Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Debbie Ling BA, BSW, PhD, Lead for Healthcare Sector, is a compassion researcher and educator, Lecturer in the Social Work Department at Monash University and key contributor to the Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies. Debbie is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Epworth Monash Rehabilitation Medicine Unit and sits on the Australian Compassion Council, Charter for Compassion Australia.
Debbie’s PhD (awarded 2019) investigated the relationship between the perception of common humanity and compassion in healthcare workers. Debbie has led the development of the award-winning Monash Compassion Training for Healthcare Workers online course. Debbie also works as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker in private practice and a social worker at Epworth Healthcare.
Mary Ann Boe is a community weaver whose expertise and passion comes from the 14-year care of her son Déva, who was medically fragile all his life. Déva taught her that to get through tough times, we need community. After her son’s death, she co-founded The Cedar Cultural Center, a premier venue for global music and dance.
She is an affiliate of Compassionate Communities UK working to mobilize this global public health movement in the United States.
Mary Ann also serves as the Compassionate Relations Connector of the Journey Guide Project, an upstream healthcare initiative that places the patient’s story at the forefront of the medical experience to guide shared decision making and strengthens the mind-body connection as a necessity for wellbeing.
Stephanie R. Paulmeno, DNP, MS, RN, NHA, CPH, CCM, CDP, Health Sector Co-Lead, was mentored in this newly acquired role by the late, great Dr. Charlie Barker, who asked that she assume his co-lead role upon his passing. Stephanie has been a practicing nurse for 54 years having initially graduated from the Beth Israel Medical Center School of Nursing in New York City (1969). She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (2019/Quinnipiac University), licensure as a Nursing Home Administrator (1987/Quinnipiac College), and a Master’s degree in gerontology (1981/College of New Rochelle). She practices in the fields of public, population, and community health, and has published both articles and book chapters. She speaks locally and internationally on diverse health-related topics and the social issues that impact health and wellness. Her lectures are imbued with the importance of blending excellent care with compassion so as to enhance the quality and outcomes of patient care and staff satisfaction, which in turn benefits the reputation and bottom lines of organizations (“The skills to treat and the heart to care”). She is Past-President of the Connecticut Nurses Association, current Chairman of the Board of the Patient is U Foundation (TPIU), and sits/has sat on numerous community boards, advisory boards, Commissions, and councils for her State, Town, colleges, hospitals and organizations. She actively serves each year as a mentor to students in many fields of practice.
In addition to her work in long term and psycho-geriatric care (1981-2002), Stephanie spent 7 years as the Director of Community Health Planning for the Greenwich Department of Health in Connecticut, USA. She was the Founding President of the first Connecticut Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Stephanie was appointed to sit as a Commissioner, and served as an Executive Board officer, on the Connecticut Commission on Health Equity for its entire duration (2008-2016). She is nationally Board certified in public health, case management and dementia care. After retiring from the health department, she created and operated her own public health consulting firm, Global Health Systems Consultants, LLC for fourteen years (2009-2023), and continues to work with her local department of health as their Public Health Promotion Specialist through an on-going COVID-19 grant. For nearly 20 years she also co-chaired the Clinical Pastoral Education Council for Greenwich Hospital’s Clinical Pastoral Education Program.