Featured Speakers

Dale Larson, Ph.D., is a professor of counseling psychology and director of the graduate health psychology program at Santa Clara University. A national leader in end of life care and training, Larson is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. His publications on end-of-life care issues, grief and stress in professional caregivers and self-concealment are widely cited, both in scientific literature and in popular media. Larson received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Chicago, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Helpers Journey: Working with People Facing Grief, Loss and Life-Threatening Illness.

Daniela Lamas, M.D., is a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Following graduation from Harvard College, she earned her M.D. at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, where she also completed internship and residency. She then returned to Boston for her subspecialty fellowship. She has worked as a medical reporter at the Miami Herald and is frequently published in The New York Times. She is the author of You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and In Between.

Matthew Loscalzo, L.C.S.W., is the executive director of City of Hope’s Department of Supportive Care Medicine, and the administrative director of the Patient and Family Resource Center at the City of Hope-National Medical Center. He has more than 37 years of experience in caring for cancer patients and their families. He is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the clinical, educational, and research domains of psychosocial aspects of cancer. Professor Loscalzo has held leadership positions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, and the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California.

Marcus Engel, M.S. During his freshman year of college, Marcus Engel’s car was broadsided by a drunk driver. As a result, Marcus lost his eyesight and survived hundreds of hours of reconstructive facial surgery. While restricted to a hospital bed, a feeding tube and respirator, Marcus set a goal to return to college as quickly as possible. This goal would sustain him through two years of medical recovery, a six-month stint in rehabilitation and training with a service dog. Marcus holds a B.S. in sociology from Missouri State University and a M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. He is the author of I’m Here – Compassionate Communiction In Patient Care, The Other End of the Stethoscope, and other books.

Local Experts

Dr. Michelle Davila, N.D.,  is a licensed naturopathic doctor with Beaumont Integrative Medicine in Royal Oak, Grosse Pointe, and West Bloomfield. She is an adjunct instructor in the Family Medicine Department at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Dr. Davila is dedicated to providing compassionate care, empowering patients, and addressing the root causes of disease in a holistic manner. She has a general practice with a focus on women’s health, thyroid disorders and other endocrine imbalances, digestive disorders, and autoimmune disease.

Rachael Lawrence-Lupton, MA, MT-BC, is the Music Therapy Supervisor at Arbor Hospice/Hospice of Michigan. She has been a board certified music therapist for 11 years and has specialized in hospice for the last 8 years. She completed her undergraduate degree from University of the Pacific and her masters in music therapy from Saint Mary of the Woods College. She recently completed the requirements to be a National Roster Internship trainer through the American Music Therapy Association.                      


Kaitlin Ridgway, MM, MT-BC, graduated with her music therapy equivalency in 2016 and masters in music at Western Michigan University in 2018. She is a board certified music therapist and has also received certification training in Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) through the NMT Academy, focusing on specialized techniques to facilitate music therapy with a neurological approach. Kaitlin is a music therapist with Hospice of Michigan.                                      


Catherine Runjie YuL.P.T.A, R.H.I.T, completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry with a teaching degree from Shandong Normal University in China in 1990. She became a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in 2013. Looking for a better way to reduce fall risks, she began Tai Chi training, and has been certified in multiple evidence-based Tai Chi programs. Using Tai Chi as movement therapy, Yu teaches at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Westlake Health Campus, Powerhouse Gym, and for West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation.