Applying her vast experience as a storyteller to her passion, Kimberly C. Paul is radically changing the way people face end of life. The concept of “Death by Design” is to inspire individuals and their families to create a blueprint for an inevitable journey that reflects the beauty of life and the positive destination of end of life.
After graduating from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, Kimberly began working on the set of Saturday Night Live, casting for CBS daytime programming and freelancing for several production companies in New York City. While working in the entertainment industry, Kimberly was captivated by the creative process of developing the arc of the story. As she observed the manic rush of writing comedy skits for live television and watched daytime television actors’ storylines constantly evolve, she realized she had always been interested in the story.
For the last 17 years, however, Kimberly has been telling a very different kind of story―a positive, inspiring story about designing a personal blueprint for an individual’s end of life. As Vice President of Outreach and Communications for Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington, NC, she created a myriad of award-winning marketing strategies to share real stories of how hospice patients and their loved ones face the end of life journey.
As creator of the “Begin the Conversation” campaign in 2008, Kimberly was the driving force of the program until her departure from Lower Cape Fear Hospice in 2016. “Begin the Conversation,” (BTC) is a nationally recognized program encouraging the use of advance care directives with a focus on the value of conversations in advance care planning. BTC has received multiple honors and awards, including the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations Marketing Society Silver Wallie Award (2012) for mixed media campaign and a Telly Award for best television spot (2015). In addition, the campaign won honorable mentions for Best Branding/Re-Branding and Best Social Responsibility Campaign/Initiative in PR Daily’s Nonprofit Public Relations awards competition in 2013.
Selected to speak at TEDxAirlie in 2016, Kimberly’s Ted Talk epitomized her passion for educating individuals about Advance Care Planning and the issues that may occur for individuals and family members if they do not prepare for end of life. During her 17-year career in hospice care, her stories have inspired and empowered many to take action by documenting personal plans prior to the occurrence of a life-ending health crisis.
Kimberly’s enthusiasm and passion to positively educate those on how to plan for end of life are evident as she shares her stories through speaking engagements, her writings, videos and film. As of 2017, Kimberly is now investing 100-percent of her time to bring innovation to the death and dying industry by applying the concept of design thinking.
With a book in development for release in the upcoming months and the creation of her podcast streams for 2017, Kimberly is dedicated to providing continuous education about end of life choices with the help of leading experts in the healthcare industry and photographers, painters, authors and everyday people sharing their personal experience about love, loss, preparation and moving through grief.
“Death by Design” is an innovative, constructive and uplifting invitation to move beyond the legal paperwork and vital conversations necessary for end of life. “Death by Design” will empower you to design your death to reflect your values, your likes and even your personality. Our death, if designed, can be a beautiful experience and not just a final destination.