Lisa Deal, RN, MPH, ScD/Executive Director
As a community health nurse caring for AIDS patients in Boston during the late 1980s, Lisa discovered her passion for being with the dying. Following that profound experience, Lisa’s life took her in down a variety of paths as a clinician, a research associate, a policy analyst/editor, and a grants officer. With Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Nursing from the University of Washington and a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University, she spent several years working on child and family policy issues with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Silicon Valley, before taking several years away from the paid workforce to raise her three children and engage in community volunteer work. After the tragic deaths of her younger brother, her dear friend and pastor, and her father all within a three year span, Lisa felt called to return to caring for the dying. In 2010, Lisa joined Mission Hospice & Home Care as a hospice and palliative care nurse, where she worked in clinical and leadership roles for the next nine years. While at Mission Hospice, Lisa directed the Palliative Care Program, the Community Outreach Program, and served as Chief Clinical Officer and finally Chief Executive Officer until 2019.
It was during her time at Mission Hospice that Lisa became involved with Humane Prison Hospice Project. Under her leadership, Mission Hospice became the clinical sponsor for Humane’s work to train the Brother’s Keepers inmate organization at San Quentin to be compassionate end-of-life caregivers for their brothers in prison. Visiting with the men at San Quentin was another life-changing experience for Lisa, and today she feels honored to be able to combine her passions for working with the dying and serving those behind bars through the Humane Prison Hospice Project. As Executive Director, Lisa’s role focuses on strategic planning, fundraising, program administration, and supporting the incredible Humane Team as together they seek to ensure that those dying in prison receive compassionate end-of-life care.
In addition to her work with Humane, Lisa serves on the Board of Directors for GAIA Global Health and Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., and she is a lay chaplain for the Santa Clara County jails. Aside from her professional life, Lisa treasures time with her family (husband and three adult children) and long walks on the beach.
Ladybird Morgan RN, MSW/Co-Founder/Program Director/Facilitator
Ladybird Morgan, RN, MSW, Co-Founder of the Humane Prison Hospice Project has been working in end-of-life care and on the frontlines of sexual violence as a registered nurse, clinical social worker, and educator for 20+ years. She has worked with many organizations including The Zen Hospice Project, Hospice By The Bay, Marin General Hospital and Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Ladybird has guided medical practitioners, families and private caregivers, as well as directors of programs and institutions around the world on how to be present to experiences that may be hard to hear or bear witness to. Ladybird has recently been invited to join Commonweal, supporting the work of various projects including the Cancer Help Program and Healing Circles. She also co-facilitates a circle for high level offenders at Avenal Prison through the transformative program–Guiding Rage Into Power–GRIP. Aside from her Executive duties for Humane Prison Hospice Project (speaking on panels, presenting at various end of life events, general advocacy), Ladybird has been going into San Quentin prison weekly, leading Compassionate Care at End of Life training for the prisoner formed Brothers Keepers group as well as co-facilitating the Brothers Keepers’ crisis counseling program with ongoing training and consulting.
Marvin Mutch/Co-Founder/Senior Advisor-Public Information/Policy Advocate
Marvin is our spokesperson, liaison with prison officials, and general hero advocate. Marvin’s bio is an extraordinary one. He was released from prison February 17, 2016 after serving 41 years on a wrongful conviction suffered in 1975. In 2008, Marvin was injured and sent to California Medical Facility for treatment, while there he became a fervent supporter of California’s only full-service prison hospice program. Marvin saw the program shepherd no less than ten of his dying brothers while there. The number of programs and advocacy work Marvin created while incarcerated are too numerous to mention here. You can find out much more KQED documentary, The Trials of Marvin Mutch. Marvin was released through the combined efforts of USC’s Post Conviction Justice Project and The Golden Gate University Innocence Project.
Susan Barber/Prison Hospice Coordinator
Susan’s work in end of life happened by accident during the AIDS epidemic when dozens of her friends became ill and many died. Those years, with the support she found in the Center for Attitudinal Healing, a group of Buddhist monks and nuns, and the work of Stephen & Ondrea Levine, allowed her to enter into these deaths with compassion and less fear. After spending ten years caring for friends and family who were dying, Susan became a hospice volunteer coordinator, and spent 22 years training bedside volunteers to support those at end of life. Susan has trained more than 600 people in San Mateo County to be hospice volunteers. In 2015 she began working at Mission Hospice & Home Care where she founded, grew, and manages the Community Education Program. The work that has resonated with her most deeply during this time was the partnership with Humane Prison Hospice Project’s pilot program to train 16 prisoners in Compassionate End of Life Care in San Quentin. The second group completed their training just one week before California shut down due to Covid19. The work with the prisoners at San Quentin was the realization of a dream she’d had for almost 20 years, beginning while working with Stephen & Ondrea Levine. She is so grateful to be able to support Humane Prison Hospice Project in this role. Susan looks forward to the day when those dying in prison will receive great hospice care, with volunteer support from their compassionately trained fellow prisoners.
Nate Hinerman, PhD, LMFT/ Facilitator and Courseware Designer for the Humane Prison Hospice Project/Brothers Keepers
Nate is an Associate Professor of Psychology and former Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Golden Gate University, San Francisco. He is also on the faculty at the University of San Francisco, teaching in the Nursing School, and in the Religious Studies Department. His research intermingles philosophical and psychological approaches to topics such as human suffering, dying, and loss. Some of his books include: On Suffering: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Narrative and the Meaning of Suffering, (Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012), New Perspectives on the End of Life: Essays on Care and the Intimacy of Dying (2013), The Presence of the Dead in Our Lives (Rodopi, 2012) New Perspectives on the Relationship between Pain, Suffering, and Metaphor (Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016), Blunt Traumas: Negotiating Suffering and Death (2016), and Care, Loss, and the End of Life (Brill Publishing, 2017).
The international conference he organizes annually on Hospice and Palliative Care, the largest of its kind, is in its 18th year. He also serves as Chair of the San Francisco End of Life Network, a community-based support and education group for hospice and palliative care professionals and patients, now in its 21st year (www.sfeol.org) . Dr. Hinerman is also a psychotherapist, helping clients transition amidst loss. “I believe that hospice benefits not only the dying prisoners, but also the staff and other prisoners tending to them; and, such service can provide a sense of purpose and psychological rehabilitation.”
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Co-Founder for Humane Prison Hospice Project-formed in 2016. In 2007 while working in Mike Satris’s law office she asked, “how are they dying in San Quentin?” His response was sure, “Badly”, he said. Since that day Sandra has pursued this mission. Sandra is an actor, writer, caregiver. She has decades of passion for prison reform, stemming from a role in the play, Getting Out, which required great depth of research into prisons. Over the years she taught in Riker’s Island Prison, worked as an employment specialist for newly released prisoners in Manhattan, attended ex-prisoner support groups, sat in on parole hearings, and visited SingSing to observe classrooms there. While working with older newly released prisoners, she heard time and time again, “I’ll never go back, if I go back, I’ll die in prison, I don’t want to die in prison, I don’t want to die in prison”. Many do and as the aging prison population rapidly grows many more will die in prison. Sandra heard these tones of absolute fear and dread, these voices instill in her an urgency to make sure there is end of life care, with prisoners trained in giving the volunteer care, in every prison. Currently Sandra is Co-Chair for San Francisco End of Life Network and has trained and worked as a hospice volunteer with added training in pediatric hospice and vigil. Sandra has volunteered inside San Quentin assisting with the Brothers Keepers’ end of life training. Currently her focus in San Quentin is on a terminally ill death row client of our esteemed and deceased Michael Satris.
Katherine Pettus, Ph.D.
Advocacy Officer for Human Rights and Palliative Care at IAHPC. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Columbia University and a Masters in Health Policy and Law from the University of California San Diego. Her Ph.D. dissertation appeared as a book, ‘Felony Disenfranchisement in America’, now in 2nd edition with SUNY Press. Katherine is our international contact and a wealth of information resources. Hospice in prison, like hospice for the homeless, represents the ultimate expression of palliative care for the most vulnerable and abandoned among us. Particularly beautiful are the programs that train prisoners to help one another through serious illness and dying, enabling people who may have given or received little love or care through their lives to finally experience and express compassion for their fellows. It will be valuable to both the current prisoners themselves, and to the larger society, if prisoners can receive training in hospice care so they have this skill upon their release, given the enormous workforce care deficit for the growing population of older persons throughout the world. Poland has a model program that trains prisoners for this work upon release.
BJ Miller MD
BJ is a hospice & palliative care physician at UCSF. He is also an educator there, and advocates for moving healthcare towards a more human approach. BJ’s 2015 TED Talk has been viewed over 9 million times, Oprah Winfrey interviewed him in 2017 for her Super Soul Sunday program, also in 2017, the New York Times profiled BJ in a Sunday Magazine Feature, “One Man’s Quest to Change the Way We Die”. BJ’s first book, co-authored with Shoshana Berger, “A Beginners Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death”, was released in July 2019. (abgtte.com).
BJ has long been supportive of hospice in prisons -“If we’re serious about rehabilitation – corrections – instead of pure punishment, then fostering compassion is elemental. It’s in the bedrock of humanity and must be found – put – wherever humans are. If Humane has its way, so does love, both for the one dying as the one caregiving, maybe for the first and last time in a life. Here is a program where everyone is better off for it, without exception, and I’m proud to be a small part of it.”
BJ comes to speak with the San Quentin prisoners ( the Brothers Keepers graduates) to teach and discuss during their Compassionate Care at End of Life training.
As a documentary filmmaker Edgar has had a notable record of successful production in very stressful prison environments. Edgar’s academy award nominated (2014) documentary- Prison Terminal- has been shown in over 60 prisons and over 80 colleges, universities, and other community centers. Edgar takes great satisfaction in his ability to tackle large-scale problems within the American criminal justice system and present them on a very personal level so that the destructive impact of a dysfunctional correctional system can be made more palpable to the viewer. He took on the mission to document one of the few positive programs that exists today behind bars in hopes that other facilities will emulate the prisoner-run hospice program and instill much needed dignity to dying in prison for all concerned. PrisonTerminal.com.
“I support the mission because it reinforces the humanity of the imprisoned individual, whether the caregiver or the one given care”—Michael Satris, March 25, 1950-July 29, 2020.
Mike’s sudden death on July 29th, 2020 sent a ripple of deep sorrow throughout the prison, legal, and private, communities who knew him. It was in The Law Offices of Michael Satris where the first seed of the Humane Prison Hospice Project was planted. For decades he ran his private law firm emphasizing post-conviction remedies, prison law, and capital litigation. In 1976 Michael co-founded the highly regarded (and still operating) Prison Law Office – a non-profit corporation providing legal services to the prisoners at San Quentin. He was the director there until 1984. We thank you, Satris, for your support, guidance, and life’s work. Your dauntless spirit will continue to elevate our mission.
Diane Mailey has more than twenty years of business development, fundraising and marketing experience on behalf of mission-driven organizations. Diane’s work with HUMANE is a natural progression of her commitment to transform our approach to end-of-life care for all. For over a decade she has worked with Zen Hospice Project where she provided leadership in strategic planning, program development, and fundraising. At Presidio Graduate School, Diane played a major role in the development of the largest and fastest growing graduate school dedicated to sustainable management. She has worked in social sectors from affordable housing to international development on both coasts and in communities located in Africa and Asia, including the Institute at the Golden Gate, BRIDGE Housing Corporation, World Learning, and the Global Security Institute. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University and studied Architecture at the Boston Architectural Center.
Venerable Professor Geshe Phelgye
A former member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, founder of Universal Compassion Foundation and Buddhist Studies and Meditation Center in Spokane, is the Global Scholar and mentor at Eastern Washington University.
In 2006 on his US teaching tour, well before Ladybird met Marvin Mutch, Venerable Phelgye visited San Quentin, shared a healing meditation with prisoners and went on a tour led by Marvin. Marvin requested that he make a personal visit to a prisoner, who wanted to die instead of going to death row, which he did, and the prisoner passed away peacefully within the next 24 hours. As fate would have it, over a decade later, Marvin shared photos from this visit and Ladybird recognized Professor Phelgye as the very same cherished teacher leading a Buddhist Sangha supported by her family in Spokane.
Bob Stilger, NewStories
Bob Stilger has served community all his life. After 25 years as the Executive Director of one of the early community development corporations in the Northwest, he realized he needed to learn with people in the global south – India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and Mexico – to learn more about how people work with what they have to build healthy and resilient communities. For the past seven years, much of his time has been devoted to Japan, helping people envision a new future after the devastating triple disasters of March 11, 2011. He started NewStories in 2000 out of a sense that our old stories about how to find meaning in our lives were no longer sufficient. We needed new stories. Humane Prison Hospice, is one such new story. On one level, it provides needed support for those who die in our prisons. That would be enough, in and of itself. But there’s a deeper story as well – a move to change prison culture to a relationship based culture. A bold undertaking. Most important things are.
Please follow this link to discover the many inspired projects they are involved with.