AAHPM Leadership Forum: Ascend Facilitators
Anthony L. Back, MDAnthony L. Back, MD, is the Co-Director of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, and Co-Founder of VitalTalk. His education includes an undergraduate degree in the Humanities Honors Program at Stanford University, and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Back was a resident and Chief Resident at the University of Washington, a Medical Oncology fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His current work in palliative care started in 1998 when he was selected for the Faculty Scholars Program in the Project on Death in America, and began working with Bob Arnold and James Tulsky on the research that would become VitalTalk, a 501c3 nonprofit in 2015. Dr. Back’s work in communication skills has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, Livestrong Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and the National Institute for Nursing Research. With Randy Curtis he helped establish the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence at the University of Washington in 2015, where he leads strategic thinking. He is author, along with Arnold and Tulsky, of Mastering Communication with the Seriously Ill, a foundational text in palliative care, published by Cambridge University Press in 2009, and was the first to bring video of serious illness conversations to the web in 2012, the first to develop a smartphone app for teaching communication skills in 2014, and established the first video blog in 2015. (www.vitaltalkconversations.com). Dr. Back’s work in resilience began in the late 1998 when he met Joan Halifax at Being With Dying at the Upaya Zen Center, and he is now a senior teacher in this program. In 2015, he joined with Vicki Jackson, Karen Steinhauser, and Arif Kamal to develop a resilience intervention for palliative care clinicians, funded by the National Palliative Care Research Center.
Vicki A. Jackson, MD MPH FAAHPMVicki A. Jackson, MD MPH FAAHPM, is the Chief, Division of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. She also serves as the Co-Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care.
Dr. Jackson completed residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at The Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School, pursued training in research methods through the Harvard General Medicine Fellowship, and completed a Master’s in Public Health at The Harvard School of Public Health. She completed training in palliative care at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Health and joined the faculty of Massachusetts General Hospital in 2002. She pursued further research training in the Program for Cancer Outcomes Training. She was selected in 2003 for the Harvard Academy Education Fellowship where her work focused on development of end of life medical and communication curriculum which was the basis for the curriculum for the Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship. In 2009, Dr. Jackson was selected at the Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education at The Beth Israel Hospital. Currently, she is the Palliative Care lead investigator and mentor on several studies funded through NIH, NCI, and NCCN investigating the effect of early ambulatory palliative care for patients with advanced cancer. In 2015, she worked with hospital leadership to develop the Palliative Care Continuum Project which seeks to disseminate excellent palliative care for seriously ill patients at MGH through patient engagement, comprehensive advance care planning, and primary palliative care education for clinicians. Nationally she served as Co-Chair for an innovated 3-year academic leadership training program for junior palliative medicine faculty. Dr. Jackson is a member of the AAHPM Board of Directors. She also served as a Co-Editor for a series devoted to clinician-educator in The Journal of Palliative Medicine. She is the co-author of the book Living with Cancer: A step by step guide to coping medically and emotionally with a serious diagnosis published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, National Public Radio, and ABC World News Tonight..
Michelle C. Jacobo, PhDMichelle C. Jacobo, PhD, is the Chief Psychologist of the Inpatient Psychiatric Service and Director of DBT at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She provides clinical services and supervision throughout the hospital, as well as teaches Mindfulness and DBT.
Dr. Jacobo serves as a lead clinician on several research projects. Currently, she is delivering a treatment on the Neuro-ICU at MGH to decrease traumatic and mood disorders post medical event. She also works with Vicki Jackson, MD MPH FAAHPM, in Palliative Care, helping residents and physicians work on resiliency training. Dr. Jacobo also serves on the Board of Registration of Psychologists for the state of Massachusetts. Dr. Jacobo attended The University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she secured an MS and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She has received several awards for her teaching at Massachusetts General Hospital, including a Departmental Mentorship Award in 2013.
Kathleen Neuendorf, MDKathleen Neuendorf, MD, earned her medical degree from The Medical College of Ohio and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She then pursued hospice and palliative medicine fellowship training at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
She joined the Cleveland Clinic’s Palliative Medicine and Supportive Oncology Section directly out of fellowship and is appointed as Assistant Professor of Medicine through the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Neuendorf has been a member of the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication’s (CEHC) leadership team since 2013, first as the director of resident education and then as the Medical Director in 2015. CEHC led an institution wide initiative to train all of its clinicians in relationship centered communication in 2013. This work is ongoing and more than 7,000 individuals have been trained by CEHC faculty to date. Educational program development and implementation started early in her career and has continued for the CEHC beyond the initial course in the areas of delivering bad news, code status conversations, family meetings and a variety of other communication topics. Dr. Neuendorf has given numerous presentations and workshops to both a national and international audience on relationship-centered communication. It is her continued work in this field that led AAHPM to name her an Inspiring Leader Under 40.
Jessica Pettitt, MEdJessica Pettitt, MEd, inspires audiences to stand up and take action as she leads them down the path to understanding they are good enough to make the changes they seek. Challenging long held assumptions about the type of people who drive change and are successful, Jessica eradicates excuses and provides strategies to communicate openly and actively seek success.
Let’s roll up our sleeves, make space for real talk, and develop reality based plans, for actual change. Humor is a great equalizer and is often the quickest way to diffuse conflict and move toward real connection. With a background in standup comedy, Jessica Pettitt, frames even difficult subjects in an engaging and welcoming way. As a professional speaker, her expertise earned her the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association. A designation held by fewer than 800 people world-wide. As a facilitator, she provides the framework for open, welcoming, and productive conversation. Whether she provides a motivational keynote, an in-depth workshop, facilitates group interaction, or frames an entire conference as emcee, Jessica brings humor, a high level understanding of adult learning, and an ability to engage participants and encourage them to engage with each other. Participants walk away focused and confident in their role to make change now. By moving the discussion away from daily squabbles or task oriented challenges, to a larger vision of what is possible and how best to engage people of diverse experiences, Jessica provides the context to evaluate the situation now and move forward successfully to what could be. For more than a decade, Jessica has been educating college and university staff members to support and guide diverse students to success. Her social justice and diversity curricula are used nationwide. This background uniquely qualifies her to educate employers on building welcoming, productive, and innovative teams. The ability to communicate, listen, learn, take responsibility, acquire and retain talent and resources will lead to and maintain a welcoming, and dare we say, fun workplace environment. This has a direct impact on your bottom line NOW.
Joe Rotella, MD MBA HMDC FAAHPM
Joe Rotella, MD MBA HMDC FAAHPM, is chief medical officer for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and founder of the consulting company CatalystHPM.
He is a board-certified internal medicine physician, hospice and palliative medicine specialist, and hospice medical director. He served as chief medical officer for Hosparus, a large community-based hospice in Louisville, KY, from 1999-2014. His work for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine has included collaboration on Measuring What Matters, Choosing Wisely, and the Hospice Medical Director Manual. He chairs the Burnout and Resiliency Work Group for the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and is its representative to the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience.
Karen E. Steinhauser, PhDKaren E. Steinhauser, PhD, is a Health Scientist with the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, VA Medical Center, Durham, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Medicine, Senior Fellow with the Duke University Center for Aging, Associate Faculty Scholar with the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, and Associate Director of the Program on the Medical Encounter and Palliative Care, Duke and VA Medical Centers.
Specifically, she investigates the composition and measurement of the quality of life for patients and their families at the end of life. Her primary interests are end-of-life care, medical sociology and patient-provider relationships. Dr. Steinhauser received her doctoral training in sociology at Duke where she specialized in the study of medical sociology and aging. Her dissertation examined the organizational evolution of hospice care. Particular attention centered on the influence of public funding, via Medicare, on a private sector volunteer organization. Following her graduate training, she completed post-doctoral research in Health Services Research and Development at the Durham VA Medical Center. Her post-doctoral research focused on identifying what patients, families and health care providers value at the end of life. The qualitative and quantitative results of that study served as the foundation in the design of a clinical instrument to assess the quality of dying (the QUAL-E). Dr. Steinhauser is the Principal Investigator of the study to longitudinally validate that instrument. She is also Principal Investigator of a study to develop a twenty-year longitudinal database of hospice care in North Carolina.
Rodney O. Tucker, MD MMM
AAHPM Leadership Development Committee Chair and AAHPM Ascend Host
Rodney O. Tucker, MD MMM, is a native Alabamian, graduated from medical school at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1989 and is board certified in internal medicine, as well as hospice and palliative medicine. After a career in private practice as well as home care and hospice services, Dr. Tucker returned to his alma mater in 2002.
Since that time, he has been actively engaged in the development of one of the most comprehensive clinical, educational and research programs in palliative care in the US. Dr. Tucker also completed his Masters in Medical Management at the University of Southern California in the Marshall School of Business in 2009. In 2011, he assumed a leadership role in the UAB Medicine Reaching for Excellence culture renovation initiative as part of the Academic Medical Center of the 21st Century strategic plan and now serves as the Chief Experience Officer for UAB Medicine. In this, role Dr. Tucker works with stakeholders numbering over 14,000 in Alabama’s largest employer in the practice of evidence-based leadership and enhancing the patient experience in the setting of a changing healthcare environment. He has been serving as Director of the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care since 2013. In February 2016, Dr. Tucker was appointed as the first holder of the Christine S. Ritchie, M.D., Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Leadership at UAB.