David N. Cook
David brings extensive experience in nonprofit governance and organizational finance, as well as expertise in guiding coalitions of diverse stakeholders in pursuit of common legislative and policy initiatives. Formerly General Counsel of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and Deputy General Counsel of the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, he has practiced law for more than 40 years. David and his wife Ann Thompson Cook are longtime supporters of the movement for end-of-life options. He was elected to the board in 2014.
Nancy is a counseling psychologist and educator who has worked with adolescents in underserved Chicago schools. She is currently the vice president of the Civic Leadership Foundation’s board, whose program helps students develop the skills and experiences necessary to become engaged civic leaders. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in organizational and counseling psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Nancy has served on many strategic planning committees in both secondary schools and colleges in New York and Chicago. She and her husband, Bob Hoyt, have been involved with Compassion & Choices for more than a decade.
Betsy Van Dorn
Betsy is a retired writer and founding editor of The Family Education Company, a web-based parent education site. She currently serves on the board of Fenway High School, an internationally recognized pilot school in Boston and volunteers as a docent at Discovering Justice, the James St. Clair Education Project at Boston’s Moakley Federal Courthouse. A graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University School of Education, Betsy worked for Houghton Mifflin Company, Harper and Row, Scott Foresman, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and Pearson Education.
Jaren combines her career in antique jewelry with community service concentrated on civil liberties. She has been board president for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the Denver Public Library Commission, and the ACLU of Colorado’s treasurer. She is currently president of the Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority board. She received the Margaret Sanger Award for exemplary leadership in furthering reproductive rights and the Carl Whitehead Award for lifetime contributions to civil liberties. She earned her BA in economics, cum laude, from Smith College. Jaren has long been committed to end-of-life choice and brings to Compassion & Choices that passion along with her extensive board experience.
Steve has been as an assistant public defender in Maryland since 2012, defending the indigent criminally accused and serving as general counsel for the office. From 1980 until 2012, he was a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where he handled a variety of complex business-litigation cases. He served for 15 years as chair of the firm’s pro bono program, which The American Lawyer consistently ranked among the top five in the country. He was recognized by The Baltimore Sun as its “person of the week” for his work in a case that brought a halt to Maryland’s death penalty. He has also served on a number of nonprofit boards.
Debbi has been actively involved with Compassion & Choices since 2000. Her grandmother spent the last few months of her life distributing copies of Elisabeth Kubler Ross’ book, On Death and Dying, and preparing for a good death from the effects of cancer. Her mother was active in reproductive rights. Debbi is the Director of Just Managing, a music agency, and has worked as an executive director in the broadcasting and entertainment industry for many years. She holds an architecture degree and lives in New York with her son.
Dan was the founder and owner of a chain of office supply stores in Washington, D.C., and New York City. He has been actively involved in a number of non-profit organizations in the United States and internationally that promote individual freedom. He is past chairman of the board and a continuing board member of the Atlas Network and Foundation for Economic Education. He is also a current board member of a number of other non-profits. Additionally, he serves as an advisor to a number of private companies. He is a graduate in economics from Miami University (Ohio) and has an MBA in finance from Columbia University in New York.
Lucille Ridgill, M.D.
Dr. Ridgill is a Site Medical Director at AltaMed, the nation’s largest network of community-based primary care clinics and senior care programs, overseeing clinical patient care. AltaMed is headquartered in Commerce, California.
Dr. Ridgill is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine. She is also a visiting physician at VITAS Healthcare in Coastal Cities, California. Dr. Ridgill completed her residency at UCLA-Charles Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Creighton University and a medical degree from Creighton University Medical School, in Omaha, Nebraska.
Samantha’s wide range of interests have found expression in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. She spent many years developing rental housing in New Jersey. She developed an art print business while raising her family in London. She did clinical social work at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City and Beth Israel in Newark, NJ. In the not-for-profit area, she has served on various boards supporting disabled young adults in a residential facility, supporting a local YMCA and contributing to the goals of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. Her interest in Compassion & Choices began initially with a Compassion & Choices lecture on living wills and quickly extended to attending and then sponsoring events to introduce others to the organization.
Jerri is co-founder and president of JBS International, Inc., a consulting firm that works to strengthen health care, social service, and education systems in the United States and internationally. Her career has focused on vulnerable populations, expanding their access to and options for quality health care. Her work engages policy makers and program leaders in strengthening federal, state, and community health care policy and service delivery.
Madison T Shockley II
The Rev. Madison T. Shockley II is the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, CA. He brings to Pilgrim Church a wealth of experience from his work in the religious, political, non-profit, and media environments.
Originally ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1979, he joined the United Church of Christ in 1990 when he accepted the call to the Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship, UCC, in Los Angeles. Madison was called to Pilgrim Church (as the first African American pastor of this predominantly Anglo congregation) in 2004. Beyond the pulpit, Madison was a grassroots candidate for the Los Angeles City Council in 1999 and 2003. In 1998 he began writing commentary for the Los Angeles Times and in 2005 became a contributor to the award winning website, Truthdig.com on a wide range of topics including religion, race, politics, reproductive choice and popular culture. A native of Los Angeles he was educated at Harvard College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He holds the Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has done advanced graduate work at Claremont Graduate University in New Testament Studies.
Haider Warraich, M.D.
Dr. Haider Warraich is a physician, writer, researcher and brilliant new voice in the discussion about death and end-of-life care options, which include patient-centered care, hospice and palliative care and medical aid in dying. He authored the book, Modern Death – How Medicine Changed the End of Life (St Martin’s Press), in which he discusses the impact modern medicine has had on the dying experience. He also regularly writes for the New York Times; has contributed to The Guardian, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe; and has made TV appearances on CNN, PBS, Fox, BBC Radio and NPR among others.
Dr. Warraich is also an avid clinical researcher with articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and the Lancet amongst others. Currently, he is training in cardiology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Previously, he was a staff physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and instructor at Harvard Medical School, where he also received training in internal medicine.
Mark Weideman is Founder and Principal of the Weideman Group, a California-based legislative, strategy and public affairs consulting firm. Weideman is Compassion and Choices’ chief lobbyist in California and spearheaded the strategy that led to enactment of California’s End of Life Option Act. Weideman received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his law degree with honors in written and oral advocacy from the University of California Hastings College of Law. He is a registered lobbyist with the State of California and a licensed attorney with the State Bar of California.
Kim Callinan, MPP, PMP
Chief Executive Officer, ex officio
After almost 3 years as our chief program officer, Kim Callinan took on the position of chief executive officer on February 1, 2018.
As the chief program officer for Compassion & Choices, Kim has steered her team through unprecedented programmatic accomplishments. In this capacity, Kim 1) guided the program team through the authorization and implementation of medical aid-in-dying laws in California, Colorado and the District of Columbia; 2) integrated the organization’s successful efforts to persuade medical societies and health systems to accept medical aid in dying and integrate it into the standard of end-of-life care; and 3) launched the new Truth in Treatment initiative to empower patients with life-threatening diseases to get the care that reflects their goals, priorities and values. Read Kim’s full bio here.
Barbara Coombs Lee, PA, FNP, JD
President, ex officio
Barbara practiced as a nurse and physician assistant for 25 years before beginning a career in law and health policy. Since then, she has devoted her professional life to individual choice and empowerment in health care. Barbara’s professional experience includes work as a private attorney, counsel to the Oregon State Senate, a managed care executive, and president of Compassion In Dying from 1996–2004. Barbara was chief petitioner for the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. She is a champion for enabling individuals with the freedom to consider a complete range of options and be full participants in their health care decisions. Read Barbara’s full bio here.
Chief Operating Officer, ex officio
Trish Bernstein serves as the chief operating officer at Compassion & Choices, the leading national nonprofit organization committed to helping everyone have the best death possible. In this capacity, Trish is responsible for human resources, board, IT, support services and facilities. Trish came to Compassion & Choices with almost two decades of experience running the operations of both national and nonprofit hospice and palliative care organizations. In addition to her work with hospice and palliative care providers, Trish has held regional positions with a nursing home chain, Alzheimer’s care provider, and a pharmaceutical company. Read Trish’s full bio here.
Marcia Campbell, MAcc, CPA
Chief Financial Officer, ex officio
Marcia Campbell, CPA, is chief financial officer of Compassion & Choices. She has worked since 1978 as an accountant to a wide range of clients, ranging from manufacturers to mortgage brokers. She has earned a reputation as a successful CFO, controller, and human resources director for closely held private companies and nonprofit organizations. The Kansas City, Missouri, native is mother of two adult sons and enjoys painting when she puts down her calculator.