Press & Testimonials

Providing the Soundtrack for Life’s Last Moments

New York Times, August 1st, 2015
by Jennifer Hollis

Past President Jen Hollis pens a piece for the Sunday New York Times, describing the work of music-thanatology and the perspective that it promotes in its practitioners.

Created: August 04, 2015     Last updated: August 04, 2015

Hospice Harpist Treates Patients with Music

OpEd News, July 17th, 2015
by Joan Brunwasser

This Interview with Tony Pederson, CM-Th goes into a little more depth about how it all works.

Created: July 17, 2015     Last updated: August 04, 2015

Conference Presenters

Changing Patterns

October 24th, 25th, & 26th, 2014
Annual Conference of the MTAI

Elizabeth Richmond, MA, LCPC

Elizabeth Richmond is a Bereavement Counselor with Midwest CareCenter.  She provides supportive counseling services to families who have experienced the death of a loved one, whether they have been in Midwest CareCenter’s care or are members of the community at large.  Elizabeth has been working in the field of bereavement for over 14 years and has helped to create programming for special events as well as presentations to the community at large concerning grief and loss. Additionally, Elizabeth has provided grief education in various health care settings including long term care centers, hospital and other venues. Elizabeth has a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago, and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

Martha L. Twaddle, MD, FACP, FAAHPM
Senior Vice President of Medical Excellence and Innovation

Martha L. Twaddle, MD, FACP, FAAHPM was named Senior Vice President of Medical Excellence and Innovation with JourneyCare in May, 2014. In this position, Dr. Twaddle works jointly with JourneyCare’s leadership to provide strategic leadership, advance quality and clinical innovation, forge new strategic relationships and build a high performing medical team to further JourneyCare’s mission. Previously, she was Chief Medical Officer at Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter in Glenview, Ill., where she continues as Senior Medical Advisor.

Dr. Twaddle’s unique talents and contributions to the field have helped increase the understanding of and access to hospice and palliative medicine locally, regionally and nationally. In 2013, she was named one of the 30 most influential visionaries in hospice and palliative medicine by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). She was the inaugural recipient of the AAHPM Josefina B. Magno Distinguished Hospice Physician Award in 2005, and was honored in 2001 with the Stephen A. Weisman Humanitarian Award for Cancer Care from the Cancer Wellness Center.

Dr. Twaddle has served as President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), on the Board of Directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and on the Clinical Advisory Board for the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, Illinois. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Journal of Pain & Symptom Management, and is a peer reviewer for Journal of Palliative Medicine and Palliative Medicine.

In 2004, Dr. Twaddle served on the Steering Committee for the National Consensus Project (NCP) for Palliative Care, which published the ground breaking “Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care.” In 2011, she was appointed to U.S. Senator Mark Kirk’s (R-IL) Health Policy Advisory Board, as well as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education standing panel for accreditation appeals in the subspecialty of hospice and palliative medicine.

After graduating summa cum laude from Purdue University, Dr. Twaddle received her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine for Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Twaddle is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Twaddle is active in research and has been published extensively in peer-reviewed articles and other publications on the importance and benefits of hospice and palliative medicine. She is an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospitals, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Northwest Community Hospital, and a senior attending physician at the hospitals of NorthShore University HealthSystems.

Gordon J. Wood, MD, MSCI, FAAHPM
Associate Medical Director

Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter
and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Palliative Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  He is Director of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care for Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Associate Director of the Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (EPEC) Project.  He is also Associate Program Director for the Northwestern University fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  Dr Wood is a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  He is a nationally recognized educator with expertise in communication skills training.  He has authored the last two editions of Communication and Teamwork, a book within the AAHPM UNIPAC textbook series and has contributed chapters to several other core textbooks in the field.  He is also published in a multitude of journals and other publications, including: JAMA, Critical Care Medicine and Up to Date.  He attended medical school at University of Chicago and completed his Internal Medicine residency at University of California, San Francisco.  He subsequently completed his Palliative Medicine fellowship and Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation at Northwestern University. 

The Reverend Susan Martersteck, M Div, Ms, RD, LD
Chaplain/ Dietitian
Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter

Rather than reading a list of schools, employment and other “dry” biographical information, I thought I would write a letter of introduction just for this gathering.

Dear Music Thanatologists,
I come to you today with a variety of life experiences and training that have all combined to lead me to stand here today.  My education and past employment include teaching both high school and college.  My clinical training as a dietitian and hospital experience allows me a level of comfort around medical lingo, hospital settings and families in need.  I was a volunteer with hospice patients and their families for 10 years and during that time was moved to attend seminary specializing in end of life issues, ethics, grief and bereavement.  I was ordained and have been a hospice chaplain with Midwest CareCenter for the past 13 years.

On a more personal level, I experienced the diagnosis, treatment and death of my first born, a daughter, Lara Marie.  It was this experience that shaped how and why I do the work I do.  Finding my way through deep grief was aided by meditation.  Following Lara’s death, I began sitting in the dark and asking the big questions, waiting in silence for the answer.  It was the beginning of my healing. I have been meditating with various techniques for 28 years.  Not many things I can say that about!

My more recent tie to all of you come from my feeble attempts at playing the harp.  A wise man told me to think of tuning the harp as a meditation.  Today, I can say that I am a pretty good tuner.  Less good at playing but that is a reflection of the amount of time I spend practicing….you know.

I look forward to our time together.

Susan Martersteck

Robert Magrisso, MD
An internist in practice over 30 years, formerly an Associate Medical Director at Midwest Palliative Care and Hospice. He is an artist whose exhibit “Light in Dark Places” will be on display during the conference. He is a an ordained member of Cafh Order and meditation teacher.  In 1995 he had a cardiac arrest and near death experience, the story of which is available here in a piece by NBC in Chicago.


Created: July 29, 2014     Last updated: August 04, 2015

Music Vigils at the Hospital

Music-thanatologist Jennifer Hollis takes the soothing sounds of harp and voice to ill and dying patients

Tufts Now, April 15th, 2013
By Bruce Morgan

Link to a web article that reprints a piece that first appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Tufts Medicine magazine, featuring the work of Jen Hollis, CM-Th.

Created: April 19, 2013     Last updated: April 19, 2013

Final Notes

Musician’s mission plays out at bedside of the dying

Green Valley News, January 27th, 2013
By Regina Ford

Rebecca Hazlitt’s work in Green Valley, AZ, as well as Estes Park and Boulder, CO are featured in this online article.

Created: January 27, 2013     Last updated: April 19, 2013

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