Bios

Susan D. Block, M.D., is the Chair of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Co-Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care, a national center of excellence in palliative care education. Dr. Block received her A.B. from Stanford University, her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and completed residencies in both internal medicine and psychiatry at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. She is board-certified in both fields and in palliative medicine. Throughout her career, Dr. Block has had a strong interest in improving care of patients with life-threatening illness and in medical education reform. She has been a leader in the development of the field of palliative medicine nationally and has been responsible for the development of innovative educational programs for medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty. She runs national and international faculty development programs for palliative care clinicians, is active in research focused on mental health, communication, and cancer outcomes, and on medical education, serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching, mentoring, and research, and has led the development of palliative care and psychooncology services at DFCI and BWH.

Nathan Cherny, M.D., is an Australian born, Israeli oncologist and palliative medicine physician. He holds the Norman Levan Chair of Humanistic Medicine at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. Professor Cherny graduated in medicine at Monash University Medical School in 1983 and then completed a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians attaining specialist recognition in both oncology and palliative medicine. He subsequently completed a fellowship in cancer pain and palliative medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 1994, Dr. Cherny moved to Israel where he helped establish the Oncology and Palliative Medicine Unit at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. He continues to head that Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Service, and, in addition, he continues to practice general oncology. Since 2008 he has been the chairman or the ESMO Palliative Care Working Group.

Harvey M. Chochinov, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry, Community Health Sciences, and Family Medicine (Division of Palliative Care), University of Manitoba, and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba. He holds the only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care and is a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He also chairs the CIHR’s Standing Committee on Ethics. He did his undergraduate medical training and psychiatric residency at the University of Manitoba and completed a Fellowship in psychiatric oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 1998, he completed a Ph.D. in the Faculty of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Chochinov has been doing palliative care research since 1990, and is a grantee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institute of Health. His work has explored various psychiatric dimensions of palliative medicine, such as depression, desire for death, will to live and dignity at the end of life.  In addition to over 130 publications, he is a Co-Editor of the Handbook of Psychiatry in Palliative Medicine (Oxford University Press), and the Journal Palliative and Support Care (Cambridge University Press). He is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and his province’s highest honor, the Order of Manitoba, for his work in palliative care. He is the winner of the Canadian Psychiatric Association’s JM Cleghorn Award for excellence and leadership in clinical research and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

George Fitchett, D.Min., Ph.D., is Professor and Director of Research, Department of Religion, Health and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He also holds an appointment in Rush’s Department of Preventive Medicine. He has been a certified chaplain (Association of Professional Chaplains) and pastoral supervisor (Association for Clinical Pastoral Education) for over 30 years. His book, Assessing Spiritual Needs (Academic Renewal Press, 2002), is a widely used text in clinical and academic training programs.

In addition to his training in spiritual care, Dr. Fitchett has a Ph.D. in epidemiology. Since 1990 he has been involved in research examining the relationship between religion and health in a variety of community and clinical populations. His research has been funded by NIH and published in pastoral, medical, and psychological journals. Dr. Fitchett’s contributions to chaplaincy and spiritual care have been recognized with awards from the Association of Professional Chaplains (the 2006 Anton Boisen Professional Service Award) and the North Central Region, ACPE (Distinguished Service Award, 2007).

Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., is an Attending Neurologist in the Pain & Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is also Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Clinical Pharmacology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and previous Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Cancer Pain Research and Education at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  She holds the Chair of the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Pain Research.  She was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences for her national and international efforts in the treatment of patients with cancer pain.  She is the past Director of the Project on Death in America of the Open Society Institute whose goal was to transform the culture of dying in the United States through initiatives in research, scholarship and clinical care. Dr. Foley is currently the Medical Director of the International Palliative Care Initiative of the Network Public Health Program of the Open Society Institute working to advance palliative care globally.

Dr. Foley has focused her career on the assessment and treatment of patients with cancer pain.  She has received numerous awards and honors including the Distinguished Service Award and the Humanitarian Award from the American Cancer Society, the David Karnovsky Award from American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Frank Netter Award from the American Academy of Neurology.  She is a previous Rita Allen Scholar.

Linda P. Fried, M.D., M.P.H., is the DeLamar Professor of Public Health and Dean, Mailman School of Public Health, and Senior Vice President of Columbia University Medical Center.  Dr. Fried's scientific career has defined the phenotype of frailty as a new clinical syndrome, provided evidence as to its causes and identified opportunities for prevention. Her research has also identified approaches to prevent cardiovascular disease and the loss of independence with aging.

Dr. Fried is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the APHA Archstone Award, the U.S. National Bridge Builders Award, the Maxwell Pollock Award of the Gerontological Society of America, and has been named a "Living Legend in Medicine" by the U.S. Congress. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and of the Association of American Physicians where she serves on the governing Council. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council and Council on an Aging World, and of the MacArthur Network on an Aging Society.

Previously, Dr. Fried served as the Mason F. Lord Professor of Geriatric Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and led major multidisciplinary research programs on the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease, frailty, cognitive impairment and disability in older adults, and approaches to prevention.  Dr. Fried received her M.D. from Rush Medical College and her M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins. She trained in internal medicine at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and in general internal medicine, cardiovascular epidemiology and geriatrics at Johns Hopkins.

Michael B. Friedman, L.M.S.W.  In a career that has spanned over 40 years, Michael Friedman has been a direct service provider, an administrator, and a social advocate, working in community and public service positions.  In July, 2010 he retired from his position as Director of The Center for Policy, Advocacy, and Education of The Mental Health Association of New York City, which he founded in 2003.  At the time he also retired as Chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York, which he founded in 2004.  He continues teaching courses on health policy and social advocacy at Columbia University School of Social Work as well as a course on mental health policy at the Mailman School of Public Health.  He also provides consultation regarding mental health, health, and human services policy and organizational planning.

Previously Mr. Friedman had served as Regional Director (Deputy Commissioner) of the NYS Office of Mental Health, Director of Network Development for the Department of Psychiatry of NY Presbyterian Hospital, Executive Director of The Mental Health Association of Westchester, and Director of Operations of The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services.

Currently, he serves on the NYS Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Planning Council, The Advisory Committee to the NYC Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene, and The NYS Advisory Committee on Long-Term Care.  Mr. Friedman received a Master's degree in philosophy from Columbia University and a Master's in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work.

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She has worked in the area of death and dying for over thirty years and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying. For the past 25 years, she has been active in environmental work.  A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focused on engaged Buddhism. Roshi Joan Halifax is a distinguished invited scholar to the Library of Congress and the only woman and Buddhist to be on the Advisory Council for the Tony Blair Foundation.

Roshi Joan is Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is founder of the Ojai Foundation, was an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University, and has taught in many universities, monasteries, and medical centers around the world.  She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka (a high-level of certification that means "the legitimate seal of clearly furnished proof”) by Roshi Bernie Glassman.

Sherman A. James, Ph.D., is the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University. Prior to joining Duke University, he taught in the epidemiology departments at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1973-89) and at the University of Michigan (1989-03). At Michigan, he was the John P. Kirscht Collegiate Professor of Public Health, the Founding Director of the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health (CRECH), and a Senior Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research.

Dr. James' research focuses on the social determinants of racial and ethnic health inequalities and community-based and public policy interventions designed to minimize, and ultimately eliminate, these inequalities.

Dr. James was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2000. In 2001, he received the Abraham Lilienfeld Award from the Epidemiology section of the American Public Health Association for career excellence in the teaching of epidemiology. He is a fellow of the American Epidemiological Society, the American College of Epidemiology, the American Heart Association, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. In 2007-08, he was elected president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER), the largest organization of its kind in the world. A social epidemiologist, Dr. James received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Kavita Patel, M.D., M.P.H., is Managing Director for Clinical Transformation and Delivery, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform and a Fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution.  In prior positions, Dr. Patel directed the health policy program at the New America Foundation, and served in the Obama administration as director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House.

Dr. Patel is a practicing physician with health care policy experience in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where she was Deputy Staff Director for Health under Senator Edward Kennedy from 2007-2009.  She has also worked with the RAND Corporation, UCLA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Oregon Health and Sciences University.

James A. Tulsky, M.D., is Director of the Center for Palliative Care and Professor of Medicine and Nursing at Duke University.  Dr. Tulsky attended Cornell University as an undergraduate, completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, and received his internal medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  He continued at UCSF as chief medical resident and subsequently as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.  In 1993, he joined the faculty of Duke University.  He was in the first cohort of Project on Death in America Soros Faculty Scholars, and is the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physicians Faculty Scholars Award, a VA Health Services Research Career Development Award, the 2002 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (the highest national award given by the White House Office of Science and Technology for early career investigators), and the 2006 Award for Research Excellence from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Tulsky has a longstanding interest in doctor-patient communication and quality of life at the end of life, and has published widely in these areas.  His current research focuses on the evaluation and enhancement of communication between oncologists and patients with advanced cancer, identification of clinical, psychosocial and spiritual trajectories of patients at the end of life, development of self-management interventions for patients with life-limiting illness, and evaluating the role of palliative care in congestive heart failure.

Diana J. Wilkie, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., is a professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science and the Harriet H. Werley Endowed Chair for Nursing Research in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She also serves as director of the first NIH-funded Center of Excellence on end-of-life research.

Dr. Wilkie’s research, which focuses on pain management in people with cancer or sickle cell disease, has been continuously funded for 26 years and totals more than $28 million from a variety of sources including the NIH, HRSA, foundations, professional societies, and industry. The informatics-based pain reporting and pain management tools that she developed in oncology are now being tested in adult sickle cell disease and disseminated into practice in multiple clinical contexts.

Dr. Wilkie is nationally and internationally recognized for her contributions to knowledge development in pain management and end-of-life transitions for vulnerable populations. She led the team that developed the Toolkit for Nurturing Excellence at the End of Life, a CD ROM- and an Internet-based set of interactive, engaging teaching-learning tools. She also is well-known for innovative development and application of information technology for the transfer of scientific knowledge into clinical practice and for fostering the education and mentoring of clinical scientists in interdisciplinary and translational research. Her research has earned many awards from regional, national, and international organizations.

Linda Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., is the Buehler Professor of Geriatric Medicine and the director of the Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also a professor in the Social Enterprise Program at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Dr. Emanuel is the founder and principal of the national Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care (EPEC) Program and the Patient Safety Education Program (PSEP). She is the director of the Ford Center on Global Citizenship's Health Section at the Kellogg School of Management. Dr. Emanuel remains active with the Innovation Advisory Committee and the Patient Safety Task Force of the National Board of Medical Examiners, and has worked closely with the HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York City.

Prior to joining Northwestern University, Dr. Emanuel was vice president of Ethics Standards and head of the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association.  Until 1996, she was the assistant director of the Division of Medical Ethics and, until 1998, she was the Glessner Lee Associate Professor of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School. She has published and lectured extensively on clinical ethics, end-of-life care, the patient-physician relationship, academic integrity, accountability, organizational ethics, and professionalism.

Dr. Emanuel was trained at Cambridge University, University College London, Oxford University, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard University. She is a board-certified general internist with fellowship training in both public health research methodology and professional ethics.  Dr. Emanuel earned her Ph.D. in neurophysiology and was a research neurophysiologist before she embarked on her clinical career.

The Rev. George F. Handzo, M.Div., BCC, is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the deployment and practice of professional healthcare chaplaincy. With over 25 years in directing Chaplaincy programs, he is leading his field in the creation of practices and services which combine spiritual care with proven business benefits for healthcare institutions, their staff and their patients.

As the Vice President for Chaplaincy Care Leadership and Practice at HealthCare Chaplaincy, Rev. Handzo has led the management of chaplaincy services in thirteen healthcare institutions in the metropolitan New York City area and HCC’s consulting services devoted to the strategic assessment, planning and management of chaplaincy services. Clients have included the U.S. Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Hospital Corporation of America, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center (Phoenix), and Intermountain Healthcare.

Previously, Rev. Handzo was the Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for over twenty years and is a past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains. He serves on the Distress Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. He was an advisor to the Consensus Conference on spiritual care in palliative care sponsored by the Archstone Foundation. The Rev. Handzo is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale University Divinity School and has authored or co-authored over fifty chapters and articles on the practice of pastoral care. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.