The end-of-life experience is a universal topic that touches us all — yet it’s also a topic that many of us find difficult to talk about. For this challenge, we knew it’d be important to seek out the guidance of trained professionals who have dedicated years to helping people and their loved ones through this process.
In preparation for this challenge, we reached out to our OpenIDEO community and received an incredible number of warm responses for this community role. We’re now excited to introduce our diverse panel of Community Advisors who will be sharing their perspectives from hospice care, palliative care, international public health, registered nursing, emergency care, student-counseling, elderly-care and spiritual counseling.
Through intimate interactions with our community on OpenIDEO, our panel of Community Advisors will be sharing their professional perspectives to help guide our conversations in the challenge. Let’s take a moment to get to know them and hear their stories.
Morgan Meinel — I’m a Registered Palliative and Hospice Care Nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, where I have cared for patients and their families in a bedside setting for over 9 years. I’m a big advocate for end-of-life awareness and education and also the presentation of this topic in a safe, supportive way. My interests include Yoga and spirituality, herbal medicine, and traveling.
Michael Fratkin — The coolest thing about me is that I am so much like you. I'm a father, husband, brother, and son as well as a physician creating critical transformation in our broken healthcare system. It’s an adventure to search the world in front of me, the ground under my feet, and the minds of fellow inspired individuals for the secrets hidden in plain sight that lead to a world worth living in and dying from.
Noni Gachuhi — I have over 15 years of experience as an international public health professional with experience in Africa and Asia. I bring a global perspective to developing, designing and managing complex programs that address health and social issues. My interest in death and dying goes back to 1996 when the last class I took for my undergraduate degree was titled ‘Death and Dying. ' Since then I have kept an eye on the commentary about old age and dying, and strongly support the voices that are calling for a reworking of our current attitudes to death.
John McGeehan— I’m passionate about making End-of-Life a better experience for all of us who must go through it. My passion flows naturally from my commitment as a Muslim and member of a Sufi order to offer service to others from love. I was trained as a Doula volunteer by Amy Levine (Executive Director of The Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort). I first offered visits at the Palliative Care Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, and now visit individuals through the Doula Program.
Nancy Rapport — In my role as a middle school counselor, I have worked closely with families who have experienced tragic, untimely and often unexpected loss. As a two-time cancer survivor diagnosed in my early 30’s, I have been forced to contemplate my own mortality and to companion many support group friends at the end of their lives. I am eager for this OpenIDEO Challenge to yield creative, inspired ideas for reframing the end of life experience.
James Takayesu— I am an Emergency Physician with 16 years experience helping patients and families face illness and their own mortality in the acute care setting. An active area of research is patient and interprofessional communication to improve shared decision-making, mutual understanding, and teamwork. I am an active educator for the health professions, teaching medical students, residents, and faculty topics including communication, well-being, burnout, and resilience.
Amy Karafin — I was inspired to become an end-of-life spiritual counselor after volunteering with hospice patients and seeing what a powerful role spirituality played in the dying process – whether patients were religious or not. I recently completed a residency and then a fellowship in mental health and spirituality at Brooklyn's VA hospital, where I served as the palliative care chaplain. My background is in a Theravada Buddhist tradition, but I consider the spiritual struggles around dying to be universal.
James Senior — I am the Creative Director of Brand Experience Design at the Mayo Clinic. I speak and write about Design & Healthcare, most recently "Design and the Patient Experience" a NGPX '15. As a Canadian, I am interested in how we as individuals talk about and plan for end of life, and how we can design our healthcare experience to accommodate a variety of wishes. I am a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design MFA Design and Technology and McGill University BA Psychology.
Join our Community Advisors and the rest of the OpenIDEO community in the End of Life Challenge.