2017 Member Spotlights

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December - Baard Fossli Jensen, MD, Ph.D.
Baard Fossli Jensen, MD, Ph.D.
Somsagt AS and CatoSenteret
Pediatrician and communication trainer
Oslo, Norway
bfj@somsagt.no  


Biography: Baard had time to become an experienced pediatrician before he realized that medical communication is something quite different from regular communication. And it took him still some years to realize the reason for much of his frustration; that regular and medical communication are like two different languages built on the exact same words.He has an interest in, and a place in is heart for, families where we see a mix of somatic problems and functional mechanisms. He works as a pediatrician at CatoSenteret in Norway. After completing a Ph.D. in doctor-patient communication at the University of Oslo, Norway, he decided to make high-quality communication-skills training available to all health-care providers. So together with top Universities in Norway and the US, he is currently making a communication-training-simulator together with his partner Trond Mjaaland.

What was your earliest ambition?
The first thing I can remember that resembles anything like an ambition was when we moved to a new town when I was 14. I soon realized I’d better up my social skills a notch or two. I didn’t have much faith in becoming a better small-talker, so I landed on teaching myself playing my mother’s guitar. I probably would have done just as well going for the small-talk.

What was the worst mistake in your career? 
That I dare tell about? I was to administer 8 units of insulin – and managed to do 80. I don’t know what was worse – that I could have killed the person or the fact that we pretended everything was alright and just gave a lot of glucose intravenously.

What was the best career move?
I attended a pilot training in the 4 habits approach here in Norway back in 2006, more or less by chance. That was not only a good career move – it was as life-changing experience. I’m sure I would have turned out as quite ignorant had I continued on the path I was on – thinking all good encounters were due to me being such a good pediatrician, and all not so good ones due to the parents being difficult.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
I think I’ll pass on that one. If I say my mom I’ll sound like a mama’s boy. If I name some else I’ll probably lose my family heritage.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I’ve never been much into sweets, and after I stopped both nicotine and alcohol, I’m now down to too much coffee. It’s sad, I know.

Summarize your personality in three words.
Curious, passionate & patient

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
As long as they stay away from “I did it my way”, I’ll let Sangvinerne, the men’s choir from the University of Oslo Medical school, pick the one they sing the best at the time. Elvis would be good; “If I could dream”.

Where are you the happiest?
I feel good when I realize I’m able to feel grateful.

November - Alireza Salehi-Nejad, MSc, LLM, BSc (Hons), BA, FdSc, PGDip, GradCert, CELTA
Alireza Salehi-Nejad – MSc, LLM, BSc (Hons), BA, FdSc, PGDip, GradCert, CELTA
Research Associate
University of Tehran
Tehran, Iran
salehinejad@ut.ac.ir
 
Biography:
Alireza Salehi Nejad is a multidisciplinary researcher, who is currently affiliated with the Faculty of World Studies at University of Tehran. In addition, he is the founder and the former CEO of Titan Inc. Alireza is an alumnus of Asia Pacific University and Staffordshire University Business School, graduated summa cum laude from Shahid Chamran University with a degree in Translation Studies, and pursued his postgraduate studies in International Law and British Studies at University of Tehran. Alireza actively advocates and rehabilitates people with spinal cord injury and cancer. Believing that better communication is the key to lowering health care costs and improving patient experience. It is worth noting that Alireza has collaborated with numerous academic publishers - notably Elsevier, Cambridge University Press, Canadian Center of Science & Education, SAGE Publications - and scholarly journals as an editorial board member and reviewer. By the same token, he is recognized as the Top Reviewer in Social Sciences by Publons and received the Sentinel of Science Award in 2016. Although Alireza’s focus is on social sciences, his research and studies include a broad range of topics in various disciplines. In addition to his contribution to the ‘culture of poverty’ and the ‘cycle of poverty’, Alireza’s research expertise includes interpersonal communication, political discourse, international relations, social medicine, and medical sociology. His latest work has been published in Science, International Affairs, Political Studies Review, European Political Science, and Spinal Cord.


What was your earliest ambition?
Albert Einstein said that: “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” I truly intend to live a life without regrets and I am glad to say that I have not made a regrettable mistake in my career line. Nonetheless, we may learn more from mistakes than success.

What was the worst mistake in your career? 
Being too hard on myself. Not allowing myself to be human

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why? 
My mother always inspired and encouraged me.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
I highly recommend books on sympathy and patient needs. I would like to cite Sa’di’s poem that reads:
“All human beings are members of one frame,
Since all, at first, from the same essence came.
When time afflicts a limb with pain
The other limbs at rest cannot remain.
If thou feel not for other’s misery
A human being is no name for thee.”

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?  
I have not thought about it; but perhaps, “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas or this Khayyam’s quatrain:

In childhood, we strove to go to school,
Our turn to teach, joyous as a rule
The end of the story is sad and cruel
From dust we came, and gone with winds cool.

Summarize your personality in three words.
Perceptive, Perfectionist, Philomath

How would you spend your favorite day?
The perfect day is when I have peace of mind and can arouse this feeling of contentment and joy within the others.

Where are you the happiest?
On vacation with my family.

October - Randall W. Porter, MD
Randall W. Porter, MD
Neurosurgeon
Barrow Neurological Institute
Chief, Interdisciplinary Skull Base Section
Phoenix, Arizona

Randall.porter@barrowbrainandspine.com 
 
Biography:
Dr. Randall Porter grew up in Barrington, Illinois where he attended high school. He received a BA in economics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and completed medical school at Rush Medical College in Chicago. He knew he wanted to be a surgeon when he was a teenager. Realizing his dream, he completed his residency and fellowship at the Barrow Neurological Institute in 2000, training under the world-famous neurosurgeons Dr. Robert Spetzler and Dr. Volker Sonntag.  Dr. Porter has published over 75 peer-reviewed papers, over 30 chapters in major medical textbooks, and has spoken at more than 100 professional meetings throughout the country.  He was the associate editor of the Journal Skull Base Surgery, and has been invited to review numerous articles for the scientific literature. He was named a “Top Doc” by his peers in Phoenix Magazine seven times, and was selected as “professor of the year” twice by the neurosurgery residents at Barrow. Dr. Porter performed the first robotic radiosurgery treatment in Arizona using the CyberKnife, the first endoscopic microvascular decompression, and performed the first minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion. Dr. Porter serves on the board of Barrow Brain and Spine, and The Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Porter has a passion for healthcare innovation. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Medical Memory, a HIPAA-secure enterprise solution that provides video recordings of doctor-patient visits. Dr. Porter is an angel investor and was a founding member of Excelcius surgical, a company that developed one of the first robot for spine surgery. He is an investor in a number of other healthcare start-ups with a special interest in digital health.  He holds several patents that pertain to spinal surgical implants and has several others pending. Dr. Porter is the current team neurosurgeon to the Arizona Cardinals, and in the past, served as an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant for the NFL.  Most importantly, he always puts patients first. He delivers passionate care, video records all his visits, and offers a prayer before every surgery to those who are amenable. Dr. Porter is the current director of the Barrow Acoustic Neuroma Center.


What was your earliest ambition?
When I was a freshman in high school I knew I wanted to be a surgeon.

What was the worst mistake in your career? 
Being too hard on myself. Not allowing myself to be human

What was the best career move?
a. Becoming a neurosurgeon and teaching residents to be better doctors. 
b. Starting a company, The Medical Memory, recording my patients with video, and  ignoring the fact that my colleagues said I was exposing myself to risk. Recording helps my patients remember what I tell them, improves transparency, and improves doctor-patient communication. Even if it never becomes profitable, it was a worthy endeavor because I know each day patients experience healthcare like they never have before. 

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My parents, they taught me how to be a hard-working, honest, compassionate human being, and my wife who always there to pick me up when I doubt myself.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?  
a. Lucky man, by Montgomery Gentry
b. A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own.  W. H. Auden, Physician 

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Golf, for sure. 

Summarize your personality in three words.
Compassionate, truthful, loving. 

How would you spend your favorite day?
Golf in the morning with my boys at Pebble Beach or The Old Course in Scotland, dinner with my wife and family overlooking Monterey Peninsula.  

Where are you the happiest?
After a successful but very challenging surgery knowing I made someone’s life better. 

September - Jamie Mitchell, PhD
Jamie Mitchell, PhD
The University of Michigan School of Social Work
Assistant Professor
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mitchj@umich.edu  
 
Biography:
Jamie Mitchell is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Michigan. She also co-directs a Gender and Health Research Lab within the School of Social Work. A primary component of her research program focuses on identifying the underlying dynamics that shape the quality of communication and information exchange during older African American men’s medical visits with their oncologists and primary care providers. She is thoroughly invested in understanding the role that ineffective health communication plays in perpetuating low ratings of care, medical mistrust, poor medication adherence, and uninformed decision-making specifically for older African American men. She also examines the extent to which older African American men have access to and utilize the support of companions during medical visits to aid them in communicating with a health provider. Jamie is working to develop tools to support older African American men and their companions and caregivers in meeting their health care needs through engaged and effective communication with health care providers.


What was your earliest ambition?
To become a physician.

What was the worst mistake in your career? 
I’m not sure I’ve made it yet, thankfully.

What was the best career move?
Dedicating my research agenda to the health of African American men.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My colleague and friend, Dr. Daphne Watkins, associate professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. Her mentorship and support has been invaluable to my early career trajectory.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Whichever book inspires them to stay the course.

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?  
Song: “I Was Here” (Beyoncé)

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Twitter

Summarize your personality in three words.
Strategic, Relatable, Generous  

How would you spend your favorite day?
An indulgent brunch, long sunny walk, playing with my dogs and cats, shopping, and laughing with friends.

Where are you the happiest?
Wherever I am making a difference for good.  

August 2017 - Andrew Clarke, MD, MEd
Andrew Clarke, MD, MEd
Physician Health Program, Doctors of BC
Executive Director
Vancouver, British Columbia


Biography:
While Andrew’s training is in occupational medicine, he has a passion for mental health.  In particular, he is fascinated by the way that workplace culture is sustained and reproduced by language, and how it can be changed by deliberate linguistic choices.  He teaches medical students as part of the professionalism curriculum at the University of BC, and also conducts an accredited series of workshops for practicing physicians on the topic of interpersonal communication.  He believes that expert practice of communication skills requires an examination of how we experience the world around us.  Conversely, learning communication skills deeply can affect our way of being, and our sense of joy. Andrew is an avid tennis player, and enjoys experimenting with neuroplasticity by learning to play the organ.

What was the worst mistake in your career?
My worst career mistakes have all been related to ignoring my true passions, and trying to do what I thought others wanted. 

What was the best career move?
Accepting my current job, returning to my home town.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My grandmother, Helen Parker. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with her as a child, but I never really understood what a true angel she was, and how much hardship she overcame, until I was an adult and she was gone.  I wish I could express to her directly my gratitude for her existence.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
1) On becoming a person, by Carl Rogers; and 2) Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, who was Carl Rogers’ grad student.

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral? 

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Long ago I gave up feeling guilty about anything pleasant.  But I do enjoy the occasional Budweiser, and I make no apologies for liking “ordinary” beer.

Where are you the happiest?
Fortunately, I’m happiest at home, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.  I frequently wake up, look out at the ocean and the mountains, and wonder how I could possibly be so fortunate as to live here.
July 2017 - Mark David Noar, MD, MPH, FRCTM&H
Mark David Noar, MD, MPH, FRCTM&H
GI Micro Surgery Institute, PA
CEO, Director
Towson, Maryland
mnoar@gastro-doc.com


Biography:
Dr. Mark David Noar, is a Gastroenterologist and Therapeutic Endoscopist, who specializes in the advanced treatment and understanding of Digestive Diseases.  He completed his training in Gastroenterology at Downstate Medical Center/Brooklyn VA, in Brooklyn, New York.  His training in Therapeutic Endoscopy was under the direction of Dr. Nib Soehendra, at the University Hospital in Hamburg, Germany.  Dr. Noar practices in an academic-style, state-of-the-art, subspecialty private practice, GI Micro Surgery Institute dedicated to curing diseases that others only treat. Specializing in Digestive Diseases, with an emphasis on the treatment and non-surgical correction of GERD or reflux disease, and other advanced therapeutic techniques including correction of gastroparesis, hemorrhoids and fecal incontinence, the practice and the associated outpatient surgery center are both accredited by the AAAHC and Medicare, and as such are highly committed to quality and patient satisfaction in addition to providing the latest and most successful technology and treatment to patients. Even with the emphasis on progress and professionalism, the entire staff strives to give the utmost in care and concern to each patient and family member, while providing the personalized old fashioned comfort of a country doctor's office. Dr. Noar has numerous publications and presentations to his credit, as well as inventions in Medical Simulation, Endoscopic Biliary Instrumentation, and Electrogastrography.  Dr. Noar is especially known internationally for his research and work in the field of endoluminal treatment for GERD and fecal incontinence, and the motility abnormalities associated with GERD.

What was your earliest ambition?
To become a physician

What was the worst mistake in your career?
Not controlling time demands and taking on too many projects.

What was the best career move?
Opening a private practice and surgery center

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
Dr. Michael Sorrell and Dr. Vlado Simko, both of whom were my mentors and program directors, who taught me the value of compulsive attention to detail, compassion, and communications.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
The Secret Strength of Depression

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
Amazing Grace

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate

Summarize your personality in three words.
Compulsive, Compassionate and Selfless

How would you spend your favorite day?
Surrounded by friends and family in celebration of life’s experiences.

Where are you the happiest?
When I am with family, and with patients and colleagues, teaching and helping them to improve and understand disease.
June 2017 - Marla Clayman, PhD, MPH
Marla Clayman, PhD, MPH
American Institutes for Research
Senior Researcher
Chicago, Illinois

Biography:
Marla takes pride in her background in public health, and has been the Chair of both the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section and the Health Communication Working Group of the American Public Health Association. She spent the 2015-2016 academic year working as a Fulbright Scholar in Norway.

What was your earliest ambition?
To be a professional violinist and marine biologist.

What was the best career move?
Marrying my husband. Seriously. Having a partner who understands and is supportive of your goals really matters. Your personal goals and your career goals may not always line up. He has crossed oceans and time zones for my career, and his support has allowed me to do my work in the ways that matter to me.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
"Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'" (Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake)

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Watching terrible television.

Summarize your personality in three words.
Stubborn, curious, consistent

How would you spend your favorite day?
Hiking, followed by a nap, a massage, and a novel.
May 2017 - Edwin Meresh, MD, MPH
Edwin Meresh, MD, MPH
Loyola University Medical Center
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Maywood, IL
emeresh@lumc.edu 

Biography: Edwin Meresh is Associate Professor of Psychiatry on the faculty at Loyola University Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Stanley Medical College, Chennai, India, completed psychiatry residency at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, NY and Psychosomatic Medicine fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago. His clinical background is in consultation psychiatry and he supervises residents and medical students during their hospital psychiatry rotation. Apart from teaching medical psychiatry, he is interested in residents and medical students exposed to patient centered care and team care. His research interest is in the area of psychosomatic syndromes. He is working on a project measuring pain in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and sleep apnea. 


What was your earliest ambition?
To become a doctor.

What was the best career move?
After my residency, accepted for fellowship Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My mother, she has guided me very well and has encouraged me to be successful.  

How would you spend your favorite day?
Going to beach on a sunny day.

Where are you the happiest?
Spending time at home relaxing. Spending time with my family.
April 2017 - Melliza Young, MD
Melliza C. Young, MD 
Guam Regional Medical City
Lead Patient Educator
Dededo, Guam
Melliza.Young@GRMC.gu

Biography: Melliza C. Young was born and raised in the Philippines. She earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Santo Tomas and currently holds a Philippine physician’s license. For the past 10 years Melliza and her husband and daughter have made their home on the island of Guam, a U.S. Territory in the Western Pacific.  Melliza currently serves as the Lead Patient Educator at Guam Regional Medical City [GRMC], a 132 bed acute care hospital that opened its doors in July of 2015. She also serves as a member of GRMC’s Institutional Review Board [IRB]. Melliza oversees GRMC’s Patient Education Department.  In that role she conducts individual and group workshops on a wide variety of health issues for both in-patients and out-patients. However, the major focus of her educational efforts are on non-communicable diseases [NCDs] like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The population served by GRMC is highly diverse and culturally rich. The number of NCD cases on Guam, and throughout Micronesia, has reached epidemic proportions. To serve the needs of this community Melliza has adopted a patient-centered, culturally-sensitive, collaborative and coordinated approach. She aims to improve her patient’s health literacy by empowering them with the knowledge and skills they need to manage their chronic conditions. Melliza has also worked with the GRMC staff, encouraging them to avoid medical jargon and use plain, easy to understand language in educational materials and in their conversations with patients and families. She has also worked with the island’s other two hospitals, Guam Memorial Hospital and Naval Hospital, to organize health literacy awareness campaigns throughout the community. The Guam Legislature recently recognized their efforts to improve patient education by adopting a Resolution commending all three hospitals during Health Literacy Awareness Month in October 2016. Melliza continues to advocate for a strong partnership between the private and public health sectors on Guam. She is an active member of the Data and Research Action Team of the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and she is a candidate for Stanford’s CDSMP Master Trainer, sponsored by the Guam Public Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Looking ahead, Melliza plans on developing, and directing, a sustainable patient education program on Guam that can be replicated on other Micronesian islands. She also looks forward to completing a primary care residency training program in the U.S.  in order to better serve the communities of Guam and Micronesia as a clinician. 

What was your earliest ambition?
To be a flight stewardess and travel freely around the world.

What was the best career move?
Relocating to Guam, which opened a lot of opportunities not just for myself but also for my family.


Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
That’s my mother, for the unconditional love she had given me and my brothers and if not for it we would not be who we are right now

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Eating chips and drinking soda while watching my favorite movie at home.


How would you spend your favorite day?
Experiencing new adventures with my husband and daughter. 
March 2017 - Scott Sharot
Scott Sharot
University of New Mexico Medical School
Teaching assistant, simulated patient, remediation specialist
Albuquerque, New Mexico 
communicationremediations@gmail.com


Biography: Scott Sharot is a professional actor who discovered twenty years ago, that he could channel his acting skills into valuable role play opportunities for training law enforcement officers and first responders in Crisis Intervention and Crisis Negotiation Training. This led to a position as a simulated patient and teaching assistant at the University of New Mexico Medical School. Then under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Barnett, he began participating in communication remediation intensives with medical students and began using role play as a tool to help doctors remanded by their supervisors to improve their inter-collegial communication difficulties. These many years later, Scott has expanded this work by starting a consulting business to help clients including teachers, salesman, restaurant staffs and anyone dealing with difficult communication issues. He is thrilled to participate in ACH activities with such a remarkable group of communicators. 

What was the best career move?

Taking the skills learned after six years of training as an actor and using them to teach communication skills.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
Dr. Peter Barnett for opening my eyes to the value of this work and for mentoring me in the skills of communication remediation.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Motivational Interviewing by William Miller

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
John’s “Love Song” “The words I have to say:
May well be simple but they're true
Until you give your love
There's nothing more that we can do
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
You say it's very hard
To leave behind the life we knew
But there's no other way
And now it's really up to you
Love is the key we must turn
Truth is the flame we must burn
Freedom the lesson we must learn
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen”

Summarize your personality in three words.
Gregarious, Generous, Energetic

How would you spend your favorite day?
Let me recount one of my absolute favorite days: I spent the morning working with the kids in the garden at The Edible School Yard in Berkeley, then went down to San Gregorio Beach for a several hour walk along the Ocean; met my wife for an amazing dinner at Chez Panis; later was thrilled to see Trevor Pinnock conduct and play harpsichord in a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos; and finally enjoyed gelato from Almare Gelato during a visit with friends on their roof garden while we watched the full moon, reflected behind the Golden Gate Bridge.   
Where are you the happiest?
This question is way too hard to narrow down to a short answer. I make sure my life is chocked full of happy activities, including work.
February 2017 - Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH
Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Assistant Professor
Asheville, NC 

Biography: Delesha Carpenter is an Assistant Professor on the Asheville campus of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Her clinical background is in respiratory therapy and she holds an MSPH and PhD in Health Behavior. Her main research interest centers on using mobile health (mHealth) technologies to improve disease self-management and patient-provider communication. She has developed a tailored video software program to improve the inhaler technique of children and adolescents with asthma. She is also in the process of developing an asthma self-management app for adolescents. Her other research interests include conflicting medication information and decreasing rural health disparities. 

What was your earliest ambition?
My earliest ambition was to be a teacher. I have the 3rd grade career day photo to prove it:)

What was the best career move?
Accepting a postdoctoral fellowship position at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Before that time, I never knew that there was a public health focus in Schools of Pharmacy. 

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
I’d like to thank my mother for supporting me unconditionally and encouraging me to do my best.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Paul Farmer

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
Rudy Can’t Fail by The Clash

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Live music. I spend way too much money going to concerts and music festivals.

Summarize your personality in three words.
humorous, inquisitive, creative

How would you spend your favorite day?
Hiking and kayaking near Tortuga Bay in The Galapagos 

Where are you the happiest?
Hiking in the mountains with my family.
January 2017 - Ticonna Purdle, MS, MSPH, APRN, FNP-BC, PCMH-CC
Ticonna Purdle, MS, MSPH, APRN, FNP-BC, PCMH-CCE
UIC College of Nursing
PhD candidate
Chicago, IL 
ticonna@nursingspeaks.com

Biography: Ticonna Purdle is a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in nursing research at the University of Illinois Chicago.  She is a family nurse practitioner in an outpatient setting and has worked in the nursing profession for approximately 20 yrs. She is the founder of Nursing Speaks Incorporated, an American Heart Association CPR instructor, and a NCQA patient centered medical home content expert.  She has practiced in the long term, short term, and acute care settings; and has a passion for patient education and communication. She strives to live a happy life and provide the best care for her community, family and friends. 

What was your earliest ambition?
My earliest ambition was to be a doctor. I loved to help people and wanted to make a difference.

What was the best career move?
My best career move was becoming a registered nurse. The nursing profession is wonderful & life changing work; and has opened a lot of doors for me on my career path.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My mother, she has supported my goals and achievements and always gives me the best guidance and insight.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My guiltiest pleasure is Chinese food! I would eat it for every meal if I could.

Summarize your personality in three words.
Loving, gentle, kind. 

How would you spend your favorite day?
I would spend my favorite day shopping! 
2016 Member Spotlight Archives
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December 2016 - Constance Zou, MA, BS, BA
Constance Zou, MA, BS, BA
Yale University, School of Medicine
Medical Student
New Haven, CT 
constance.zou@yale.ninja

Biography: Constance Zou is a 2nd year Yale medical student. She graduated summa cum laude from Columbia with an BA in Biology and from NYU with an MA in Ethics and Philosophy. Prior to medical school, she facilitated the completion of three dozen research projects. She has published 9 times and her work has been cited over 600 times. As a medical student, she values the opportunity to listen, to witness and to engage. She hopes that through reflection and understanding of others, she can be effective in leading changes as she moves forward. Through activities she organized as the president of Yale’s Internal Medicine Interest Group, Constance provided students at Yale meaningful ways to interact with and to be connected to eager mentors who are ready to help them explore different specialties. Constance recognized the importance of building bridges among medical students attending all three medical schools in Connecticut: Netter, UConn and Yale, each of which have a different education philosophy. She submitted a proposal for an apple-picking event which received funding from the American College of Physicians and overwhelming supports from students from all three schools. Fresh apples were donated to residents at homeless shelter. For the past year, she worked with Dr. Joseph Ross at Yale’s Center for Outcome Research and Evaluation to evaluate the transparency and the responsible sharing of clinical trial data supporting FDA’s new drug approvals. The two completed projects shed light on the progress made to correct reporting bias in clinical trials. In her free time, she likes to host friends and family at her apartment for yoga practice. She likes to hiking in the wood while listening to audiobooks on history or medicine. 

What was your earliest ambition? 
I wanted to study at Yale when I read about it in the newspaper when I was 4-5 years old.  

What was the best career move?
Choosing Yale Medical School. It’s perfect for my development. 

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My mother. She never tried to lecture me about what’s important and valuable in life, she just showed me through her hard work and her love. She’s the opposite of tiger mom--she simply enabled my pursuit to become someone useful for the society. 

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Art of War. How to win patient over by being observant, understanding and attentive. 

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Listening to music and painting imaginary skylines in watercolor, while having a glass of delicious red wine. 
November - Ronald Epstein, MD, FAAHPM
Ronald Epstein, MD, FAAHPM
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine
Rochester, NY 
ronald_epstein@urmc.rochester.edu 

Biography: For over 25 years, Ron Epstein has been devoted to promoting physician self-awareness, mindfulness and effective communication to improve the patient-physician relationship and quality of care. Clinically, he practices outpatient family medicine and inpatient palliative care. He has developed educational innovative programs and published seminal articles on mindful practice, communication skills, the patient-physician relationship, physician self-awareness, and assessment of professional competence. Ron’s current research is on improving communication about prognosis and treatment choices in advanced cancer, and prior research touched on communication in the context of depression, somatization and HIV. He directs the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and co-directs the Deans Teaching Fellowship program and Mindful Practice Programs at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine (Palliative Care). A graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Medical School, Ron is recipient of the Lynn Payer Award from the ACH, the Humanism in Medicine Award from the New York Academy of Medicine, a Fulbright scholarship at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona, and fellowships at the University of Sydney and the Brocher Institute. He has published over 250 articles and book chapters. His book, Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity, will be released in January 2017.

What was your earliest ambition?
It was to be a doctor. Through trying to make sense of my own childhood illness experiences I came to appreciate the multifaceted nature of illness and suffering, and with that a resolve to do something that would make a difference. It wasn’t a straight path, though. There were many twists and turns before I finally settled back into my childhood dream.

What was the worst mistake in your career?
The worst mistakes have come from not paying attention to the unexpected and letting people talk me out of what I knew would be best. These episodes have been rare, but memorable. 

What was the best career move?
The most recent has been to write a book. “Attending” is about to come out in print, and I’m very excited about it. 

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
First, my wife, Deborah, for all that she is and does. After her, there’s Marguerite Britton, my 5th grade teacher. By running her classroom as a free and democratic state, she demonstrated that the gems of knowledge can be found within oneself, not only from the assimilation of facts and ideas. Her classroom was an essay in creative anarchy, inspiring her students and exasperating the school principal. 

What book should every healthcare provider read?
A Fortunate Man, by John Berger and Jean Mohr. It speaks to the soul.

How would you spend your favorite day?
Experiencing at least one moment of exquisite beauty. This is most likely to happen when cross-country skiing in fresh snow, playing a Bach suite on the harpsichord, cooking for cherished friends, and writing, but there are endless surprises.

Where are you the happiest?
Inner happiness comes when I feel a deep sense of purpose, an inner balance, and a connection to humanity; shared happiness comes when I celebrate important events with my family, the achievements of my students and just being with my friends. 

October - Richard Schifeling MD, FACP
Richard Schifeling MD, FACP
Jacobs School of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo
Attending Physician, Primary Medicine Center, Buffalo General Medical Center, Associate Program Director, SUNY at Buffalo Internal Medicine Residency Program
Buffalo, New York 
iws@buffalo.edu

Biography: Richard Schifeling is a primary care physician practicing in a teaching hospital.  For thirty years I did both inpatient and outpatient service and teaching, but recently I’ve moved into ambulatory care exclusively.  We work with medical students from second to fourth year, and our internal medicine residents.  I’ve always told my learners that I emphasize doctor-patient relations and evidence-based medicine, and advocate for the importance and inter-relationship of both.  I owe a lot of my interest in these topics to the ACH and national skills meetings where I got to work with Richard Frankel, Penny Williamson and William Branch, among many others.


What was your earliest ambition?

I loved the TV show, Maverick, and wanted to be a gambler.

What was the worst mistake in your career?
Fairly early in my career, I offered someone a job who accepted, but then I was pressured to rescind the offer, and have felt terrible about this ever since.

What was the best career move? 
Taking a teaching job when I finished my National Health Service obligation, as opposed to going into private practice or working for an HMO.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?   
The usual people, my parents, my brothers, my wife and our two sons and now three grandchildren, but also Henry Aaron who was my idol throughout my childhood, and an example of grace, outstanding performance and quiet determination as a baseball player.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? 
Eating peanut butter before going to bed.

How would you spend your favorite day?

I love to run, and I love our national parks, so I would run a long way in a beautiful park, go for some walks and have dinner and celebrate with my wife and family.

Where are you the happiest?
We have a wooded property south of Buffalo, where you can’t see or hear anyone else, just exist.


September - Betty Chewning, PhD
Betty Chewning, PhD
University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy
Professor and Director of the Sonderegger Research Center
Madison, WI

Biography: Betty Chewning is Apple Professor and Director of the Sonderegger Research Center at the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.  Her research and teaching seeks to improve partnerships between patients and health care providers through improved communication and to help new researchers believe in themselves.  Her randomized controlled trials test the impact of various interventions on observed patient and provider communication as well as health outcomes. She has long worked with diverse stakeholders (patients, inner city adolescents, tribal communities, older adults) to inform her intervention studies to enhance patient and public health outcomes. In her teaching she draws on Piaget’s Discovery Learning framework to create supportive environments where students can explore, practice and learn from their experiences with the help of patients and peers.  Her pharmacy students weekly tape their interactions with standardized patients and supportively help each other grow as they review their tapes together.  She believes listening skills, compassion and curiosity are by far the most important qualities of a good communicator and educator. 

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
 “Imagine” by John Lennon

What is your guiltiest pleasure?  
Reading feminist science fiction and fantasy books

Summarize your personality in three words:  
Passionate, creative, tenacious

How would you spend your favorite day?  
Playing Irish music with my band at the Malt House featuring my daughter singing

Where are you the happiest?  
I am happiest sitting on a rock by the lake, watching the shadows through the willow tree and the seagulls flying
August - Sean M. Phelan, PhD, MPH
Sean M. Phelan, PhD, MPH
Mayo Clinic
Assistant Professor
Rochester, MN
phelan.sean@mayo.edu

Biography: Sean Phelan is an Assistant Professor of Health Services Research and a Career Scientist in the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at Mayo Clinic.  He studies the impact of stigma on group disparities in patient-centered care.  Guided by a fundamental belief that high-quality, respectful, and patient-focused care is a basic human right, he focuses on research to improve the care experiences of people who are members of stigmatized and marginalized groups, including individuals with obesity or disability, sexual minorities, and underserved communities.  

What was your earliest ambition?
I wanted to work in construction as a kid.  Playing in the dirt with big loud trucks was very appealing to 5 year old me.

What was the best career move?
Three career choices come to mind – The first was studying something I am passionate about.  The second was seeking out accomplished and dedicated mentors who have helped open a lot of doors for me.  Finally, developing relationships with an amazing network of collaborators across institutions and disciplines has been very rewarding.  

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
That’s easy.  My wife, Sarah.  She supported me (emotionally and financially) through grad school, and she challenges me and inspires me every day.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
I recommend any book that puts you in another person’s shoes, and lets you see their world and connect with their experiences emotionally as well as intellectually.  Empathy is so important in healthcare and it is a trait and a skill that can be strengthened through practice.  Stories about an author’s own experiences have had the most influence on my worldview.  Most recently, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates opened my eyes to a new perspective, but there have been so many others.

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
Johnny Cash’s version of We’ll Meet Again.  

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Honestly, conferences.  I love my kids more than anything in the world, but I guiltily look forward to getting away for a few days, meeting with treasured colleagues I rarely get to see, eating good food, and not arguing with anyone over bedtimes.

How would you spend your favorite day?
It would include art galleries and antique stores, and really good food and wine with old friends.

Where are you the happiest?
Anyplace new.  I love to travel, and I’m happiest wandering aimlessly around someplace I’ve never been. 
July - Glyn Elwyn, MD, MSc, FRCGP, PhD
Glyn Elwyn, MD, MSc, FRCGP, PhD
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Professor
Hanover, NH

Biography: Glyn Elwyn BA MD MSc PhD is a tenured professor and physician-researcher at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, USA. He studied medicine in the United Kingdom and did his doctorate with Professor Richard Grol in the Netherlands. He leads an interdisciplinary team that studies shared decision making. His main focus is to understand the impact of Option Grids decision aids ®, evidence-based tools to foster better conversations. He developed the Observer OPTION and CollaboRATE measures of shared decision making. Twitter: @glynelwyn

What was the best career move?
The best career decision was to work with Professor Richard Grol in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. He was a hard taskmaster while being a truly generous mentor. He tried to make sure that I became a critical scientist rather than a motivated advocate. He opened doors, which is what good mentors will do. 

What book should every healthcare provider read? 
The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli. It is one of the most insightful books into human motives and behavior. It deals, although tangentially, with the challenge of relationships which have power differentials. 

Where are you the happiest?
When there is clean data, and time to think and to write. I am also very happy making things out of wood. It is an old tradition in my family – carpentry. It boils down to being creative. To making things or making things happen. Articles, books, cupboard, bench. Nothing quite as practical as a good theory, or a straight plank of wood. 
June - Orit Karnieli-Miller, PhD
Orit Karnieli-Miller, PhD 
Tel Aviv University 
Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) 
Kiriat Tivon, Israel

Biography: Orit Karnieli-Miller, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medical Education at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, Israel.  She is a social worker in training with specialty in communication in healthcare.  She focuses through research and teaching on complex communication challenges of diagnostic disclosure ("breaking bad news”), handling multi-participant conversations (patient-physician-companion), implementing shared decision-making in medical practice, and professionalism in medical school training.  

What was the best career move?
The best decisions in my career were - following my heart to study communication in healthcare, a topic I am passionate about, and that has implications in people's lives; being lucky enough to join significant mentors' who guided me, taught me, cared about me, like Prof. Eisikovits, Prof. Eidelman, Prof. Frankel and Prof. Inui; and focusing on qualitative research that connected me and allowed me to better understand people, situations, dynamics, and relationships. 

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why? Person?
Persons… I have been very lucky so far. To have parents who love and support me and my growth, a mother who is an educator and a father who is a physician. To have a husband that provides me the space and support to commit to a demanding career. To my wonderful mentors, Phd Supervisor Prof. Eisikovits, Friend and colleague Prof Eidelman, Post doc and life mentors Drs. Frankel and Inui, and the smart, kind, generous and caring people along the way.  

Where are you the happiest?
Professionally when I analyze qualitative data with a colleague or student and experience the ability to learn more about the world of healthcare communication and relationships. Personally when I am having a significant conversation with a friend and our kids are near us, playing together and enjoying. Yes… I like to achieve at least two things at the same time:)
May - Judy C. Chang, MD, MPH
Judy C. Chang, MD, MPH
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and Internal Medicine; Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research
Pittsburgh, PA
jchang@mail.magee.edu

Biography: Judy Chang is a gynecologist and a women’s health services researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. Her passion is to ensure that humanism remains a core component of medicine, health, and health care. In pursuit of this, Judy performs research on patient-provider communication in obstetrics and women’s health and facilitates workshops teaching medical students, residents, and other health providers communication skills. Much of her research focuses on challenging issues such as intimate partner violence, perinatal substance use, and mental health. Her work often uses community-based participatory research strategies and qualitative methods. She teaches a course on qualitative methods and advices students in the pursuit of scientific inquiry as an Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research. At all levels—for providers and patients, in education and clinical practice—she emphasizes the centrality of empathy, space, and safety.

What was your earliest ambition?  
As a child, I remember cycling through a variety of careers whenever asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Interestingly, I do not recall that being a doctor was among the first set—those were actress, dancer, news reporter. I do remember, though, that when I fantasized about what type of super powers I would want if I could become a super hero—I really thought the most compelling would be the ability to heal.

What was the best career move?
For me, my best career move pursuing training in health services and public health research after residency. While I loved the practice of both obstetrics and gynecology and loved caring for patients, I recognized fairly early in residency that I needed an additional outlet for my constant curiosity and questioning regarding why we practiced the way we did and how we could make this better. I also need to feed the social activist within me and by ensuring that I would be active on complicated and complex social issues such as domestic violence, mental illness and addiction. Choosing a career path as a health services researcher with a focus on patient-provider communication research was the absolute best thing I did—this allowed me to circle back to my liberal arts roots and incorporate all of my passions and skills.

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
Passage from the Little Prince: “All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems... But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me... You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”

Summarize your personality in three words
Loving, optimistic, determined

Where are you the happiest?
Anywhere surrounded by wonderful people, loved friends/family, or beautiful scenery.
April - William T Branch, JR., MD, MACP, FACH
William T Branch, Jr., MD, MACP, FACH
Emory University School of Medicine
Carter Smith, Sr. Professor of Medicine 
Atlanta, GA
Wbranch@emory.edu

Biography:

Bill Branch majored in English at Vanderbilt University where he developed an interest in writing. He attended medical school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham followed by residency at Brigham and Womens Hospital (BWH) (then Peter Bent Brigham) and national service at the NIH. He joined the faculty at BWH and was asked to organize and direct the Primary Care Residency Program in 1974. Bill attended the first Medical Interviewing Course in 1982. At the Course, patient/doctor relationships became his passion.  Consequently, in 1985, Bill joined Harvard Medical School's New Pathway Project and for 7 years directed its required 3-year Patient/Doctor course. At Emory, Bill directed the Division of General Medicine for 17 years and now devotes himself to research, teaching and his small outpatient practice. He became an ACH Facilitator in 1988, co-directed the national course for the next 4 years, then was President of ACH (2007-09). Bill's greatest rewards have been mentoring 4 FIT's and numerous members in his Emory Division. Many now lead Emory's educational programs. His greatest pleasures currently include working with the leaders of his collaborative faculty development programs, which have or are running at over 30 medical schools; and most importantly, being with his wife, Carolyn, daughter and son-in law, Kate and Mike Browne, and granddaughter, Carolyn II, pictured here. 

What was your earliest ambition?
To attend West Point and serve in the Army (age 6). 

What was your worst career mistake?
Mostly they turned out well, especially going into primary care, which was a mysterious decision to me till I discovered ACH. 

What was your best career move?
All were good in their time but would have been terrible if done too soon. 

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
I'm a lover of modernism (Rothko, Frank Lloyd Wright) and especially the 1970's, poetry by Lowell (My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereux Winslow) and Bishop (Sandpiper, The Moose); fiction by Bellow (Hertzog, Humboldt's Gift), and earlier, the British series, The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy, which reminds me of the strivings and ups and downs emotional and otherwise of my extended family heritage.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I've given it up: fine food, especially desserts. 

How would you spend your favorite day?
Once would have been fishing on the Gulf with my father-in-law, playing tennis with my father, duck hunting with my old high school friends and brother-in-law, engaging in a great PA group; maybe now completing the draft of a great paper, Thanksgiving dinner with mine and my brothers' families, a great day of rounding for 6 hours with my team at Grady. 
March - Rich Frankel, Ph.D.
Rich Frankel Ph.D.
Indiana University School of Medicine/ Cleveland Clinic
Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics /Staff, Cleveland Clinic Education Institute 
Indianapolis/Cleveland
Rfrankel@IU.Edu

Biography:
Rich is professor of medicine and geriatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and is the director of the Mary Margaret Walther Program in Palliative Care at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. He is also a staff member in the Education Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

He is trained as a qualitative health services researcher whose interests include face-to-face communication, the role of technology and their effects on quality, safety, and outcomes of care. In addition to his health services research interests, Rich has been a medical educator for the past 35 years. He was the co- director of the internal medicine residency program at Highland Hospital/University of Rochester and also served as co-director of the Program and Fellowship in Advanced Biopsychosocial Medicine. From 2003-2013, he was been the statewide director of Indiana University School of Medicine’s professionalism competency and responsible for both curriculum and remediation in this arena.  To date, he has published more than 225 scientific papers and edited 7 books. 

Rich completed his undergraduate studies at Colgate University and obtained a PhD in sociology at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. He completed postdoctoral training at Boston University and was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Uppsala, Sweden. He is also a founding Fellow of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare and is the recipient of the George Engel award and co-recipient (with Howard Beckman) of the Lynn Payer Award. 

Rich enjoys biking, digital photography and collecting 18th and 19th century antiquarian books and prints.

What was your earliest ambition?
To play the banjo like Earl Scruggs

What was the best career move?
Moving to Indiana and meeting my wife

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My parents for instilling a sense of curiosity and wonder in me and also a strong sense of social responsibility

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
Imagine by John Lennon sung by Joan Baez

What is your guiltiest pleasure?  
Prowling through antiquarian bookstores.

Summarize your personality in three words. 
 All-around nice guy

How would you spend your favorite day?  
Walking in the woods or by the seaside with my wife.

Where are you the happiest?  
Mostly wherever I am
January - Elizabeth Ross, PT, DPT, MMSc
Elizabeth Ross, PT, DPT, MMSc
Associate Consulting Professor
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC

Biography:

Elizabeth Ross is a Doctor of Physical Therapy(DPT) on the faculty at Duke University.  Her passion for communication, education and interprofessional collaboration coalesce in her course directorship and instruction in the DPT, the School of Medicine and a newly offered Masters of Biomedical Science for pre-health professionals at Duke University.  She thrives on the combination of humanities and medicine which in her estimation provide the best care for patients and the souls of their providers.  She has an unquenchable thirst for learning to communicate better, stories of professionals and patients and the humanities that reflect meaning in life.  She strives to live a happy life.

What was your earliest ambition?
I wanted to be a French teacher but there were few positions in education at that time, so I landed in physical therapy which involves teaching, connection and helping people in a profound, one-on-one manner.  It is not a far path from this early ambition to my very fulfilling career of educating health professionals about the most meaningful ways to communicate.

What was the worst mistake in your career?
I don’t really think that way.  I don’t believe anything that brought me to where I am is a mistake.  Each experience I have had has taught me about myself and others, and developed me into who I am.  If I had to say anything, I would say not asserting myself for the appropriate compensation I deserved for work I did.  But in truth, I do this work because it fulfills me, not for tangible rewards.

What was the best career move?
Listening to my inner voice, being true to it and “following the thread”.  I recognized the parts of my work that truly resonated with me….communication, the meaning of illness and seeing others as individual, holistic human beings with their own stories…and I followed that interest which grew to a passion.  I am still following that thread (which led me to ACH) and I am loving the journey.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
That’s easy.  My husband has enabled me to become the most authentic version of myself.  What a gift, to have my life partner support my growth in such a loving way.  He is always behind me and he is a very accomplished physician in his own right.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
There are so many books that provide insights and support that healthcare professionals need to access.  The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy (to remember how vulnerable we all are in illness and death); What Doctors Feel by Danielle Ofri (to remember that healthcare professionals need to acknowledge their own humanity) and Treatment Kind and Fair by Perri Klass (to remember what it was like to be embarking on these professions) 

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
It seems like a funeral is a “surprise party” for the person who has died.  Everyone there has a connection to the person and it feels as if that person is about to walk in and we will all celebrate with the person.  For that reason, I have a letter incubating in my head that I will leave to be read at my funeral, so that I will be “present” and thank everyone for making my life so special and meaningful to me.  I am just so grateful for this life I have had.  Music is very evocative to me…so I would like to have the gentle passage from “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” (Variation #18) by Rachmaninoff played at that time.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Staying in my pajamas all day, eating a chocolate molten cake and watching old movies and romantic comedies

Summarize your personality in three words
Positive, passionate, devoted

What is your pet hate?
Judgmental attitudes and inability to accept differences without judgment

How would you spend your favorite day?
I would be in Paris with my husband on a beautiful spring day, walking the streets, visiting the museums, sipping coffee at a café while people watching, hearing and conversing in French and eating fabulous food.

Where are you the happiest?
Professionally, I am the happiest working with students….teaching in front of a class or in a small group, meeting with them individually, and watching the lightbulbs go on when we connect with each other.  I have the soul of an educator.  Personally, I am the happiest with my husband and each of our children.  The connection I feel with them gives my life meaning.  
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