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W1 Using Your Experience and Creativity in the Service of Others

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Using Your Experience and Creativity in the Service of Others: Your Mission in End-of-Life Care
David Kessler

David Kessler is fast gaining a reputation as one of the best known experts in the field of hospice and end-of-life care today, as a result of reaching hundreds of thousands of people through his books. His newest book is LIFE LESSONS, two experts on death and dying teach us about the mysteries of life and living, which is co-authored with Elisabeth Kubler Ross, who will be receiving IANDS' 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's conference.

His first book, THE NEEDS OF THE DYING: a guide for bringing hope, comfort and love to life's final chapter, is often the number one best-selling hospice book in the USA and received praise from Mother Teresa a few months before her death. It is published by Harper Collins Publishing and has been translated and published in over 11 countries worldwide.

David has helped thousands of men, women and children face life and death with peace, dignity and courage. His experiences have taken him from the Auschwitz concentration camp to Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying Destitute in Calcutta. His services have been used by Elizabeth Taylor, Jamie Lee Curtis and Marianne Williamson when their loved ones faced life challenging illnesses. He also worked with Anthony Perkins, Michael Landon and industrialist Armand Hammer when they faced their own deaths. He is no stranger to disaster and trauma. He has often worked with the loss and grief of mass casualties, volunteering his services as a member of the Red Cross's Aviation Disaster team (the Aspen plane crash) and as a Special Reserve Police Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department's trauma team. He works with the next of kin as well as survivors (e.g.the Singapore Airlines crash). In addition to his expertise in grief and loss, the Red Cross and the Los Angeles Police Department have trained him for the most critical, tragic and horrific situations possible, which of course included 9/11, and Ground Zero.

David takes his experiences and turns them into inspiring and motivational lectures for audiences around the world. He also teaches therapists, doctors and nurses on grief and loss and leads a support group for people with cancer. David is a certified trainer through the American Medical Association/EPEC program (EPEC- Education for Professionals on End of life Care). In his daily work he is Director of Palliative Care for Citrus Valley Health Partners, which has three hospitals and home hospice as well as a freestanding in-patient hospice unit in the Los Angeles area with over 900 physicians and 2,000 nurses.

His work has been discussed in the "Los Angeles Times", the "New York Times", "Business Week" and "Life Magazine", and has been featured on CNN-Cross Fire, NBC, MSNBC, PBS, "Entertainment Tonight" and "Sally Jessy Raphael." He recently wrote articles on end of life care for the Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle. For more information and resources, please visit


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