February 2-3, 2002
Cleveland, Ohio


William Breitbart, M.D.

(Plenary Speaker)
Dr. Breitbart is Attending Psychiatrist and Chief of the Psychiatry Service in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is Attending Psychiatrist for the MSKCC Department of Neurology's Pain and Palliative Care Service. In addition, he is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and is a Soros Faculty Scholar for the Project on Death in America. Dr. Breitbart was a Plenary Lecturer at the Fifth World Congress of Psycho-Oncology in Melbourne, Australia last year. He is the author or co-author of nearly 150 articles and book chapters and has co-edited four books. He received his M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Stephen R. Connor, Ph.D.

(Panelist, Research Needs)
Dr. Connor is Vice President for Research and Professional Development at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHCPO). He has worked continuously in the hospice movement since 1975 as the CEO of four different hospice programs. In addition to being a hospice executive, he is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher. He is a former Hospice Consultant Surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Dr Connor has chaired the NHCPO's Standards and Accreditation Committee, Research Committee, and Medical Guidelines Prognosis Task Force and has contributed to many of the Organization's monographs. He is the author or co-author of 19 publications and one book related to the hospice movement and care of dying patients and their families. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology in San Francisco.
Peter Ditto, Ph.D.

(Continuing Education Workshop Presenter: "Advance Directives: Problems and Possibilities")
Dr. Ditto is Associate Professor of Social Ecology in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. Trained as an experimental social psychologist, Dr. Ditto's research lies at the interface of social and health psychology, much of it applying concepts and methods borrowed from basic research in social cognition to understand health-related decision making and behavior. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Ditto has conducted a series of studies examining key psychological assumptions underlying the effective use of advance medical directives. This work has resulted in numerous publications in both psychological and medical journals and been presented in invited addresses to the American Psychological Association and the Western Psychological Association. Dr. Ditto was one of the few psychologists invited to participate in the1993 Squam Lake conference convened to establish a national agenda for research on advance care planning and he is currently a member of the Advisory Panel for APA's Ad Hoc Committee on End-of-Life Issues. He received his Ph.D. in 1986 from Princeton University.
Karen Orloff Kaplan, M.S.W., M.P.H., Sc.D.

(Plenary Speaker)
Dr. Kaplan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Partnership for Caring: America's Voices for the Dying (PFC). She also serves as the National Program Director for Last Acts, a communications campaign to improve care near the end-of-life funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Kaplan served as Executive Director of Choice in Dying, Inc., a not for profit organization known for developing living wills and for its advocacy for dying people and their loved ones. Dr. Kaplan also served as a health staff associate to Congressman (now Senator) Ron Wyden (D-OR). She received her Doctorate in Sciences and her Masters in Public Health from the School of Hygiene and Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University and her Masters of Social Work from The Ohio State University.
Donna Kwilosz, Ph.D.

(Continuing Education Workshop Presenter: "Psychologists as Members of Interdisciplinary Teams")
Dr. Kwilosz is the Associate Director for Psychosocial Oncology at the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland. In that role she provides therapy for patients and families who are approaching death; organizes and conducts bimonthly interdisciplinary conferences for oncology attending physicians and residents covering psychosocial and end-of-life aspects of cancer care; provides consultation to medical, nursing, and social work staff; and conducts monthly teaching rounds for house staff on palliative and psychosocial issues. In addition, Dr. Kwilosz is a principal consultant to an interdisciplinary team providing spiritual, psychosocial, and medical care to cancer patients who will be transitioning to hospice care. She currently also serves on APA's Ad Hoc Committee on End-of-Life Issues. She received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D.

(Continuing Education Workshop Presenter: "Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss")
Dr. Neimeyer holds a Dunavant University Professorship at the Department of Psychology at The University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. He has published 18 books, including Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss (American Psychological Association Press), and is the author of over 200 articles and book chapters. In addition, Dr. Neimeyer is the Editor of the international journal, Death Studies and served as President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (1996-1997). He currently also serves on the APA's Task Force on End-of-Life Issues. In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted both the Distinguished Research Award (1990) and the Distinguished Teaching Award (1999) by the University of Memphis, elected to the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement (1993), and given the Research Recognition Award by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (1999). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Danai Papadatou, Ph.D.

(Panel Presenter: "Lessons Learned About End-of-Life Care")
Dr. Danai Papadatou is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Faculty of Nursing of the University of Athens. Her clinical and research interests center on palliative care issues, and particularly on how these relate to children, adolescents, families, and health care providers. She has designed and conducted various training programs in pediatric palliative care and bereavement support for interdisciplinary groups of professionals. She is the founder and president of 'Merimna' a non-profit society for the care of children and families facing illness and death, unique of its kind in Greece. Her work in the field of death and dying is known in Greece and internationally through her publications, presentations at scientific meetings, and active participation in European and international work groups and societies. She has received an award by Children's Hospice International (1989), the 'Death Educator Award' by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (2001), and is the Chair of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, since 1999.
Steven D. Passik, Ph.D.

(Panel Presenter: "Lessons Learned About End-of-Life Care")
Dr. Passik is Director of Oncology Symptom Control Research at Community Cancer Care, Inc., in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is also Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of Indianapolis. He has previously been Assistant Attending Psychologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Passik has also been a Soros Foundation, Open Society Institute, Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar. A recipient of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) National Research Service Award, he serves as principal investigator for several intervention studies of fatigue, pain, nausea, and depression. Dr. Passik is editor-in-chief of the NCI Physician's Data Query supportive care section, and an editorial reviewer for the NCI International Cancer Information Center/Office of Cancer Communications Web site. He is President of the Indiana Cancer and AIDS Pain Initiative and Chairman of the Hoosier Oncology Group's Cancer Control subcommittee and is the author of more than 100 publications. Dr. Passik received his Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Barry Rosenfeld, Ph.D.

(Continuing Education Workshop Presenter: "Assessing and Alleviating Depression and Hopelessness Near the End of Life")
Dr. Rosenfeld is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Fordham University in New York City where he teaches in the graduate program in Clinical Psychology. Previously, he served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in medical ethics and clinical psychology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. With colleagues at MSKCC, Dr. Rosenfeld is currently engaged in several large, federally-funded research studies addressing the role of depression and the impact of treatment on the desire for death in terminally ill persons with cancer or AIDS. His published research includes studies on the decision-making capacity of mentally ill and medically ill individuals, the impact of pain and physical symptoms on psychological functioning, and factors influencing patient interest in physician-assisted suicide. In addition to having authored or co-authored over 50 articles and book chapters, he is currently working on a book about physician-assisted suicide to be published by the American Psychological Association.
Margaret Stroebe, Ph.D.

(International Panelist, Research Needs)
Dr. Stroebe is Associate Professor of Psychology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She is an internationally recognized expert on bereavement who has lived and worked in several different countries in Southeast Asia, as well as the United States, Germany, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom, and collaborates with researchers working in a number of different countries. Dr. Stroebe gave a keynote address at the Fifth Congress on Psycho-oncology in Melbourne, Australia last year. She is the co-author or co-editor of four books (including the Handbook of Bereavement Research, just published by the American Psychological Association), one of which has been translated into three other languages. In addition, she has authored or co-authored another 70 publications. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.
Sharon Valente, Ph.D., FAAN

(Continuing Education Workshop Presenter: "The Effects of Culture in End-of-Life Situations")
Dr. Valente is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of Southern California. In addition, she currently works on a daily basis at a Veteran's Administration hospital with a primary care HIV clinic where she sees clients and also conducts research. Throughout her career, Dr. Valente's research, clinical work, and publications have focused on improving care of vulnerable populations near the end of life. Her current research examines the elderly person's decisions related to end of life care across cultural groups. She was the first nurse and third woman to receive the American Association of Sucidology's Shneidman Award for significant and scholarly contributions to suicidology. She is the co-author of two books and has authored or co-authored 45 other publications. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California.
Robert Washington, Ph.D.

(Continuing Education Workshop Presenter: "Utilizing Spirituality in End-of-Life Care")
Dr. Washington is a chaplain at Montgomery Hospice in the Washington, DC area. He is also a candidate for a Masters in Divinity from the Howard University School of Divinity. Until last year he was the Executive Director of the St. Francis Center in Washington, DC., a community mental health center specializing in end-of-life, loss and grief issues. Earlier in his career he served as the Commissioner of Mental Health Services for the District of Columbia. During his 27-year career, Dr. Washington, a licensed clinical psychologist, has held various administrative positions in mental health. For the last 16 years he has specialized in grief counseling, working with those who are ill, dying and/or bereaved, and training others to do likewise. As a result of this work and Dr. Washington's own HIV status, he developed a strong interest in the interface of psychology and spirituality. Last year, he retired from mental health administration to pursue a second career in ministry and is currently working as a hospice chaplain while attending seminary.


John R. Anderson, Ph.D.

(Program Co-Chair)
Dr. Anderson is the Director of the APA Office on AIDS and was the APA Staff Liaison for the recent Working Group on Assisted Suicide and End-of-Life Decisions. He also serves as the Staff Liaison for the new APA Ad Hoc Committee on End-of-Life Issues. He is active in all phases of the conference development and will be a key part of the dissemination plan for the recommendations that come from the conference. He has edited several books and is the second editor on the APA's comprehensive book on end-of-life issues.
Camille Preston, Ph.D.

(Program Co-Chair)
Dr. Preston has recently assumed the position of Senior Research Associate at the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington D.C. Formerly, she led APA's federal policy response on issues related to end-of-life decisions. In her former role as SPSSI's James Marshall Public Policy Scholar, her participation in all phases of the conference development ensured that the conference will have both a strong policy component that is consistent with the ideals of SPSSI and APA. She will continue to be involved in the implementation phases of the conference.
James L. Werth, Jr., Ph.D.

(Program Co-Chair)
Dr. Werth has been researching and writing about end-of-life issues for ten years, and his interest grows out of his practical experience working with persons who were dying of AIDS. He is the only psychologist invited to serve on all three of APA's working groups on end-of-life issues. He also spent a year working on end-of-life issues in the office of Senator Ron Wyden (D - OR), the acknowledged leader in this area in Congress, as the APA's William A. Bailey AIDS Policy Congressional Fellow, and recently testified at SPSSI's Congressional briefing on end-of-life care. In his new role as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Akron he has been given wide latitude and encouragement by his Department Chair and Dean to continue to develop his work on the end of life. He has edited one book and two journal issues and is acting as the lead editor on the APA's most comprehensive book on end-of-life issues.
Dean Blevins, M.A.

(Administrative Assistant)
Mr. Blevins is completing his Ph.D. in Applied Cognitive Aging under the direction of Dr. James L. Werth, Jr. He is the conference administrative assistant, coordinating the poster submissions, webpage development, and is active in all phases of conference planning and implementation. After graduation he is planning on a career doing work in end-of-life policy and research.

Check Back for Updates!!!

Conference Program Committee
Program Co-Chair
John Anderson, Ph.D.
American Psychological Association
Director, APA Office on AIDS
Washington, D.C.
Program Co-Chair
Camille Preston, Ph.D.
American Psychological Association
Public Policy Office
James Marshall Public Policy Scholar
Washington, D.C.
Program Co-Chair
James L. Werth, Jr., Ph.D.
The University of Akron
Department of Psychology
Assistant Professor
Akron, OH
Administrative Assistant
Dean Blevins, M.A.
The University of Akron
Department of Psychology
Akron, OH

Conference Home Page


Conference Background and Format

Meeting Sponsor

Working Group to Improve Psychosocial
Care Near the End of Life
Home Page

Maintained by the Web Team
© 2002 by The Working Group
Last modified: 3-March-02