Coleman Palliative CE Conference Speaker Bios

Understanding and Addressing Mental Health Disparities and Stigma in Serious Illness


James Gerhart, PhD (he/him)

Associate Professor & Director of Clinical Training, Psychology

Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI

The 5 Keys to Caregiver Survival: Clinicians are Caregivers Too

Dr. Cheryl Woodson taught and practiced Geriatrics for almost forty years while raising a family and caring for a parent with dementia. With board certifications in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, she coordinated the fellowship program at Pritzker School of Medicine - University of Chicago and directed all geriatrics training at Feinberg School of Medicine – Northwestern University. In “retirement,” Dr. Woodson is a board member of the National Council on Aging. She also consults and teaches nationally to prepare clinicians and other professionals to realize the benefits and embrace the challenges of working with older adults. Dr. Woodson dedicates herself to ensuring that everyone who interacts with older people and their caregivers will serve seniors successfully and that all women will LIVE OUT LOUD and AGE EXCELLENTLY!

Loss in an ICU – How Healthcare Providers Can Support Grieving Family Members

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Jared A. Greenberg, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Assistant Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit
RUSH Medical College Admissions Executive Committee Member

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL


Laura Fosler, RN, MS, FNP-BC, ACHPN

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Laura Fosler has been a palliative care NP for more than 10 years. She works at Rush University Medical Center, specializing in inpatient palliative medicine. She is active in interdisciplinary palliative care education, and has been a local and national speaker. She is currently studying Spanish, and has renewed appreciation for the joys and challenges of being an adult learner. Prior to becoming an advanced practice nurse, Laura practiced for 10 years as an RN in various settings, including the ICU and pediatric ED. 

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Rev. Dr. Arnold Hoskins, M.Th., D.Mgt.

Manager, Spiritual Care Department, Northwestern Medicine-Marianjoy, Wheaton, IL

Certified Palliative Chaplain

Identifying and Responding to Psychological Distress during Patient Encounters: Applying Patient-centered Communication Strategies


Yasmin Asvat, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences | Rush University Medical Center

Clinical Psychologist, Supportive Oncology| Rush Cancer Center

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Esther Yoon, Ph.D., MPH

Rush University Medical Center

Dr. Yoon is a postdoctoral fellow with the Supportive Oncology team at Rush University's Cancer Center. She received her bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan and doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Northwestern Feinberg, specializing in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Her research focuses on the intersections of digital health, health behaviors, and chronic illness management. She has a special interest in working with older adults and patients with chronic illness, focusing on how to optimize psychosocial well-being along a patient's care continuum. In her spare time, she enjoys golfing and rooting for the Michigan Wolverines during the college football season (go blue!). 

Supporting Patients with Death Anxiety: Case-based Discussion

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Judith Wood Mintz, LCSW

Director of Support Services

Unity Hospice and Palliative Care of Chicagoland

Judith Wood Mintz, MSW, LCSW is the Director of Support Services for Unity Hospice and Palliative Care of Chicagoland.  She is Core Faculty and Head of the Social Work Division for the Coleman Palliative Medicine Training Program, an interdisciplinary, city-wide endeavor training health care professionals in the provision of quality primary and specialty level palliative care. Judith has a key leadership role in a fast-growing urban hospice. She is the author of a chapter in the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work 2nd edition, addressing the role of social work with ALS patients. Her specific areas of expertise are the treatment of ALS patients in palliative and hospice care and in the provision of quality end-of-life and palliative care to an underserved, marginalized, urban population.

Provider’s Moral Distress: Recognizing it and Managing It

Annie Vernon-Cwik

Annie Vernon-Cwik, LCSW, ASW-G

Geriatric Social Worker III

UChicago Medicine

Challenging Cases: Managing Serious Illness for Patients with Co-Existing Psychiatric Diagnoses

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Josh Kaplan-Lyman, AM, LCSW

Social Worker

Section of Palliative Medicine, Rush University Medical Center


Lauren Z. Rynar, Ph.D.

Section Chief and Director, Supportive Oncology

Rush University Cancer Center

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Rush University Medical Center


Mental Health for Young Adults and Youth Living with Trauma


Sonya Mathies Dinizulu, PhD (she/her/hers)

Associate Professor

Director, University of Chicago Stress, Trauma, & Resilience (U-STAR) Program

Co-Director, Recovery & Empowerment After Community Trauma Clinic (REACT Clinic)

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience

University of Chicago Medicine

(773) 834-5916 | 

Healers: A Job? A Career? A Calling?

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Jaime K. Lewis, MD

Hospice Medical Director

Loyola Medicine Homecare & Hospice

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Melissa Perrin, Psy.D.

Owner/President of Perrin Psychological, Training and Consultation Services, Inc.

Adjunct Professor, The Chicago School