Spring 2016 Newsletter

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T​he Coalition for Quality End-of-Life Care, Inc.i (CQEC), is a 501©3 non-profit organization which endeavors to provide opportunities for individuals to combine their energy, talents, and values for community improvement and enrichment in the management of end of life concerns.

Our Mission: 
To stimulate end of life conversations through education.

Our Vision:
To foster a culture in which all people live well until the end of their days.

President's Message

by Kendra Belfi, MD
The end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 has been busy for the Coalition. We have new Board officers for 2016:
  • Kendra Belfi MD, FACP, President
  • Tracy Mazour RN, MSN, OCN, Secretary
  • Stephanie Gary, CPA, MBA, Treasurer
  • Chaplain David Lowe, MA, M.Div, BCC, Immediate Past President
We also hired a part-time administrative assistant, Tammy Valentine—who is also a part-time chaplain. See more information about her below.

National Health Care Decisions Day (NHDD) is coming up April 16th, and Jaime Cobb and her committee have been working hard to increase awareness in our community. Please look at the Coalition Website for more information:
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative that encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

This mission fits so perfectly with the mission and vision of CQEC that we have been promoting NHDD locally for several years now. Remember, â€œIt is always too early until it is too late." Have conversations with your family and loved ones this year prior to National Healthcare Decisions Day, think about what is important to you and let your family know.

There are some videos and other resources on the CQEC website which you may find helpful. If your organization or faith community would like to participate, please contact us at

Respecting Choices First Steps Facilitator Certification and Followup

On February 12, the CQEC Respecting Choices First Steps instructors Sharon Basham, Jerry Barker, MD, Kendra Belfi, MD and David Lowe presented First Steps training for staff, mainly social workers and chaplains, and partners of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. This training was very well received and the instructors all felt it was a success.

This is part of an initiative by a JPS task force to increase advance care planning within their hospital system with a focus on their 12 outpatient clinics. I was particularly encouraged by the request for this class because I believe it is an unprecedented opportunity to begin to reach a much larger portion of our community than we have been able to reach before. Ideally advance care planning should occur when the individual is stable and able to think clearly about his personal goals and values for his life rather when in the stressful environment of an emergency department or intensive care unit. Kudos to the John Peter Smith advance care planning task force under the leadership of Julie Idoine for pursuing this approach!

Our Respecting Choices initiative will also include a reunion and update for people who have previously taken the First Steps course on March 2 AND we plan to do another training session in August or October this year. Watch the website or our Facebook page for details.
Featured Board Member
CQEC Treasurer Stephanie Gary
Stephanie Gary CPA, MBA currently serves as the Head of Financial Affairs for The Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth where she is responsible for all financial activities of the organization. She previously served as the Manager of Finance and Business Operations for UT Southwestern’s Ancillary Services division.
She is a CPA and received her MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas in December 2015. She completed her undergraduate studies in accounting and business administration at the University of Maryland. She is originally from Silver Spring, MD and moved to Dallas in 2005 where she met her husband and planted her roots.
Stephanie’s personal connection to CQEC is a very unique one. In 2008, she and her husband were faced with the difficult decision to end life support efforts for their newborn son, Caleb. That challenging experience has made her keenly aware of the need to have advance directives and to plan for end-of-life care.
Stephanie and her husband, Kito, now have two beautiful children; Isaiah (6) and Corinne (3). In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys reading, playing board games, movie nights with her kids, playing/watching  tennis and salsa dancing.
CQEC Administrative Assistant
Tammy Valentine 
Tammy Valentine, M.Div. is a part-time chaplain at Baylor Scott & White All Saints and Texas Health Resources HEB where her duties include helping patients complete advance directives and supporting families as they make difficult end-of-life decisions. 

Her role with CQEC is to provide support to the board and help the leadership with events and programs.

She previously served as a United Methodist pastor and had an extensive career as a journalist and publicist before she answered her call to ministry. Tammy continues to write for a a variety of clients on a freelance basis.

In her spare time, Tammy enjoys knitting, reading and geocaching. She lives with her chihuahua, Pico, and cat, Jaspurr.

How to help

We are looking forward to many other good things this year including presenting at least one Hospice Foundation of America video conference in our community. We can use both financial support and volunteers to help put on these programs.

CQEC has also just learned that we were selected as a screening site for the Frontline documentary on Dr Atul Gawande: Being Mortal. Look for more details on times, dates and places for viewings, or let us know if you would like to be a site to host a viewing. 

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Copyright © 2016 Coalition for Quality End-of-Life Care, All rights reserved.

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