Monday, March 2, 2009

ELNEC India Faculty

The faculty of the first ELNEC trainings consisted of ELNEC trained faculty from the U.S. and end-of-life practitioners from both America and India.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

About the India ELNEC Team

Dr. Barbara Head has devoted the majority of her career to improving the quality of life for patients facing serious and terminal illness. She was employed as an oncology nurse and for eleven years worked for a large community-based hospice program in a variety of capacities including homecare nurse, director of quality improvement and director of staff and community education. She is both a registered nurse and a social worker and has served as member and chairperson of both the National Hospice Organization’s Standards and Accreditation Committee and the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. In 2000, she received the National Hospice Organization’s Heart of Hospice Award as outstanding administrator, and two years later the Hospice and Palliative Nurses honored her with a nursing innovations award for initiating a certification program for nursing assistants. Since 2006, she has been on the ELNEC faculty teaching modules in the geriatric courses. In 2007, she received her Ph.D in Social Work and joined the faculty of the University of Louisville School of Medicine where she is now an assistant professor involved in research and teaching related to palliative care, symptom management in oncology, and the socioeconomic concerns of cancer patients.

Rev. John S. Lunn is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (19 years) and a Registered Nurse (for 32 years). He has been working in Hospice and Palliative Care since 1979. In the field of Hospice and Palliative Care he has been a staff nurse, chaplain, coordinator, program director, board president and now function as a Palliative Care Consultant at Christian Medical College, Vellore. John worked in Vellore from Nov. 2002 until Feb. 2006, helping to establish the Palliative Care Unit. He is now back at CMC 1/2 time. His primary work is with the new Palliative Care Education Centre. One of the first activities is this ELNEC India programme.
John has also served as parish pastor, chaplain to homeless men in an 800 bedded New York City shelter, was a hospital administrator in Liberia, West Africa and established a Hospice and Palliative Care programme in the prison system in South Carolina, USA. That programme trained and utilized over 100 inmates as volunteers providing services to their fellow inmates.

Ms. Susan Meskis is a graduate of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso Indiana. After pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she relocated to the west coast and practiced cardiac care nursing. She has a diverse background of nursing experiences including cardiac care, medical-surgical nursing, same day surgery, home care and hospice. As a hospice nurse and coordinator for nursing facilities, Susan developed a program to educate staff as well as families about Hospice and Palliative Care. Currently Susan works on a high-risk Obstetric unit and works with the bereavement program. Her focus is on educating staff about caring for parents of a demise and meeting with parents early on in pregnancy that have been given a poor diagnosis for their baby.
Susan is passionate about nursing and mission work. Her career has given her the opportunity to travel to several countries and experience nursing on an International level. In 2004, she traveled with the Rotary Group Study Exchange program to the Middle East, where she represented American Nursing and studied the diversity of health care. Most recently, Susan has traveled to Malawi, Africa to teach women's health to teenagers. Throughout her nursing career, end of life care has been an ongoing focus on different levels. ELNEC trained, Susan has focused on consulting with families and in the development of a solid Palliative Care program for the Neonate and Pediatric patient.

Ms. Shakila Murali received her general nursing training from the College of Nursing, Christian Medical College, Vellore in 1990 and then completed her nursing degree in the same college in 1997. She worked as a staff in surgical nursing department and later became the ward-in-charge for the radiation oncology ward. In August 2004, she joined the palliative care unit as a team nurse.
She was awarded the Nurse Leadership Bursary and has spent two months at St. Christopher’s Hospice, London for clinical placement in 2006. Presently she is doing her certificate course in palliative care from Cardiff University. Shakila is a national nursing faculty for the IAPC course.

Rev. Dr.JP Sabbithi is a native of India, born in a village in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Raised as a Christian, he married his wife, Lissy, in 1988. Together they have two sons, Isaiah, 19, and Jason, 16.
Rev JP, as he is fondly known, completed a BA in English Literature at Andhra Christian College in Guntur, India. From there, he was called to ministry, finishing his BD (equivalent to the MDiv in the USA) at United Theological College in Bangalore, India. Following this, he was ordained to ministry by the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church in India. Wanting to expand his knowledge and expertise, he continued his education at Annamalai University, earning an MA in Psychology. At the Lutheran School of Theology at the University of Chicago, he earned the rank of Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling.
While still in India, he found his vocation in chaplaincy, serving as chaplain at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. As chaplain to the medical students, he was also called to work in the burn unit, oncology and pediatric floors. During his tenure there he assisted in developing a curriculum for Clinical Pastoral Counseling in India using the Clinical Pastoral Education model of learning used in the USA.
In 2002, Rev. Sabbithi moved his family to Honolulu, Hawaii to pursue further work in chaplaincy through his association with Pacific Health Ministry. At Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Honolulu, he became closely involved in the implementation and growth of the palliative care program. He continues there as Director of Spiritual Care, as well as remaining a member of the palliative care team. His passion for this work has opened new doors to him. He continues to promote palliative care, as well as developing resources for the spirituality of dying. He is particularly concerned with cultural issues in end-of-life care and serves as a consultant in this area nationally and internationally.

Dr. Rae Seitz is board certified in internal medicine, pediatircs and hospice and palliative medicine and serves as the physician in charge of palliative care services at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Region. She developed and runs a home-based palliative care service as well as an inpatient palliative care consultation service. Dr. Seitz received her hospice and palliative care training at the Harvard School of Medicine. She has been a hospitalist for over 11 years and teaches residents and medical students. She is on the faculty at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Geriatrics. She has taught doctors, nurses, social workers, aides, caregivers, and patients.
Dr. Seitz is also on the Board of Directors of Kokua Mau, a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving end-of-life care for the residents of the state of Hawaii. She lectures frequently and serves as a community resource for the care of people with chronic, debilitating illness or those facing life threatening illness.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Members of the ELNEC India Teaching Team

Members of the team in the order pictured below were:
Barbara Head, PhD
Susan Meskis, RN
Shakila Murali, RN
Dr. Rae Seitz
Rev. Dr. JP Sabbithi
Rev. John Lund
Chaplain Hamilton also helped with the teaching and program administration in Vellore and Social Worker Ramui helped with registration