Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

COVID-19 Town Hall II: Conversations with Coalition Leaders – COVID-19 Impact on Palliative Care and Hospice, Now and into the Future

June 11, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

COVID-19 Town Hall II
Conversations with Coalition Leaders:
COVID-19 Impact on Palliative Care and Hospice, Now and into the Future

Thursday, June 11, 2020
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Eastern Time

A 4-Part Series of Coalition webinars featuring Coalition Leaders providing perspective and insight facing the field during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This Coalition COVID-19 Town Hall II with national palliative care and hospice leaders discussed COVID-19 field response, addressed top concerns and answered key questions from professionals in the field. 

Town Hall Objectives:

  • Learn from these national leaders how the COVID-19 epidemic has changed the delivery of palliative care and hospice – temporarily or perhaps permanently.

  • Listen to these national leaders offer advice to the field for what’s ahead.

  • Special emphasis during this Town Hall on the role of chaplaincy and the need for psychosocial support for patients, families and the palliative care and hospice team.





Amy Melnick, MPA  
Executive Director
National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (The Coalition)


Amy Melnick, MPA is the Executive Director of the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC). Amy’s career has focused on health care policy, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and Coalition building with diverse stakeholders. Amy guides the Coalition efforts towards improved communication, coordination and collaboration within the 10 national organizations representing the interdisciplinary hospice and palliative care field. Amy attended the London School of Economics and Political Science and received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University

R. Sean Morrison, MD
Director, Professor and System Chair
National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC)


Dr. R. Sean Morrison is the Ellen and Howard C. Katz Professor and Chair for the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also the Director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute and the National Palliative Care Research Center, organizations devoted to improving care for persons with serious illness and their families and enhancing the knowledge base of palliative care in the United States. During 2009-2010, he served as President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Morrison is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s 2010 PDIA National Leadership Award and the 2013 Excellence in Scientific Research Award, the American Geriatrics Society’s Outstanding Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award, and the American Cancer Society’s Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Award and Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award. His current research focuses on improving the management of pain in older adults and on developing and evaluating models of palliative care delivery in hospitals and the community.

Dr. Morrison has received over $50 million dollars in research funding and published over 200 research articles. His work has appeared in all major peer-reviewed medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He edited the first textbook on geriatric palliative care, recently edited a new textbook on evidencedbased palliative care, and has contributed to more than 20 books on the subject of palliative care. As one of the leading figures in the field of palliative medicine, Dr. Morrison has appeared numerous times on television, radio, and in print, including ABC World News Tonight, CNN, MSNBC, BBC news, NPR’s “Marketplace”, CBC’s “As It Happens”; and the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Guardian (UK), Globe and Mail (Canada).

Dr. Morrison received his BA from Brown University and his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his residency training at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center followed by fellowship training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He has been on the faculty of the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1995.


William A. Dombi, Esq
President & CEO
National Association for Homecare & Hospice (NAHC)


Bill Dombi is the President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. He also serves as the Executive Director for the Home Health Financial Managers Association. As a key part of his responsibilities, Bill specializes in legal, legislative, and regulatory advocacy on behalf of patients and providers of home health and hospice care. With nearly 40 years of experience in health care law and policy, Bill Dombi has been involved in virtually all legislative and regulatory efforts affecting home care and hospice since 1975, including the expansion of the Medicare home health benefit in 1980, the formation of the hospice benefit in 1983, the institution on Medicare PPS for home health in 2000, and the national health care reform legislation in 2010.

With litigation, Dombi was lead counsel in the landmark lawsuit that reformed the Medicare home health services benefit, challenges to HMO home care cutbacks for high-tech home care patients, lawsuits against Medicaid programs for inadequate payment rates, along with current lawsuits challenging the Medicare home health face-to-face encounter rule and the Department of labor changes to the overtime rules under the Fair labor Standards Act. In addition to litigation, Bill offers extensive community and professional educational services through lectures, publications, teleconferences, and videos. His lectures include market trends in home care, compliance, risk management, patient rights, fraud and abuse, health care reimbursement, legislative and regulatory reforms, and legal issues in telehealth services.

George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB
Director of Health Service Research and Quality
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN)


The Rev. George F. Handzo, BCC, CSSBB, Director of Health Services Research and Quality, oversees projects devoted to the strategic assessment, planning and management of chaplaincy services and to developing the evidence for the efficacy of chaplaincy care. Widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the deployment and practice of professional healthcare chaplaincy, Rev. Handzo has authored or co-authored over fifty chapters and articles on the practice of spiritual care and chaplaincy care and was the co-principal investigator on a major grant from the John Templeton Foundation investigating the contribution of spiritual care to health care. He is a past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains which in 2011 awarded him the Anton Boisen Professional Service award, its highest honor. He serves on the leadership team of the Global Network for Spirituality and Health and on the Distress Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.  The Rev. Handzo is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale University Divinity School. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Colleen Mulkerin, MSW, LCSW, APHSW-C
Director, Hartford HealthCare/ Hartford Hospital
Board Member, Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network


Colleen Mulkerin is a Social Worker, passionate about palliative care, committed to interprofessional practice and an advocate for advance care planning. She is dedicated to creating systems to promote wellness and resilience in the workplace. Ms. Mulkerin began at Hartford Hospital in 1992. She is the Director of Palliative Care from since the origin in 2005. She has taken on additional
leadership roles as the Director of Social Work beginning in 2014 and Spiritual Care since 2015. She has been involved in local as well as national initiatives relating to palliative care in intensive care settings. She is on the Board of Directors for SWHPN: Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network.

Colleen Mulkerin is a graduate from the University Of Connecticut School Of Social Work. She obtained her Master’s in Social Work in 1990 and her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Daemen College in 1984. In 2003 she completed a Fellowship and Advanced Certificate in End-of-Life Care at Smith College School for Social Work.


June 11, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm