Mary Ellen Mannix – Protecting Newborns from the Most Common Birth Defects on Dec. 1st

November 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Join me as I interview Mary Ellen Mannix, author, teacher, restorative practices educator & facilitator, and nationally recognized patient safety advocate. December 1st at 11AM PST/2PM EST–the-james-project–protecting-newborns

Communication between adults involved in any child’s life must be of high quality to benefit the child. Think parent-teacher relationships, divorced parents, intact family communication etc. When a child is in the middle of a healthcare crisis that communication can be lifesaving…or life threatening.

Today Mary Ellen is working with her state senator to ensure that all Pennsylvania newborns receive appropriate screening for the most common birth defect – SB 1202 The James Mannix Bill.

James’s Project is a community based organization focused on improving communication in healthcare with the goal of saving children’s lives and clinician’s livelihoods. Communication strategies has an impact on our infant mortality rate. We want to improve it.

James’s Project works on three levels to save other children and families from the losses James and his clinicians and families endured.
–Proactive – on sight, online, and phone education and awareness programs to help parents and caregivers prepare and learn the best practices to safely navigate their child through the healthcare system. There is information that parents can get that will help them most successfully advocate for their child – as well as themselves, so treatment decisions are truly family centered.
–Active – healthcare coaching & bedside advocacy (which can be bedside or simply by phone) to assist & empower parents who have a hospitalized or child in crisis and feel communication with care providers is not as good as it should be.
–Reactive – medication and conciliatory services if and when there is an outcome that the patient and family have questions about.

Any parent, caregiver, friend or clinician can reach out to JP by email or phone to discuss their needs and create a plan to help their specific need.

JP is fortunate to have professionals in the fields of medicine, law, social work, mediation and patient safety who share their knowledge, expertise and connections to help find answers.
JP is just beginning but growing rapidly. For those in the Greater Philadelphia are there are several Parent Education presentations I will be giving this Fall.

For others anywhere else in the United States (and even the world) we are about to announce several webinar presentations thanks to a grant from the Cautious Patient Foundation.

Every pregnant mom and dad knows what LaMaze is – a wonderful form of childbirth that changed the landscape of labor and delivery in the late 20th century. James’s Project is taking it a step further and providing the education parents need to be fully engaged partners in their child’s healthcare for the 21st century.

Her book, Split the Baby is available at

Mary Ellen Mannix is available for: Keynotes, Webinars, Highly engaging workshops and education for professionals and parents, Mediation via Restorative Practice methodologies, Family Group Conferencing, Family Group Decision Making, Healing & Growth Conferences in Healthcare, Speakers Bureau, Support

Mary Ellen Mannix is a mother of 5 children (ranging in age from 7 years to 21 years old), author, teacher, restorative practices educator & facilitator, and nationally recognized patient safety advocate. After the tragic death of her fourth child she began learning why things go wrong in healthcare and how we can all make it safer. She has served as a substitute on a Patient Safety Advisory Committee for The Joint Commission, advisory board member for The Newborn Coalition, served on hospital patient safety committees, led clinical education such as for Clinical Pharmacology with HRSA, graduate nursing students at the University of Pennsylvania, and served as the consumer panelist and co-author of The American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery’s Tonsillectomy in Children Guideline. Mary Ellen has also presented at The Quality Colloquium at Harvard, The International Restorative Practices Conference and The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Advisory Board Meeting. Mary Ellen was also selected as one of 50 Patient Activists for The Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She also received a grant from The Cautious Patient Foundation to engage more parents & patients to become educated and empowered advocates for their children in healthcare.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Advocating for and making Quality Long Term Care Decisions –

September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Join me on Sept. 27th, 9AM PST, 12PM EST as I interview Robyn Grant, the director of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (the “Consumer Voice”).–advocati

The Consumer Voice is a national organization that advocates on behalf of long-term care consumers in all settings – from their home to a nursing home. To carry out our mission, we:

* Advocate for public policies that support quality care and quality of life responsive to consumers’ needs in all long-term care settings
* Empower and educate consumers and families with the knowledge and tools they need to advocate for themselves
* Train and support individuals and groups that empower and advocate for consumers of long-term care
* Promote the critical role of direct-care workers and best practices in quality-care delivery

The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and
ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual.

In her capacity as Director of Advocacy & Outreach, Robyn is responsible for growing the Consumer Voice’s grassroots network and developing and implementing grassroots advocacy strategies that advance the Consumer Voice’s public policy agenda. She has a master’s in social work with a specialization in aging and has advocated for quality long-term care for over 20 years. Prior to joining the Consumer Voice, she served as the Indiana State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and as Long
Term Care Policy Director at United Senior Action, an Indiana senior advocacy organization.

Robyn will talk about three critical decisions that impact the quality of long-term care an individual receives. These include deciding 1) what provider to choose, 2) whether you are or a loved one is getting good care, and 3) whether and how to speak up if good care is not being provided. The discussion will include tips from the Consumer Voice’s new resource, Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care: A Consumer’s Guide to Choices and Advocacy. The guide is intended to educate people with disabilities and older adults about their options for long-term services and supports and empower them to be self-advocates for quality long-term care. It features suggestions from consumers receiving services in nursing homes, assisted living/group homes and in their homes. The guide also provides information and resources to assist people currently living in nursing homes to move back into the community.

Join me as I interview Bennett Blum, MD, “Undue Influence – How Seniors are Being Manipulated and Abused by their Families,” on Sept. 12th at 11AM PST

August 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Join me as I interview Bennett Blum, MD, “Undue Influence – How Seniors are Being Manipulated and Abused by their Families,” on Sept. 12th at 11AM PST.–a-danger-for-seniors

Bennett Blum, M.D., is an internationally acclaimed physician specializing in both forensic psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry. An expert on the evaluation of undue influence and associated manipulation tactics, Dr. Blum has consulted on hundreds of legal cases throughout the United States and internationally – including the precedent-setting United Nations trial of General Pavle Strugar. This was the first full competency hearing at an International War Crimes Tribunal since Nuremberg.

Dr. Blum has worked with major US Government agencies, law enforcement, and research institutes on the prevention, investigation, and litigation of issues related to undue influence and coercion. In 1999, he was the only mental health expert asked to testify at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s hearing on Fraud: Targeting America’s Seniors. From 2002-2004, Dr. Blum was a technical advisor to the Research Triangle Institute for its national study on elder financial exploitation. This study was the basis for the Administration on Aging’s “Financial Exploitation of Older Persons Report.”

In 2005, Dr. Blum participated in an invitation-only policy development conference for the White House Conference on Aging. In 2009, the U.S. State Department sponsored a lecture by Dr. Blum at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the forensic psychiatry analysis of undue influence claims in war crimes trials.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of Arizona, Dr. Blum received his medical education from the University of Arizona and psychiatric training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a forensic psychiatric consultant to the litigation-consulting firm of Park Dietz & Associates, Inc. ( His work has been published by the National College of Probate Judges, State Bar Associations, and in major medical textbooks -including sections on elder abuse and undue influence in the seventh, eighth, and ninth editions of Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. Dr. Blum’s work on undue influence assessment is also available in Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Psychologists – published jointly by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging and the American Psychological Association.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Join me as I interview Craig J. Phillips, A Second Chance to Live After a Brain Injury”

August 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Join me as I interview Craig J. Phillips, “A Second Chance to Live After a Brain Injury,” on Friday, Sept. 9th at 9AM PST.

Craig J. Phillips has lived with a brain injury and an invisible disability for the past 42 years. His desire is to inspire individuals to consider the possibilities. Craig’s motivation is to encourage individuals to not give up on themselves, their dreams or their destinies. Craig’s background is:

• Master’s level Rehabilitation Counselor
• Experience working with in a state agency counseling clients around educational and employment issues as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
• Certified Rehabilitation Counselor 1990 – 2000.
• Medical training in nursing – Licensed Practical Nursing.
• Experience working with and serving clients in corporate worker’s compensation as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
• Author of articles that are published throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.

As a motivational / inspirational speaker Craig’s focus is to provide information in such a way to encourage, motivate and empower my audience to thrive in life — regardless of their challenges, disabilities or disadvantages.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Join me as I interview Robyn Grant, Director, Advocacy & Outreach of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care will talk about the new consumer guide on July 27th, 9AM PST

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Robyn Grant, Director, Advocacy & Outreach of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care on July 27, 9AM PST on

The Consumer Voice has recently published a consumer guide called, Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care: A Consumer’s Guide to Choices and Advocacy. The guide is intended to educate people with disabilities and older adults about their options for long-term services and supports and empower individuals to be self-advocates for quality long-term care. It features tips from consumers receiving services in nursing homes, assisted living/group homes and in their homes. It also provides information and resources to assist people currently living in nursing homes to move back into the community.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Interview with Timothy Tosta, author of #Death tweet books 01 and 02, on July 18th 9AM PST

July 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Join me as I interview Timothy Tosta, author of #Death tweet books 01 and 02, on July 18th 9AM PST. Listen live or download later at

Timothy Tosta is a cancer survivor, a seasoned hospice volunteer, and executive coach to the legal and business communities. He also is recognized as one of California’s leading land use and environmental attorneys. Tim is the author of #DEATH tweet, Book 01 – A Well Lived Life Through 140 Perspectives on Death and its Teachings and #DEATH tweet, Book 02- 140 Perspectives on Being a Supportive Witness to the End of Life. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Journal, California’s leading daily legal newspaper, and a frequent lecturer to legal and business gatherings on topics of human potential, fulfilled living, and conscious dying, as well as planning, development, sustainability, and the environment. Tim blogs on life and death issues at

Viki will be interviewed on 3 Steps Forward with Deidre Hughey on Thursday, May 19th from 9-9:30 EST

May 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

3 Steps Forward
Thursday, May 19th from 9-9:30EDT on WCOM 103.5 FM Carrboro, NC
DJ / Host: Deidre Hughey

3 Steps Forward is a program is designed for women who want more out of life and for their life but don’t have the time to sift through mounds of information available. The host, Deidre Hughey, knows about the restrictions on your time – as a personal empowerment speaker, she hears about it everyday!
This is her answer to you…

The concept is simple.

Invite female therapists, life coaches and speakers with a strong message for other women as it relates to their personal lives. Each guest will iterate 3 actionable steps for the listeners to take this week to move their personal life in a positive, forward direction.

The goal?

To inspire women, just like you, to push aside your limits, embrace your true self and realize your dreams! I have 2 guests for a total of 30 minutes or less for each, plus we play some “put a smile on your face” songs. So, sit back, relax and listen to some inspiration that is bound to make a difference in your life.

Take 3 Steps Forward…
This week and Every week!

Have a kind and respectful day.

Join me as I interview Kristin Dorn from Science Care regarding Whole Body Donation for medical and educational research on May 9th, 10AM PST on

April 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Join me as I interview Kristin Dorn from Science Care regarding Whole Body Donation for medical and educational research on May 9th, 10AM PST on

Science Care is a whole body donation program for medical research and education. We serve as a link between those who want to donate their body to science and those researchers and educators who need human tissue to further their medical education and research projects.

Our program is no cost to donors and their families. Once accepted, Science Care handles all transportation, cremation, filing of the death certificate, and return of the cremated remains within 3-5 weeks.

Anyone can register as a donor over the age of 18, or the family can decide to donate their loved one at the time of passing. Pre-registration is not required. We can facilitate a donation in almost every state in the U.S.except for Minnesotaand New Jersey.

While we strive to accept every donation, final acceptance into our donor program is contingent upon medical and suitability criteria at the time of passing, in order to honor the intent of donation and safely serve the needs of the medical community. Science Care is able to accept almost anyone who wants to donate, including people with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Exclusions may include contagious diseases, certain past surgical procedures, and bone and joint issues.

Some of the healthcare advancements Science Care has been part of recently include cancer research through a grant with the National Cancer Institute, Alzheimer’s research, medical device development, and improving minimally invasive surgeries.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Kim Linder from The Caregiver Hour’s Radio Show in Tampa – Listen on May 2nd 8AM PST

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

Viki will be interviewed on the Caregiver Hour, the radio show hosted by Kim Linder, founder of Senior Holistic Living.

Kim Linder is passionate about helping caregivers listen to their inner voice, be authentic and make conscious decisions during every stage of the caregiving process. In addition to her experience garnered from over 10 years as a professional caregiver, she personally served as primary caregiver to her in-laws for two years. Her career path has provided invaluable insight into the very real struggles, guilt, challenges, joys and sadness that caregivers often experience. And because of her personal journey, she understands and embraces the healing power of self-discovery and empowerment.

As an advocate for seniors, Kim’s grass roots experience as a Marketing Director and Executive Director of an Assisted Living Community helped her become an integral part of the senior living community. Her passion to enhance the lives of seniors motivated her to develop monthly educational and wellness programs to illustrate her belief that many seniors want to be seen and heard rather then become invisible as they age. Her work in this arena naturally led to her passion for helping the many caregivers that she encountered and interacted with over the years.

Recognizing that caregivers often shoulder a burden that they are simply not prepared to handle, Kim is gifted in detecting the warning signs that ultimately lead to imbalance in their lives. She relies on her intuition to guide her as she supports caregivers, encouraging them to feel acknowledged, empowered, centered, and balanced. This holistic approach of focusing on the whole person is gentle yet effective. And most importantly, it results in a de-stressed caregiver who is able to make wise and clear decisions for themselves and those in their care.

Kim enjoys working with professional and lay caregivers, health professionals, holistic practitioners, and all types of well-spirited people. A dynamic speaker, she has presented to a wide variety of audiences, including Regency Oaks, St. Mark Village, and BB&T Bank. In addition to her work with Senior Holistic Living, she is a certified reiki master and member of Better Living for Seniors, Women In Philanthropy, and the Florida Council on Aging (FCOA). Kim wrote a monthly column for the Tampa Tribune called The How To Guide To Graceful Aging, and her writing has also appeared in The Jewish Times newspaper, Jewish Woman magazine, and The Bugle – a senior publication.

Kim resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Jack. She has a son, four stepchildren, and two grandchildren – all of whom enjoy her keen sense of humor and penchant for telling a great story. Her hobbies include traveling, black & white photography, biking, yoga and attending art shows and estate sales. She wholeheartedly believes that giving back to the community is essential to creating abundance, so she donates both her time and money to the organizations that she supports. Her volunteer efforts include the Alzheimer’s Association, Suncoast Hospice Foundation and All Children’s Hospital.

If you think Kim’s approach is right for you or you’d like to know more about her, please contact her.
Senior Holistic Living
13911 W. Hillsborough Ave
Suite 113
Tampa, FL 33635
(727) 798-2663

Four Ways to Listen (For questions, call 877-897-8255)

On the Radio:
11AM to 12PM EST Mondays on
Clear Channel 1250 AM WHNZ Impact Radio in Tampa
On the Web via WHNZ, Live:
11AM to 12PM EST Mondays at
On your iPhone, Blackberry, or Droid, download the app at:
On the Web, via Podcast:
Click here to go to our Show Archive.

Have a kind and respectful day.

I am honored to be interviewing Terry Kaldhusdal and Mike Bernhagen about the new film, Consider the Conversation – A must see for all of us on April 6 at 2PM PST, 4PM CST on

March 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio

This is a “must-see” documentary about the important conversations in life. I am honored to be interviewing Terry Kaldhusdal and Mike Bernhagen about this remarkable film. April 6 at 2PM PST, 4PM CST on

About the movie:

Motivated by their personal experiences with loss, two long-time friends – one a hospice educator in rural southern Wisconsin, Mike Bernhagen, and the other a former State Teacher of the Year, Terry Kaldhusdal – decided to join forces in early 2009 to begin a creative journey that has resulted in a film entitled Consider the Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject.

This project sheds light on the 21st century American struggle with communication and preparation at the end-of-life. It examines multiple perspectives on end-of-life care and includes interviews with patients, family members, doctors, nurses, clergy, social workers, and national experts from around the country. While in production, Mike and Terry donated more than 3,500 hours to the effort which included shooting 70 hours of film and conducting in-depth interviews with 40+ individuals from California, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin. 62 “person on the street” interviews were also conducted in New York City in April of 2010.

The bottom line is that Consider the Conversation does not seek to hand down answers. Instead, it provides something far more important – the questions all of us need to contemplate. That being said, the producers have three goals for this film: 1) to change the current American attitude from one that predominantly views end-of-life as a failed medical event to one that sees it as a normal process rich in opportunity for human development, 2) to inspire dialogue between patient and doctor, husband and wife, parent and child, minister and parishioner, and 3) to encourage medical professionals, healthcare organizations and faith leaders to take the lead in counseling others.

Consider the Conversation was released on DVD via on March 1st and will air on several PBS stations later this year.

“With simplicity and grace, Consider the Conversation leads us to confront, on numerous levels, one of the characteristics common to us all: our mortality. This film is a wonderful catalyst for all of us to engage ourselves and our loved ones in this all-important, but oft-neglected, conversation,” said Nathan A. Kottkamp, Chairman of the upcoming National Healthcare Decisions Day.

Terry Kaldhusdal

This is Terry Kaldhusdal’s fifth documentary film. His previous work includes Thinking Like a Historian, for the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and America’s Kings and Queens, The Gilded Age in Middle America, winner of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s 2010 Public Programs Award. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has written that Kaldhusdal’s work is “clear and concise” and added that he has a “passion for learning and a talent for communicating.” Columnist Laurel Walker has called his work “A-plus” and stated that he has “a knack for documenting history.”

In 1991, Terry joined his wife as a classroom teacher and moved from Southern California to Wisconsin. He currently teaches fourth grade at Magee Elementary School in Genesee Depot. He and his students have created documentaries that include the history of the Kettle Moraine School District and personal digital stories on everything from responsibility to the three branches of government. In 2009, one of Terry’s students was featured at the AHA Film Festival in Southern Illinois.

Terry has traveled across his state and across the country as a speaker to improve our
educational system. He was honored in 2006 with the Kohl Fellowship Award and in 2007 as the Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year. Terry resides in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin with his wife, Janet, and their three children.

Mike Bernhagen

Mike Bernhagen is well-acquainted with the American medical system. From 1994 to 2003, he worked in business development with one of the Midwest’s largest integrated healthcare delivery systems and multi-specialty group practices. During this decade, his time and energy were spent focusing on things like “physician incentive compensation plans”, “revenue growth”, “patient acquisition”, and “referral relationship development”. Those priorities changed in late 2003, however, when his mother, Rita, passed away from congestive heart failure and vascular dementia. Watching her slow, physical and cognitive decline as well the struggle of his family and her healthcare providers to deal with the process inspired him to join the hospice movement in 2004.

Since that time, Mike has been on the road working as a hospice advocate. Over the course of that journey, his travels have taken him to countless destinations – clinics, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior citizen centers, disease specific support groups, and private residences – where he’s talked with literally thousands of people from all walks of life. But, it has been with the dying and their loved ones that his most meaningful and rewarding conversations have taken place. In fact, one of the great lessons he’s learned from terminally ill people is that most are not afraid to die; rather they are afraid of the dying process. Some of the common fears they have are:

•Am I going to suffer?
•Will I be a burden upon my family?
•Will I have to leave my home?
•Will I die alone?
•Will I still get to see my doctor?
•Will I leave unfinished business?

In this documentary film, Mike sees the potential it has to make a difference—both in terms of demystifying the dying experience and encouraging people to begin the conversation about their end-of-life wishes well before the finish line is in sight. Mike currently works as the Director of Community Engagement and Care Partner Relations with Rainbow Hospice Care in Jefferson, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Denise, live in nearby Waukesha along with their two children.

Have a kind and respectful day.

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