Bringing together physicians, artists, writers, and therapists, the Thematic Residency on Palliative Care Future and Psychedelic Medicines will investigate the status, efficacy, and future of using psychoactive—specifically, psychedelic—medicines in the practice of palliative care.
Joshua Biddle is the medical director of outpatient palliative care at Marin Health Medical Center. A proud community college transfer from City College of San Francisco, he received his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, completed medical school at UCSF, internal medicine residency at Stanford, and palliative care fellowship at UCSF.
Ira Byock, M.D., FAAHPM is a leading medical authority and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. He is founder and chief medical officer of the Institute for Human Caring, a component of Providence St. Joseph Health. The Institute drives transformation in clinical systems and culture to make caring for whole persons the new normal. The Institute for Human Caring’s change strategies produce measurable and scalable improvements in health care quality and efficiency.
Dr. Byock has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978. His research has contributed to conceptual frameworks for the lived experience of illness; measures for subjective quality of life during illness; and counseling methods for life completion. He is a past president of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He directed a national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program (1996-2006) that developed prototypes for concurrent palliative care within mainstream health care. From 2003 to mid-2013, he directed the palliative care program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H and is an active emeritus professor of medicine and community & family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Dr. Byock’s first book, Dying Well has become a standard in the field of hospice and palliative care.The Four Things That Matter Most is widely used as a counseling tool within palliative care as well as pastoral care. The Best Care Possible presents the potential for health care transformation. Dr. Byock lectures nationally and internationally.
Dr. Byock is advancing research into psychedelic-assisted therapies as modalities to alleviate suffering and foster emotional and spiritual wellbeing among people living with serious illness. He chairs the AAHPM Safe Use of Palliative-Assisted Therapies Forum.
Yvonne Corbeil is currently Senior Advisor for Institute for Human Caring at Providence St. Joseph Health and Senior Director for CTS – Clinical Transformation Specialists, a healthcare consulting firm. From 2015 to 2018, Yvonne helped lay the foundation for the Institute’s current array of services as the Director for Program Development and Education. Yvonne previously served as Director for Network Development for Palliative Care at Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center and held faculty positions at Dartmouth Medical School. A nurse by training, Yvonne has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1983 when she accepted a leadership role in the Division of Palliative Medicine at McGill University Faculty of Medicine. Additionally, during this period (1983 -1997), Yvonne served as Coordinator for The International Congress on Care of the Terminally Ill, a five-day bi-annual event hosting over 100 speakers and welcoming more than 1400 registrants from 25 countries. Over the years Yvonne has also served as a consultant to numerous palliative care and hospice programs in a wide variety of settings. She is a member of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Mary Cosimano, MSW, is currently with the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. She is the Director of Clinical Services for the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. She has served as study guide and research coordinator for the psilocybin studies since 2000, and has conducted over 450 study sessions. She taught individual and group meditation to breast cancer patients in a Johns Hopkins research study. In 2003 she started and has maintained a meditation group for employees in her department. She also has 15 years of experience with direct patient care as a hospice volunteer.
Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialog about artificial intelligence (AI) as it intersects race, gender, aging, and our future histories. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to co-create more inclusive, fair and ethical artificial intelligent ecosystems. Dinkins’ art practice employs lens-based practices, emerging technologies and community engagement to confront questions of bias in AI, consciousness, data sovereignty and social equity. Investigations into the contradictory histories, traditions, knowledge bases and philosophies that form/in-form society at large underpin her thought and art production.
Katie Engelhart is a writer and journalist. She is a Fellow at New America and is writing a book about the Right to Die (St. Martin’s Press, February 2021). She formerly worked as a documentary film correspondent at NBC News and a foreign correspondent at VICE News. Her writing has appeared in a variety of national newspapers and magazines.
Mellody Hayes is the CEO of Ceremony Health, a psychedelic medical center in Berkeley. She is a graduate of Harvard College and UCSF medical school. An anesthesiologist, writer, and public speaker with a focus on palliative care, Dr. Hayes is an advocate for the return to soulful care in the medical experience of suffering.
BJ is a hospice & palliative medicine physician and educator and has worked in all settings of care: hospital, clinic, residential facility, and home. His career has been dedicated to moving healthcare towards a human centered approach and he speaks on this topic both nationally, and internationally. He has been featured in The New York Times, and interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferriss, Krista Tippett and GQ Magazine.
William A. Richards (Bill), author of Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, is a psychologist at the Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, where he and his colleagues have been pursuing research with psilocybin since 1999. His graduate degrees encompass the psychology of religion, theology and comparative religion. His involvement with psychedelic research originated at the University of Göttingen in 1963. From 1967 to 1977, he pursued research with LSD, DPT, MDA and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.
Jordan Weber is a Des Moines based multi-disciplinary artist and activist who works at the cross section of social justice and environmental justice. His work has been exhibited at White Box Gallery, New York; The Luminary, St. Louis, MO; The Bemis Art Center, Omaha, NE; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; Smack Mellon, New York; Manifest Justice, Los Angeles. Weber is best known for his deconstructed police vehicles turned community gardens/workout equipment and recontextualized abandoned structures. Awards and fellowships include A Blade of Grass fellowship NYC, Tanne Foundation fellow, Des Moines Public Art Foundation fellowship and the African American Leadership Forum Fellowship. He is the 2019-2020 artist in residence at the world-renowned Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.
To counter environmental racism against body and land, I build projects that seek to collectively open community landscapes in restricted environments. Throughout my 13-year practice, I have worked and learned collaboratively with communities defined by landscapes of geographic and economic disadvantage. This work springs from both my geography and my genealogy. As a child, my father chauffeured figures like Jesse Jackson and Al Gore around the Midwest as he advanced the civil rights cause in Iowa co-founding spaces like the Fort Des Moines Black Soldiers Museum. I believe this fight for our cause eventually broke him down mentally which is a major factor of my practice being rooted in Iowa. Concurrently, my mother directed an inner-city youth center in Des Moines and introduced art workshops for students, both at her center and in our community at large. They set the foundation of my ideology that I’ve had the opportunity to combine into one practice. Iowa is the most biologically altered land in the US. Less than 1 percent of its indigenous biological land remains. Additionally, Iowa ranks in the top three states nationally for male, black-to-white incarceration discrepancies within the US prison system. This legacy of violence against the land in the Midwest systematically threatens violence against the body of color. It uses one’s environment and geography as biological weapons. I work against this to help create healthy regional landscapes of resilience and sustainability through the arts to support collective programs within oppressive constructs.
Brian D. Richards
Brian D. Richards, PsyD, completed a Master’s degree in Existential-Phenomenological Psychology at Duquesne University, a Psy.D. at the University of Denver, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, where he contributed to some of the original research administering psilocybin with cancer patients. Dr. Richards was formerly a Clinical Director with MedOptions, the largest behavioral health provider in the United States. He also provides diagnostic psychological testing at Oasis, an acute outpatient center in Maryland. Dr. Richards is now working on clinical research protocols administering psilocybin for Treatment Resistant Depression at Sheppard Pratt Hospital (with COMPASS Pathways), and Cancer patients at the Aquilino Cancer Center in Rockville, Maryland. This cutting-edge psychedelic medicine clinic—located in a busy outpatient oncology center, will be the first of its kind in the world, and may serve as a prototype for future clinics nationwide.
Dr. Richard’s clinical and research interests include non-dual experience, accelerated self-actualization, brain science based approaches to health and wellness, and working with treatment refractory patients. He finds meaning practicing yoga, being in nature, landscaping, and feeding all of the wild animals in his backyard.
NYC-based artist Jody Wood (b. Oregon 1980) makes socially engaged art that is time-based and performative, utilizing video, installation, performance, and community organization. Her projects have been honored with support from institutions such as New York Council for the Humanities, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and A Blade of Grass.