Ellen is a believer that everyone has a story worthy to tell. Her story begins with the early loss of her father to brain cancer when she was in her teens. His dying influenced her passion to make a difference in healthcare, especially in the care of dying patients and their families.
Knowing she needed to “connect many dots” in academic and healthcare systems, Ellen was ultimately recognized in October 2020 by NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award for recognition of extraordinary achievement, leadership, the innovation of her career, and the advancement of nursing. Much like others before her, Ellen stayed at the bedside of dying patients, established a private practice in grief and loss, and enabled the development of a Hospice and Palliative Care Program within her rural hospital in North Carolina.
In 2018, Ellen became a consumer of cancer care when a “simple hernia” was diagnosed as Stage 3C Metastatic Ovarian Cancer with a prognosis of about 3-4 years. [This event calls for an entirely other story.] Ellen was privileged to receive care close to home by the very staff with whom she collaborated in another part of her career. She lives in Western North Carolina with her amazing husband of 40 years and is surrounded by two sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.
With respect and awe for the professional life in which she lived; Ellen published her book, Someone, to Watch Over You: Finding Your Strength Within in May 2020 to carry her legacy of encouragement and healing for years to come. Today she is honored to work as a contributor/moderator for Health-Union’s Advanced Ovarian Network.
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