Susan Barber (USA)

Susan launched the Community Education program in 2005 at Mission Hospice. They provide education opportunities for community members and professionals who work with people experiencing illness, death, loss and/or grief.

In 2017, her program worked with Humane Prison Hospice Program to provide an 8-month Compassionate End of Life training to inmates at San Quentin Prison. Susan developed the training and co-facilitated. There is no hospice nor palliative care program at San Quentin, so they supported prisoners who will be caring for each other with little to no support. A second group will be graduating in the Spring of 2020. Susan presented at the state level on this work at the 2019 California Coalition for Compassionate Care Conference, and it was presented at the 2018 National Hospice Innovation Project conference. She’s increased understanding of end of life care and resources across our community and developed an amazing group of Community Ambassadors, aka Education volunteers, who support, host and lead most of their current programming.

She created the Movies@Mission film series which explores the ways we live, and die, giving community members a unique opportunity to come together in a supportive and casual way to explore these ideas.

Susan loves to develop workshops and training like The Art of Saying Goodbye, using art to support grief, while also providing grief education and practical creative opportunities to the community. The Community Education program presents Ann Randolph’s Stories that Heal workshops, and her amazing work: Inappropriate In All the Right Ways, the Author Series, included Frank Ostaseski and Drs. Jessica Zitter, BJ Miller, Lucy Kalanithi, Louise Aronson and more. In 2019, Community Education trained teams for peer to peer Advance Care planing workshops, finding that peer to peer delivery works well. People leave feeling empowered and able to complete their directives.

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