (Mobile, AL ) and a second M.Div. — along with the Doctor of Ministry (Ethics and Preaching) degree — from the Southern California School of Theology at Claremont in 1988.
Dr. Calloway has varied business-related experiences. He has been employed as an Industrial Engineer with Ingali’s Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, a Financial Services Representative with the Metropolitan Insurance Company, a Commerical Investment Specialist with Century 21 Real Estate Corporation, Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Business Administration, S. D. Bishop State Community College, Executive Director of Strongly Oriented For Action (a church sponsored social service agency) La Jolla, California. Additionally, he served as visiting Professor of Preaching and Ethics, St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Missouri and a member of the National Advisory Committee for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Last Acts Campaign.
Dr. Calloway was ordained an itinerant deacon in the Central Alabama Conference of the Ninth District of the A.M.E. Church in 1984 and an itinerant elder in the Southern California Annual Conference of the Fifth District of the A.M.E Church in 1986. He has pastored rural, urban and suburban churches in Alabama, California and Kansas. Dr. Calloway is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Among them are Outstanding Young Men of America, 1979, Who’s Who of La Jolla, California 1989, and the Wilshire Preaching Award, Claremont, California 1988.
The Honorable Donna M. Christensen continues to distinguish herself as a leader in the United States Congress. As a member serving her fifth term, she is the first female physician in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore Territory, and the first woman Delegate from the United States Virgin Islands.
In the 109th Congress, Delegate Christensen serves on the following House Committees, Subcommittees and Caucuses: the Committee on Resources, which oversees territorial and public land issues, the Committee on Small Business, which oversees entrepreneurship and business activities and the Homeland Security Committee which oversees preparing the nation to prevent and withstand attack.
Delegate Christensen is a Member of the Congressional Black Caucus and chairs the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Braintrust, which oversees and advocates minority health issues nationally and internationally; is a Member of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues; Member of the Steering Committee of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus; Member of the Congressional Rural Caucus; Member of the Coastal Caucus; Member of the Congressional Fire Caucus and additionally, a Member of the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana and an M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.
Christensen began her medical career in the Virgin Islands in 1975 as an emergency room physician. She served as staff physician at the Maternal & Child Health program, Medical Director of the Nesbitt Clinic in Frederiksted, Director of the Frederiksted Health Center, Director of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning, served as the Medical Director of the St. Croix Hospital and rounded out her medical career as the Territorial Assistant Commissioner of Health and as the Acting Commissioner of Health.
Christensen is a member of the National Medical Association, the Virgin Islands Medical Society, the Caribbean Studies Association, the Caribbean Youth Organization and the Virgin Islands Medical Institute.
Myra Christopher became president of the Center for Practical Bioethics in December 1994, and continues to serve as its executive director, a position she has held since the Center’s inception in 1985. In addition to providing oversight to the Center, Christopher has served as the national program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for State-based Initiatives to Improve End-of Life Care.
Because of Christopher’s involvement with the Nancy Beth Cruzan case, Senator John Danforth sought her assistance in drafting and introducing the Patient Self-Determination Act. In 1991, she was appointed by the governor as vice-chair of the Kansas Commission on the Future of Health Care and served in that capacity until 1994. She also consulted with the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on patients’ rights and organizational ethics standards.
Christopher is currently a member of the National Advisory Board for the Duke Institute for Care at the End-of-Life, the expert panel for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development and the advisory board for the Federation of State Medical Boards. She is formerly a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging.
Christopher has been named an honorary member of Alpha Sigma Nu, Rockhurst College and the 1996 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Christopher was nominated for the Gleitsman Foundation’s Citizen Activist Award for 2000 and in that same year was chosen one of the “Top 150” citizens of Kansas City in celebration of its sesquicentennial.
Recent honors include the prestigious 2004 Marian Gray Secundy Sankofa award for her deep commitment and outstanding work to improve palliative and end-of-life care for African Americans. In 2003 she was recognized as an Honorary Alumnus of the KU School of Nursing.
Andrea King Collier is a freelance journalist and a national health care advocacy consultant. Her new book, The Black Woman’s Guide to Black Men’s Health will be published in February, 2007. Her work in health care advocacy is guided by her own personal experiences and years of interviews with everyday individuals who strive for access to quality care.
She is the author of Still With Me...A Daughter’s Journey of Love and Loss. She has written for More, Women’s Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Chicago Tribune, the Lansing State Journal, the New York Times and others.
LaVera Crawley is a medical ethics researcher and lecturer at the Stanford University School of Medicine Center for Biomedical Ethics. She is the recipient of a five-year National Cancer Institute Career Development Award to study the effects of trust and perceived racism on cancer prevention practices among blacks. Dr. Crawley received the Soros Faculty Scholars Award (1999-2001) for the Open Society Institute’s Project on Death in America, which supported her project on developing and implementing a series of continuing education programs on end-of-life care to educate African American physicians.
A graduate of Meharry Medical College, Dr. Crawley completed a residency in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a research ethics fellowship at Stanford University. She also participated in the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care Education Program. Dr. Crawley is currently on educational leave from Stanford to complete her master’s degree in public health at the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Crawley served as the first executive director of the Initiative to Improve Palliative Care for African Americans and sits on its board of directors. She is the lead author of several articles on the subject of palliative and end of-life care for African Americans. She also serves on the executive board of Americans for Better Care of the Dying and is an adviser to the Alta Bates Summit Ethnic Health Institute End-of-Life Decision-Making Project in Oakland, California.
As a gerontologist, Dr. Dancy is a professor in the Ethelyn Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he also served as interim dean of the School of Social Work. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and his M asters of Divinity degree from the School of Theology at Virginia Union University. He earned his Masters of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey.
In addition to his theological training, Dr. Dancy received his doctorate in educational gerontology from the University of Michigan. In 1995, he completed an intensive bioethics course at Georgetown University. In 2002 he completed a sabbatical in bioethics that focused on such topics as medicine, law, ethics and spirituality through Michigan State University’s Center for Ethics and Humanities. In the area of bioethics, Dr. Dancy has served on the Internal Review Board (IRB) for Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He also has served as a consultant to the Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University in Alabama and is a participant in The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project APPEAL.
Dr. Dancy, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the author or co-author of many articles and books related to his areas of interest: spirituality and aging, caregiving and grandparents raising grandchildren. His book, The Black Elderly: A Guide for Practitioners, was published through the University of Michigan Press. He has served as a board member of the Southern Gerontological Society.
Dr. Davis is the Director of the All Around the African World Museum and Resource Center. He is an Adjunct professor at Davenport University and Lansing Community College. In addition, Dr. Davis has taught courses in Black Studies, Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, Education, Psychology and Interdisciplinary studies, Diversity, and Racial and Ethnic studies and conducted seminars and workshops at the College and University levels and for professional groups in areas of Aging, Diversity, Health, Education, and Business. He has traveled extensively through the inhabited continents.
He currently serves on the board of directors of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz Academy; a charter elementary school and retains active membership in many African and African American organizations including A Progressive Palliative Educational Curriculum for the Care of African Americans at Life’s End (APPEAL), the National Association of Black Social Workers, National Black United Front, Association of Classical African Civilizations, and the Black Data Processing Association. Recently Dr. Davis has served as Co-Chair of the Ghana Committee of the Lansing Regional Sister City Commission which has established Sister City Relationship with the Aquapim South District in Ghana in West Africa and a Information and Technology project in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Dr. Kweku (Willie) Davis is also President and CEO of DIANEX LTD. an investment and international trade firm and The Davis Complex of which he is president and specializes in the area of cultural sensitivity and health consultation and the business incubation process.. He is also a member of and one of the founders of the Greater Lansing Minority Business Association and a past member of the Chamber of Commerce. Dr Davis has recently retired from the State of Michigan as the Program Manager of the Medicaid Managed Care Ombudsman Program for the Michigan Department of Community Health. In addition, he co-founded the Potter/Walsh Neighborhood Association and he is past-president of Neighborhood Youth and Parent Partnership Program. Dr. Smith’s writings include many articles on community organizing.
Ms. Deese has over 15 years of experience in the operational, marketing and public relations of hospice programs. She is currently the community affairs director for VITAS Healthcare Corporation. Ms. Deese has professional affiliations with the African American AIDS Memorial Service, is a member of the task force on access to hospice care by minority groups for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Health Executives, a board member for Kupona Network (first African American AIDS Agency in Chicago ) and a faculty presenter for the APPEAL project, an educational program funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to train health care professionals providing palliative and end-of-life care to African Americans. In November 1999, Diane Deese was an award recipient of “Fifty African American Women Making a Difference” in Chicago. These women were recognized for their outstanding career achievements and dedication to the African American community. Ms. Deese is a trained emergency medial technician and is continuing her studies in the areas of marketing and business management.
Michelle Grant-Ervin M.D., is a graduate of the Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine at the University of Illinois class of 1981. She completed her residency training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in 1984 and holds board certifications in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Grant-Ervin was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians in1989 and in 2002. Her experience in emergency medicine includes serving as Chair and Residency director of Emergency Medicine at Howard University Hospital from 1993 - 2003.
Additional training and education achieved by Dr. Grant-Ervin include: A masters degree in Health Professions Education (M.H.P.E.) from the Department of Medical Education at the University of Illinois conferred in 1995, a fellowship in Bioethics at the MacLean Center for bioethics at the University of Chicago from 1996 - 1997, and a faculty scholar appointment with the Project on Death In America funded by the Open Society Institute. Dr. Grant-Ervin presently serves on three advisory boards which are: Iona Senior Services in Washington D.C., Center to Advance Palliative Care Studies (CAPC) at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and President-elect for the national advisory board for the American Alliance for Cancer Pain Initiatives.
Currently Dr. Grant-Ervin is Medical Director for the Greater Washington office of VITAS Innovative Healthcare Corporation and is faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Georgetown/WHC Emergency Medicine residency program.
Dr. Grant-Ervin speaks locally, regionally, and nationally on issues of quality care at life’s end, access to health care and a broad spectrum of issues impacting the navigation of care from the Emergency Department thru our complex health network.
Dr. Freeman is founder and medical director of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem, New York. He is currently a Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Cancer Institute (N.C.I). He holds the academic rank of Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Freeman is one of the foremost international authorities on Interrelationships among Poverty, Culture, Social Injustice and Cancer and is the leading voice on cancer disparities.
For twenty-five years (1974-1999), Dr. Freeman was the Director of Surgery at Harlem Hospital Center. For a five year period ending in September 2005, he held the position of an Associate Director of the N.C.I and Founding Director of the N.C.I Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.
Dr. Freeman served as National President of the American Cancer Society (ACS) where he was the chief architect of their initiative on Cancer in the Poor and was influential in making the health concerns of the poor and underserved a national priority. In recognition of this contribution, the ACS established the "Harold P. Freeman Award” which is given annually by various ACS divisions throughout America to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the fight against cancer in the poor.
Dr. Freeman served as Chairman of the United States President’s Cancer Panel (PCP) for eleven years. He was appointed for four consecutive three-year terms to the panel first by President Bush in 1991 and subsequently by President Clinton in 1994, 1997 and 2000.
Dr. Freeman pioneered the "Patient Navigation Program in which has proved to be a successful model to reduce disparities in access to diagnosis and treatment of cancer particularly among poor and uninsured people. Based primarily on the Patient Navigation model created by Dr. Freeman in Harlem, "The Patient Navigator, Outreach and Chronic Disease Prevention Act” was enacted by Congress and signed by the president in June 2005.
Dr. Freeman received an AB Degree from Catholic University of America and an M.D. Degree from Howard University. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997.
Bernice Harper, M.S.W., M.S.H., Ph.D., LLD
Former Medical Advisor, Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Washington, D.C.
Former Board President, Foundation for Hospice in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dr. Harper was the Medical Care Advisor to the Health Care Financing Administration in Washington, D.C.. Her career, which has progressed to this most influential Federal level, has focused on the area of health care and health care policy formulation. She has practiced in varied settings and personified the values and ethical standards of the social work profession even in the most difficult and highly charged political environments.
Harper earned her MSW degree from the University of Southern California in 194 2 and an M.P.H. from Harvard University in 1959.
Dr. Harper was instrumental in developing long term program policies which highlight continuity-of-care, including community and institutional care, and stresses the importance of psychosocial components. Her commitment to the long term care of those in need has served to demonstrate the best of the best for the profession and for those in need. Her insight and commitment to professionals, especially social workers, who are under both personal and professional stress as they work with patients in the final phases of their lives, combined with her perspective, academic, and practice skills with their families, motivated her to produce a definitive publication on death and the special needs for professionals to cope with their related stress. The book, Death: The Coping Mechanism of the Health Professional was in advance of the interest now placed on this area. Harper identified and labeled specific stages of coping with death that are important to understand, especially for professionals living through the process with clients.
Dr. Harper work at the City of Hope in California as Chief Social Worker and her practice with leukemia victims sustained her interest in the important needs of those with chronic and long term illness. She is nationally recognized for her work and is sought after for training workshops and conferences.
Bernice Harper has consistently been referred to as the professional’s professional. Harper has been able to represent social work values and bring them into policy statements. She is a personification of social work’s value base and has sustained that consistency in the Washington scene through multiple and changing administrations as well as political appointees. She has not compromised the long term health care needs of those in the country. She has also worked with multiple government organizations around minority services and activities for professional as well as other educational needs.
Dr. Harper has been active and served in leadership positions at NASW and the International Conference on Social Welfare. She was the first recipient of the Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement in Health/Mental Health Policy Award. As an international advisor Dr. Harper visited South Africa and Zimbabwe as a member of the first western seminar to share and explore hospice concepts with African countries.
LaVone V. Hazell is a New York State licensed funeral director, a certified funeral service practitioner with the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, and is certified in thanatology as a fellow (FT): Death, Dying and Bereavement, by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). She was the designer and project director of The Palliative Care Training and Education Program for Caregivers in Minority Communities (PTEP), sponsored by North General and Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospitals. With more than twenty-five years o f training experience, she has developed curricula for mental health, religious, educational and AIDS institutions.
Ms. Hazell was a member of the board of directors of ADEC for two consecutive three-year terms, and is mortuary officer for the United States Federal DMORT Region 2 Disaster Team, a founding member of Homeland Security, a board certified expert in traumatic stress (designate diplomate), with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, an instructor for, and member of the Faculty Council of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral service, Inc., a member of the advisory board for the African American Church and Community Perspectives for End-of- Life Care, and a member of Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society. She has also published numerous academic articles and book chapters in the field of thanatology.
A graduate of Howard University and Fordham University, Ms. Hazell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, a Master of Science degree in adult education and human resources, and is a certified family therapist. Ms. Hazell is presenting as an online faculty member of AAMI. Her major interest is the influence of culture on death rituals and the comparison of various minority groups’ practices relating to end-of-life events.
Karla FC Holloway, Ph.D., is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English, Law, and Women’s Studies at Duke University. She is the author of six books, including Passed On: African-American Mourning Stories (Duke University Press, 2002 ). BookMarks—Reading in Black and White—A Memoir , will be released this fall. She currently is at work on a project on bioethics, race, and law. Dr. Holloway is an affiliated faculty member of Duke University’s Institute on the Care at the End of Life. She also serves on the Greenwall Foundation’s Advisory Board in Bioethics, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, and the Princeton University Advisory Council: Program in the Study of Women and Gender. Dr. Holloway received her AB from Talladega College, her M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and her M.L.S. from Duke University Law School.
Camilla Hudson is a freelance interior designer living in Chicago, Ill.. Ms. Hudson attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois and made a career change from the hectic, corporate world into the design field partially due to assuming the role of primary caregiver to her aging parents. As the demands upon her time increased, she found it necessary to have better control over her work schedule in order to fulfill her obligations as their caregiver. Ms. Hudson is the mother of one child and two adopted dogs, one of which is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. As a result of her personal experiences with regard to end-of-life issues, Ms. Hudson is committed to increasing public knowledge and awareness of all end-of-life matters, particularly within the African American community and the need for advance directives.
Bethsheba Johnson is a board certified gerontological nurse practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Chicago State University and went on to complete her Master’s of Science in Nursing at Rush University as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. In 1997, Ms. Johnson completed her post Master’s certificate as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She has also been certified as an APPEAL (A Progressive Palliative Care Educational Curriculum for the Care of African Americans at Life’s End (APPEAL) and EPEC (Education for Physicians at End of Life Care) trainer.
Ms. Johnson currently works for the Southside Health Association at the Luck Care Center, an HIV/AIDS Primary Care Ambulatory Center. The Luck Care Center’s 200 patients are primarily African American and underinsured. The center provides HIV primary care, dietary consulta- tion, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, bioelectric impedance analysis, peer educators, support groups, clinical trails, complimentary therapies, prevention case management, adherence case management, and HIV case management.
She is also clinical faculty for the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center located in the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was appointed by Mayor Daley of Chicago to the Chicago HIV Planning Services Council. Ms. Johnson has traveled to South Africa with her husband to provide consultation to hospices caring for patients with HIV/AIDS. She is also shares a membership position with Dr. William Johnson on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2005, she and her husband have been featured in the July/August edition of Positively Aware Magazine. Ms. Johnson has recently been approved by the Clinton Foundation’s International Center for Equal Healthcare Access (ICEHA) to Provide HIV/AIDS and Operational Training to Local Healthcare Providers in Ethiopia.
William A. Johnson, M.D., is medical director of the Chicagoland Central program for VITAS Innovative Hospice Care®. In this role, Dr. Johnson provides and oversees expert palliative care and symptom management for a 300 patient hospice program.
Dr. Johnson maintains a private practice, he is also attending physician for several area hospitals, assistant professor of internal medicine at Rush Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center, and medical director of the Luck Care Center, an HIV/AIDS primary care clinic in Chicago. He also is affiliated with several professional organizations including the Cook County Physician’s Association, the American College of Physicians and the National Medical Association.
Dr. Johnson dedicates much of his time to HIV/AIDS-related organizations, such as the American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and to the relief efforts of organizations such as the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA).
Board certified in internal medicine and in hospice and palliative medicine, Dr. Johnson began his career as a pharmacist, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received a medical degree at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, where he attained honor status, and completed his residency in internal medicine at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Sharon Latson is the Senior Director of Access Initiatives for VITAS Healthcare Corporation.
Ms. Latson is responsible for development of national programs and initiatives to expand awareness of and access to VITAS hospice services in diverse and underserved communities.
Ms. Latson coordinated the professional and community outreach campaign for the 2000 PBS broadcast of On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying series. Ms. Latson secured funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and served as the director for The Last Miles of the Way Home: A National Conference to Improve End of Life Care for African Americans. Ms. Latson also directed a national project for the development of a culturally sensitive end-of-life curriculum for health care providers titled, A Progressive Palliative Care Educational Curriculum for the Care of African Americans at Life’s End (APPEAL). The APPEAL project was recently awarded a Quality of Care grant from the Aetna Foundation.
Ms. Latson, is the co-principal investigator on the Key Topics on End-of-Life Care for African Americans project with the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life. She also directed the full publication of the eleven articles addressing end-of-life care for African Americans. She serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa; Women Living with Pain Initiative and the Intercultural Cancer Council.
Ms. Latson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Communications from Columbia College in Chicago, Ill. and is currently pursing a Masters in Communications.
Gwendolyn London, D.Min., was the Interim Director the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life. Prior to her position at Duke, Dr. London had a 20-year tenure with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area. Dr. London left the field to pursue a career in direct services to patients and families. She has been involved in the field of end-of-life care since 1982 when she became a volunteer at Hospice of Washington, the first inpatient hospice facility in the United States.
Previously employed at the D.C. Partnership to Improve End of Life Care, Dr. London was the first executive director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community State Partnership organization, where she directed the activities of a coalition of over 60 organizations involved in the care of the dying. A long-term advocate of improved end-of-life care, she has a strong commitment to the need for policy initiatives, public education, professional education and research in this area.
Dr. London has extensive experience as a practitioner, educator and administrator and has held various positions related to the care of the dying. She has worked as a Hospice Chaplain, Hospice Bereavement Coordinator, Hospital Chaplain and Associate Minister at a 1700 member urban congregation. In each of these positions, she did extensive work with patients and families from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Richard Payne is an internationally known expert in the areas of pain relief, care for those near death, oncology and neurology, and is the Ester Col liflower Director of the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life at the Duke Divinity School. The Institute seeks to create knowledge and rediscover wisdoms about life’s end through interdisciplinary research and scholarship, teaching and community outreach.
Prior to his appointment at Duke, Dr. Payne led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. During this time at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, he held the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology. Dr. Payne directed the program’s clinical and rehabilitation services as well as research and training programs. He also served as Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
From 2003-2004, Dr. Payne was President of the American Pain Society. He is certified in hospice and palliative medicine by The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, in neurology & pain medicine by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a diplomat of The American Board of Pain Medicine. Dr. Payne was Chief, Pain & Symptom Management Program, Department of Neurology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX from 1992-1998.
Currently, Dr. Payne serves as the chair of the board of Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) of The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and is also a board member of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivors. He co-chairs the Palliative Care Steering Committee of the National Quality Forum (NQF) and is a member of the Long Term Care Commission of the NQF. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers, articles and opinion pieces.
Dr. Payne received his B.A in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, 1973 and his M.D. from Harvard University, 1977. He completed post graduate training in medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, MA, in neurology at the Cornell Campus of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and a post- graduate fellowship in neuro-oncology and pain medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Deacon Priester is director for the Amani Care Program. The program offers members of the African American community and other communities of Greater Chicago end-of-life care that is enriched with spiritual healing, wholeness, peace and dignity.
Decon Prister has been a member of Trinty United Church of Christ since 1982 and served actively for the deacon ministry for the last 13 years. From 1996-98 she completed a clinical pastoral care practicum with emphasis on hospice ministry; and in 1999 she completed a hospice management certificate program at the University of Illinois. She is board member of the Chicago End of Life Care Coalition. Deacon Priester works closely with the HIV/AIDS support ministry and provides staff support for education, prevention, testing and treatment programs at Trinity United Church of Christ.
Beny Primm has been the executive director of the Addiction Research & Treatment Corporation (ARTC) of Brooklyn, New York, since its inception in 1969. As one of the largest minority non-profit community-based substance abuse treatment programs in the country, the ARTC provides a multimodality service and treatment program for approximately 2,300 men and women, primarily members of severely underserved populations. Since 1983, Dr. Primm has served as president of the Urban Resource Institute, a non-profit organization that provides supportive social and medical services to critical populations within New York City. Among them are multiservice shelters for battered women and their children, intermediate care facilities and other services for mentally challenged individuals as well as outpatient alcoholic treatment services.
In recognition of his authority on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), addiction and AIDS, Dr. Primm was appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic in 1987. Dr. Primm is known internationally for his commitment to substance abuse treatment and the treatment of the psychological, social and economic ills that fuel that disease. In 1989, Dr. Primm was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to direct the federal government’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), formerly known as the Office for Treatment Improvement (OTI). Dr. Primm is widely published in treatment of drug abuse and related disorders in peer journals and textbooks.
Dr. Primm is the recipient of numerous awards and in November 2000, was granted the Surgeon General’s Medallion for U.S. Public Health Service for his lifetime of leadership in mental health and substance abuse treatment in the battle against the AIDS epidemic.
Dr. Primm earned his medical degree from the University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
A registered nurse and attorney, Gloria Ramsey is known for her work in bioethics; in particular, her research has focused on questions concerning end-of-life care, decisional capacity in the elderly, and legal and ethical issues for individuals and families with HIV disease and AIDS. Currently, she is the director of Community Outreach and Information Dissemination at the Center for Health Disparities Research and Education at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. In that role she directs community outreach efforts to reduce and eliminate health disparities among African Americans, Hispanics and the Military. Dr. Ramsey’s prior research examined reasons why African Americans do and do not complete advance directives and is working with investigators from Duke University Center for End of Life Care to develop and implement the didactic content for (APPEAL) A Progressive Palliative Care Educational Curriculum for the Care of African-Americans at Life’s End, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson and Aetna Foundations. Gloria Ramsey was the former director of a program funded by The Teagle Foundation, Inc. entitled, “Building Academic Capacity in Bioethics and Nursing” at New York University.
Dr. Ramsey’s clinical interests include ethical issues in clinical practice, ethics education and consultation and the unique ethical and legal issues that arise in nursing practice. Dr. Ramsey was the founding author of an online column for The Nursing Spectrum Career Management resource for RNs, “Ask the Experts,” entitled “Law & Ethics.”
In addition, she is involved in a variety of professional organizations and as a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA), she served from 1996-2001 as a member of the ANA Code of Ethics Project Task Force, reviewing and revising the Code of Ethics. She is also past secretary of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Nurse Affinity Group.
After graduating from Felician College, Lodi, NJ (AAS, Nursing) and Jersey City State College (BS, Nursing, the National Dean’s List), Gloria completed a JD in 1992 at Seton Hall University School of Law. In May 1996, she completed a Certificate in Bioethics and the Medical Humanities from Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Prior to joining NYU, Dr. Ramsey worked as a law clerk for Honorable Carol A. Ferentz, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part, Newark, NJ. She is a member of the Health Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association Bioethics Committee, and the American Association of Nurse Attorneys. Additionally, she is a member of a number of boards and is published in the areas of nursing ethics education, research and clinical practice.
For the past eight years, Kevin M. Sanders has been editor/writer for the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. There he directs a number of areas, including the medical school’s Web and print news. He also was the managing editor for the college’s alumni publication, The Ohio D.O. Under his tenure as editor, The Ohio D.O. won three awards for “Best Article or Feature Story” and one for best print publication from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s annual communication competition. Prior to that, he was the assistant director for the university’s Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics. Mr. Sanders is a graduate of the university’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University
A native Chicagoan, Mr. Sanders worked in the securities industry (Chicago Board Options Exchange and Pacific Coast Options Exchange) for 15 years before becoming a journalist. In Chicago, he helped to launch the magazine, Chicago AfterHours , and was its managing editor for two years. He has an extensive background in desktop publishing, philosophy, and politics.
In 1989, Pernessa Seele founded The Balm In Gilead, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to mobilize churches to become centers of compassion, education and prevention in the struggle against the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the Black community. The Balm in Gilead’s pioneering achievements have enabled thousands of churches to become leaders in preventing HIV by providing comprehensive educational programs for the community and offering compassionate support to those affected by HIV and AIDS.
As founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Ms. Seele has conceived and implemented several innovative programs that are being used both nationally and internationally. This includes The Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, the premier program of The Balm In Gilead, and now the largest AIDS awareness program in the US targeting African Americans since its inception in 1989. Ms. Seele is an advisor to the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Brain Trust and a consultant to the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Ms. Seele received a Master of Science degree in immunology from Atlanta University and a bachelor of science in biology from Clark College. She is a native of Lincolnville, South Carolina.
Paul Smith is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York. Under his caring and pastoral administration, high-church ceremony has disappeared. His sermons have a strong emotional appeal based on his deep commitment and his personal experiences of faith. He transfers his conviction to the congregants simply and directly.
Dr. Smith’s sermons contain symbolism from a multitude of different cultures. The service music encompasses gospel, rock, jazz, and traditional hymns, sources that reflect both the growing multicultural membership and the Presbyterian reform tradition that opens the door to new ideas and approaches within the church.
Dr. Smith is passionate about outreach to the community as well as to the larger communities of New York City and the world. In 1997, he preached at the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, to mark its centenary. He has brought sensitivity training to the local police precinct in Brooklyn, introduced a lunch program for the homeless and has brought many famous leaders to the pulpit to speak for social causes including the Dalai Lama, Ambassador Andrew Young, Arthur Ashe and former House Speaker Tom Foley. The Reverend is guided and inspired by his late mentor, Dr. Howard Thurman, whose life and beliefs embraced the philosophy of inclusion. Dr. Smith’s sincerity and religious fervor have brought enthusiasm to all spiritual aspects of life to the First Church.
During his 29-year career, Dr. Washington, a licensed clinical psychologist and minister, has held various administrative positions in mental health including commissioner of Mental Health Services for the District of Columbia and executive director of the William Wendt Center for Loss and Healing. For the last 18 years, he has specialized in grief counseling -working with those who are ill, dying and/or bereaved, and training others to do likewise. As a result of this work, Dr. Washington developed a strong interest in the interface of psychology and spirituality. He retired from mental health administration to pursue a second career in ministry. Dr. Washington is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and currently serves as a chaplain for Montgomery Hospice.
September Williams’ cross-disciplinary clinical background encompasses internal, family, emergency, refugee and palliative care medicine. Her clinical base is in palliative care and geriatrics at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, while her film base remains at Ninth Month Productions in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is devoted to cross-cultural competency.
Dr. Williams served as a part of the inaugural for the team opening of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health. She was the Lowell T. Coggleshall Fellow at the University of Chicago Center for Clinical Medical Ethics (1990-91). Along with feature film scripts and shorter pieces, she is the writer/director of the medically based short films, Shared Decisions and A Conversation on Moral Intuition, and the feature-length documentary film, When We Are Asked, the source material for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, APPEAL project (A Progressive Palliative Care Educational Curriculum for the Care of African Americans at Life’s End).
She is a co-editor of Bioethics Research Directions and Concerns for African Americans, and a contributing editor for the landmark bioethics volume, It Just Ain’t Fair. Additionally, Dr. Williams has been a consultant in areas of bioethical, medical and cross-cultural competency to a number of filmmakers and television directors, producers and writers. She was a National Endowment for Humanities Fellow in Black Film at the University of Central Florida’s Zora Neal Hurston Institute.
Dr. Williams has appeared in, and provided research for films and television broadcasts including “Frontline,” “AIDS Report” and “Nightline.” She has consulted with Center for Disease Control, the Harvard AIDS Institute, Initiative to Improve Palliative Care for African Americans and Last Acts Partners. In 2002, Williams was the Elizabeth Layton Memorial Lecturer at the Midwest Bioethics Center. Dr. Williams was the bioethics and medical voice for the Health Rhythms Radio, America’s first health radio program reflecting diversity and concern for ending health care disparities.
Dr. Williams is currently the attending physician in internal medicine, geriatrics, palliative care and clinical ethics at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco, Calif..
Kristy F. Woods, M.D., M.P.H., is a professor of medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and was named the inaugural director of the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in June 2003. Dr. Woods’ primary interests are in health care delivery, utilization patterns and health outcomes for underserved and minority populations with chronic diseases. She has extensive clinical and research experience in sickle cell disease, having served as director of education programs, Medical College of Georgia Sickle Cell Center and the director for, Meharry Sickle Cell Center.
Prior to joining Wake Forest University, Dr. Woods held faculty appointments at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia and Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. She has extensively lectured, published researched and authored book chapters on sickle cell disease. Dr. Woods has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of National Institute of Health supported studies.
Dr. Woods received her Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin College, Ohio, her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
In addition to her role on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Board, Dr. Woods serves on the board of directors of the Urban League of Winston-Salem.
Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. takes seriously not only the call to worship but also the call to take action as mandated by the Gospel. Under his leadership, Trinity adopted the motto “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian” and has set out to make activism within and on behalf of the African American community a key aspect of the church’s mission. An outspoken community leader, Wright has been vocal in making once-taboo issues, such as AIDS, a priority within the African American church leadership and service. His commitment to political activism, coupled with his dedication to the African American sermonic tradition, has made him a highly sought-after speaker nationally and internationally.
Reverend Wright is the recipient of numerous awards, including three honorary doctorates and three presidential commendations. An accomplished musician and author, he has written four books, numerous articles, and countless sermons. He was named one of Ebony magazines’s top fifteen pastors in the United States.
Reverend Wright has pastored Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ since 1972, seeing its membership grow from 87 adult members to a congregation of nearly 10,000. Wright’s early education took place in Philadelphia’s public schools. From there, he went on to earn a BA and an MA from Howard University, an MA from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in divinity from United Theological College, where he studied under the eminent Samuel DeWitt Proctor. In addition to national and international ministry, Reverend Wright serves on several boards of directors and committees.