Saturday, October 19, 2019


As a community, we recognize that health and well-being are both a gift and a responsibility. This becomes evident when either is threatened by a serious illness or loss. It is then we realize that end-of-life decisions and living with loss can be overwhelming and a very difficult time for families. As well, we understand that cultural differences, traditions and family history can impact an individual and the family’s ability to embrace end-of-life care, goals-of-care decision making, grief support and legacy planning. We see evidence every day that making decisions during a health crisis adds significantly to the confusion and burden experienced by patients and their families.

We believe that education for our community prior to a health crisis can empower and change the way families experience advanced illness and end of life, as well as recover from the loss of a loved one whether that loss be from illness or trauma.

In an effort to overcome these trying circumstances and prepare members of our community for these universal experiences, we are hosting a healthcare symposium that will address topics in two unique educational tracks as well as provide opening and closing speakers relevant to our overall goal. We will strive to educate, inform and empower the community to make informed, patient-centric decisions regarding end of life and the loss of loved ones.

Click here to view information about the Wellness Space that will be set up for attendees to enjoy during lunch. 


Karen Bullock, Ph.D., LCSW, is Professor and Assistant Dean of the School of Social Work at North Carolina State University, in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Work from Boston University, her master's degree in Social Work, from Columbia University, and her Bachelor of Social Work degree from North Carolina State. She is Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Bullock has more than 20 years of clinical practice experience in mental health and aging, with interests and expertise in health care disparities and end-of-life care issues. She is a John A. Hartford Faculty Scholar and serves on several national boards and committees, including Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network, the American Cancer Society Oncology Social Work Research Peer Review Committee, and is current Chair of the NASW Mental Health Section Committee. Dr. Bullock's research focuses on cancer care and social support for older adults with non-curable illnesses. Her article, "The Influence of Culture on End-of-Life Decision Making," won the 2012 Best Article Award by the Routledge Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care. She has been a leading force in advancing social work practice, education, and training in gerontology, mental health, palliative, and end­of-life care. Dr. Bullock has published and presented nationally and internationally on these topics. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and previously held appointments at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, the University of Connecticut, Salem State College, Smith College, and University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Eric Bush, MD, RPh, MBA joined Hospice of the Chesapeake team in September 2016 as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Bush provides strategic and leadership direction to the medical staff which includes Physicians and Nurse Practitioners. As a member of the executive leadership team, he will also share in the responsibility of implementing strategic direction and effecting cultural change within the Hospice of the Chesapeake team. Having served first as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the Army Reserve, a Pharmacist and then a Physician in the Baltimore and Washington corridor, Dr. Bush brings a unique perspective to Hospice of the Chesapeake. Dr. Bush earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, a Master of Business Administration, and his Medical Degree all from State University of New York in Buffalo, New York. He is a board-certified Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician.

Rev. Dr. Henry P. Davis III, has been the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Highland Park since 2000 where he leads an active membership of over 3,000 disciples who are engaged in more than 80 ministries. He was ordained in 1982 at the St. Paul Baptist Church of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, under the pastoral leadership of his father, Dr. Henry P. Davis, Jr. He formerly pastored the Second Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem, New York and the Community Baptist Church in Lakehurst, New Jersey. He has received numerous awards and citations, including being inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, he studied at Oral Roberts University, and earned degrees from Norfolk State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary before earning his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.

Deborah Haskins, Ph.D. is the President for the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling. A retired Counselor Educator/Scholar-Practitioner from Trinity Washington University, she received her Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola College, Maryland, and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, an Approved Supervisor, a Master Addiction Counselor, and Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor II. Dr. Haskins provides clinical and consulting services and publications on cultural competency, gambling addiction recovery and wellness. Her expertise is in community wellness and faith-based health and wholeness. Dr. Haskins was the Director of Hope Counseling Services, a homicidal loss counseling program for the Baltimore-Washington United Methodist Church from 2009 to 2014. After the traumatic deaths of their son and nephew and medical crisis of her husband, she is expanding her advocacy to help others, including mental health professionals, affected by homicidal and traumatic losses.

Nadia Hassan, MBA is known amongst her peers as a Social Strategist for young people. Nadia is the Founder and Executive Director of Young Leaders Institute, a youth leadership platform and network connector that empowers youth toward social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Nadia has an MBA from Bentley University, where she did her thesis in Islamic Finance and Sustainable Economics. In 2011, Nadia founded the Villa Park Peace Coalition to counteract the hate and anti-Muslim bigotry coming from the right-wing Republican Tea Party. As a social justice advocate, Nadia uses her national platform to fervently speak out against the systemic racism and religious intolerance that is currently plaguing our communal and political spheres. Last year at the 2018 DC National Women's March, Nadia stood on the international stage and delivered a powerful message about the Islam and the Qur'an in front of a half a million people. Most recently, Nadia has been appointed as a Commissioner to Governor Hogan's Commission on African and Middle Eastern American Affairs.

Rev. Laurie Hogge, M. Div. received her Master of Divinity in 2008. She was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacraments in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and has been a chaplain for 11 years, including ministry in hospitals, skilled nursing facility memory care units and hospice. Since September 2015, Hogge has been a chaplain at Hospice of the Chesapeake serving patients in central Anne Arundel County.

Cereta A. Lee was elected as the Register of Wills on November 7, 2006 and was re-elected for a fourth term in June 2018. She earned her Business Administration Degree from Strayer University. She retired after 31 years as a senior Verizon Manager. Ms. Lee also served as the Executive Assistant to Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson. Mrs. Lee has resided in Prince George's County for over 40 years. Mrs. Lee has a very strong history within the community and she is a member of various civic and political organizations such as the Maryland Register of Wills Association, Maryland Association of Judges of the Orphans Court, Glenn Dale Citizens Association, The Kiwanis Club of Mitchellville and a Member of the First Baptist Church of Highland Park.

Rev. Brian Madison, M.Div. received his Master of Divinity in 2010. He was ordained in 2010 and has served as a chaplain since 2011. In addition, he has served as a Youth Pastor and part of the Pastoral and Spiritual Care Ministry of Galilee Baptist Church since 2012. Madison has been a chaplain at Hospice of the Chesapeake since 2014 and serves Anne Arundel County from the Pasadena area through the southern part of the county in Harwood.

Ben Marcantonio currently serves as the President and CEO of Hospice of the Chesapeake. He joined the organization in April 2013 as the Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to Interim Chief Executive Officer in January 2015 and officially was appointed in September 2015. Marcantonio leads all aspects of the organization with a focus on providing the highest quality care and experience for patients and their families. Marcantonio is also responsible for the implementation of strategic plan and all fundraising activities. Marcantonio relocated to Maryland in April from San Diego, California and has 25 years of leadership experience in educational, healthcare and social service settings. Prior to relocating, Ben served as Chief Administrative Officer at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. He holds a Master's of Science in Counseling from San Diego State University, a Master's of Education in Administrative Leadership from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

Patricia (Pat) Padgett is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) where she serves as the Assistant Director for the All Things New Family Support Ministry. She also serves as Chaplin for the Senior Wednesday Ministry where she offers teachings, motivational conversations, prayers and other careful care for Senior Citizens. In addition, Pat volunteers for Hospice at the Chesapeake Life Center in Largo Maryland where she offers sacred space (conversational calls) of healing for those who grieve. She has also served as facilitator for a support group focusing on the use of spirituality and the fostering of "sacred presence" for group members to facilitate healing through grief. Pat is a speaker, teacher, and author. She has contributed as a speaker on topics related to wellbeing and taught The Power and Benefit of Journaling, The Excellent Wife, Sacred Listening, and Promises from God for Single Women for the FBCG Women's Focus Studies Ministry. She is the proud author of "Inspired to Write New Edition" and her next book, "A 31-Day Journal through The Book of John" is expected to be released in 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and is pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Alvin  L. Reaves, III, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, is the Director of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care at Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, Maryland. Dr. Reaves is a hospice and palliative medicine specialist who has been practicing palliative medicine since 2011. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in 2002, serving his last year as Chief Resident. He later completed a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2011 at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and at Capital Caring Hospice. Dr. Reaves holds dual board certification in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His clinical interests include the integration of faith and spirituality in complex medical decision making at the end of life, particularly in minority populations.

Roberta Rook, LCPC has 20 years’ experience in the field of counseling. For fifteen years, she has been working as a Bereavement Counselor and Program Coordinator for Chesapeake Life Center, the bereavement counseling department of Hospice of the Chesapeake. In 1999, Roberta received a post-graduate Certificate in Thanatology, which is the study of death, dying, and bereavement. She has training in several expressive therapeutic techniques, including SoulCollage®, the Mandala Assessment Research Instrument, and sand therapy. She has conducted trainings and presentations on grief-related issues for hospice staff, volunteers, and professionals from the community at large.

Koretta Skelton, LCSW-C is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has served in the state of Maryland for over 15 years. She joined Hospice of the Chesapeake in 2013 and provides home-based Social Work support to the adult and pediatric patients and families. She is an advocate for the psycho-social medical needs of patients and familial caregivers. She provides holistic perspectives to the interdisciplinary team of nurses, physicians and chaplains, ensuring individualized medical care. She empowers patients and families through therapeutic insight and perspectives regarding trauma, sudden loss, anticipatory grief, end-of-life preparation and processing end-of-life circumstances. Koretta holds a Bachelor of Science Social Work degree from Morgan State University and a Master of Science Social Work degree from Barry University.

Rudolph Willis, MD earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. He received his Medical Degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is a National Cancer Institute trained Oncologist and has practiced oncology over the past 25 years. He has been a clinical researcher at Washington University School of Medicine as well as a scientific researcher in the Laboratory of Tumor Biology at the National Cancer Institute. He has been on the clinical staff of Hospice of the Chesapeake and Chesapeake Palliative Medicine for the past two years. Dr. Willis is also on the clinical staff at Anne Arundel Medical Center and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Yolonda Yvette Wilson, Ph.D. earned her degree in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Wilson’s work centers on race and gender justice, particularly in health care. Her recent article, “Intersectionality in Clinical Medicine: The Need for a Conceptual Framework,” is a consideration on applying intersectionality’s intellectual approach in the clinical environment. Presently, Dr. Wilson is working on a monograph, “Black Death: Racial Justice, Priority-Setting, and Care at the End-of-Life.” Additionally, Dr. Wilson’s public scholarship on issues of bioethics, race, and gender have appeared in The Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum and The Conversation and republished in outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Philly Voice. Dr. Wilson is a 2019-2020 fellow of the National Humanities Center in Durham, N.C.

Rabbi Steve Weisman has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Solel of Bowie since August 2000. He was ordained in 1991 by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion’s New York School, and previously served congregations in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Rabbi Weisman made his reputation in smaller congregations, in which the rabbi is called upon to respond to a broad range of congregant and community needs. He served as President of the Fredericksburg Area Ministerial Association and has a strong background in interfaith and community work, including his work as a volunteer pastor at Mary Washington Hospital and Hospice of the Rappahannock. His work in Fredericksburg and his own family experience with hospice have informed his support of congregants dealing with end-of-life issues. He has been recognized for his youth and camp work, and for his social action activities, by the Union of Reform Congregations, the umbrella organization of Reform Judaism in North America.