Meet the Honorees:
The Cambia Health Foundation is proud to introduce the 2012 Sojourns Award honorees.
- Darrell Owens, D.N.P., A.R.N.P., Seattle, Washington
- John Forsyth, M.D., Medford, Oregon
- Kathy Perko, M.S., Portland, Oregon
- Carolyn Nystrom, R.N., Ketchum, Idaho
- Patricia Berry, Ph.D., R.N., Salt Lake City, Utah
Palliative care is deeply personal and fundamentally rooted in respect for human life. Palliative care focuses on living, not dying. It is an important catalyst for honoring patient choices and understanding personal definitions of quality, rather than merely focusing on the clinical aspects of terminal illness. Palliative care is about offering care for seriously ill patients and their families, providing an extra layer of support that helps them to engage in difficult conversations while respecting their choices.
Cambia Health Foundation created the Sojourns Award to honor exemplary leaders in the field of palliative care, to promote their innovations and to invest in their future work. It is the only program in the country that provides awardees with an unrestricted grant to further their work. The award celebrates leaders working in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington while advancing the access, quality and understanding of palliative care locally and nationally.
The Sojourns Award includes a $50,000 grant from The Cambia Health Foundation to support continued leadership and advancements in palliative care. To register for this complimentary event please visit http://tinyurl.com/sojournsawards.
Darrell Owens, D.N.P., A.R.N.P.University of Washington Medicine
at Harborview Medical Center
Dr. Darrell Owens is the founder of the Palliative Care Service at the University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center. He is the current Director of Outpatient Palliative Care Services. He holds a BS in Nursing from Emory University, an MS in Health Services Administration from St. Mary's College of California, an MS in Nursing from Seattle Pacific University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also a post-doctoral graduate of the Harvard Medical School's Faculty Scholar in Palliative Care Program. His an advanced registered nurse practitioner with board certifications in Adult Health/Primary Care, Geriatrics, and Hospice and Palliative Care. Dr. Owens has over 20 years experience in hospice and palliative care, having served in a variety of roles from staff nurse to administrator. He is an internationally known author and speaker, having published over 20 review and research articles, a reference book on the provision of palliative care for people with liver disease, and the first ever chapter on palliative care in the 3rd edition of the Fundamentals of Disaster Management. In addition to providing the first palliative care lecture in Southern China, Dr. Owens has also lectured on Palliative Care in Hue, Vietnam. He is also the founder of the Primary Palliative Care Clinic, the first, and only nurse practitioner directed clinic in the United States that provides both palliative and primary care patients with a life-limiting illness.
John Forsyth, M.D.Choosing Options Honoring Options
John Forsyth, M.D., is the Chair Choosing Options Honoring Options in Medford, Oregon. Dr. Forsyth is a pioneer in palliative care, promoting communication among physicians and the greater community about the importance of palliative care and end of life resources. In 2010, he joined several concerned citizens and community health care leaders to form COHO (Choosing Options, Honoring Options), a collaborative fostering community-wide education about end-of-life care options, the role for palliative care and the importance of meaningful conversations in the final stages of life. In it's first two years, COHO has sponsored nine public forums and workshops (~2000 attendees), trained 30 advance care planning facilitators, presented over 30 educational talks to a wide variety of community groups, established a website, www.COHOroguevalley.org, and distributed numerous educational materials to physician's offices and across the local community.
Kathy Perko, M.S.
OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital
Kathy received her BS in Nursing at the University of Portland. She spent the first eight years of her career at the Children's Hospital in Seattle where she found her first calling as a nurse in caring for children with cancer and their families. She attended graduate school at the University of California-San Francisco where she received a Master of Science and started her career as a pediatric nurse practitioner. After working in California for four years, she returned to Portland and has been at Doernbecher Children's Hospital since 2000.
It is at Doernbecher that Kathy found her "second" calling in her career. She continued to care for children with cancer and their families and realized, with the honest thoughts of some of those same families, that supportive palliative and end of life care for children could be better. She organized an interdisciplinary group of interested colleagues and started that work. In 2001, she and her team started the first organized palliative care program in Oregon for children with cancer. Kathy continues this work, excelling in her work with community hospice partners, to ensure all children have supportive palliative and end of life care at home if that is their desire. She is nationally recognized for her pediatric palliative care expertise and has spoken locally, nationally and internationally on multiple topics related to caring for children and their families at end of life. These topics include pain and symptom management, childrens' developmental understanding of death, care for the caregiver, personal and professional boundaries, ethics and bereavement.
Her own education includes the Harvard Palliative Care Program in Education and Practice, the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium-Pediatric (ELNEC-Pediatric) and the Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care (IPPC). She acts as faculty for both ELNEC and IPPC nationally and internationally. She was one of the first nurses certified as a Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice nurse in 2011. She is currently the Program Director of the Bridges Palliative Care Program at Doernbecher Children's Hospital at OHSU in Portland, OR and also works as a PNP in pediatric oncology at Doernbecher.
Carolyn Nystrom, R.N.
Hospice & Palliative Care of Wood River Valley
Carolyn started her hospice career in Palo Alto, California, as a part time volunteer coordinator. Her program was soon awarded the "Outstanding Volunteer Group" for Santa Clara County. In a short time, she became the Hospice Director. She was an early advocate for end-of-life education and training and served as guest faculty at Stanford and smaller community colleges to raise awareness of the "new concept of care" known as hospice. While in California, she also helped to craft the volunteer component of the Medicare hospice benefit, founded the "Registered Nurse Volunteers of Santa Clara County" and worked on the continuing education legislation for RNs.
In 1989, Carolyn moved to Idaho and helped to bring hospice to rural communities. At that time, Hospice of the Wood River Valley just five years old and only provided volunteer/respite and bereavement services. As its new director, Carolyn immediately expanded the program to a full service hospice offering the continuum of care. Today, it is now called Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, and it remains a community based, freestanding, non-Medicare, full service hospice that, in addition to traditional hospice care, runs a bereavement camp for children, several specialized grief groups and an immediate response program for sudden death/accidental deaths. She is an unparalleled mentor to staff, volunteers and professional colleagues. She regularly consults with other programs and freely gives her time and expertise to new hospice programs, outlying/rural areas and to established programs seeking to expand services.
Patricia Berry, Ph.D., R.N.
University of Utah College of Nursing
Salt Lake City, Utah
Pat Berry is Associate Professor and Associate Director for Education and Practice of the University of Utah, Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. She has thirty five years of experience in the hospice and palliative care field, including as staff nurse, case manager, quality improvement coordinator, surveyor, consultant, author, teacher, and researcher. Pat's research and scholarship interests center on end-of-life care, pain and symptom management, prison hospice, and family caregivers. She holds certification as an advanced practice palliative care nurse, has lectured and published on issues related to end-of-life care, pain and symptom management, and changing organizational pain management practices, and is active in several professional organizations related to pain and end-of-life care. She is also a member of the national faculty for the Geriatric End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). Pat earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Utah and a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.