Trustee Forum Bios: Living Well to the End

We are honored to have these expert speakers as our panelists for our Antioch University Santa Barbara Trustee Forum: Living Well to the End: Challenges & Choices

Trustee Forum Page

Karl Lorenz, MD

Lorenz Karl, MDKarl Lorenz
is a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, associate professor of medicine at UCLA, and palliative care consultant and general internist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. He also currently serves as director of the VA Palliative Care Quality Improvement Resource Center, which focuses on developing provider-facing software tools for use with the VA’s electronic medical record in order to improve the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care.

At RAND, his work includes evidence synthesis in the Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center (a center within RAND Health); the development of quality measures for palliative and end-of-life care with the Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders project; and work for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on hospice reimbursement. He co-leads the Trajectories and Palliation Study (TAPS), funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He is a former VA Career Development awardee and was a Commonwealth Packer Health Policy Fellow in 2007–2008, during which he was placed with Cancer Australia to study the organizational dynamics of quality measurement and improvement in the Australian cancer care system.

Lorenz received his MD from the Medical College of Georgia and his MS in health services from the UCLA School of Public Health.


Eileen Bunning, RN, MA

Eileen BunningEileen Bunning is Board Chair of The Alliance for Living & Dying Well which is a collaborative of Santa Barbara County organizations concerned with quality end of life care. 

Ms. Bunning served as the President and CEO of Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara from 2001 to 2010. On September 24, 2008, Bunning joined the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Board of Directors. She is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Health Care Administration and a Master of Arts in Psychology. Prior to coming to Santa Barbara, she was the Hospice Operations Manager for Sutter Health in San Francisco, overseeing 5 programs around the Bay area. Under her direction, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care tripled in revenue growth and persons served.

Bunning serves on the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Board of Directors as Board Chair, the Board of Adventures in Caring, the City College Advisory Board for Nursing, the Professional Advisory Board for CenCal Health and co-chairs the Non-Profit Division of United Way of Santa Barbara County. In 2007, Bunning was honored by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce with the Betty Hatch Award for Women and Entrepreneurs.

Frederic Kass, MD

Fredrick Kass, MDDr. Fred Kass will be the first to tell you that he’s privileged to be included in the lives of so many extraordinary patients and people here in Santa Barbara.  With that sense of privilege comes Dr. Kass’s tremendous appreciation and vigor for life.  His view is that,  “Healing is always possible, regardless of whether disease is curable.”  

His excitement for life is celebrated by all at the Cancer Center’s annual celebration of life Viva La Vida, the concept for which he introduced in 1990.  In addition, Dr. Kass helped create the Cancer Center’s Genetic Counseling Program 10 years ago, as well as helping to foster the growth of clinical research in Santa Barbara.

 Dr. Kass feels equally blessed with his personal life as he does with his career as an oncologist.  He and his wife are proud parents of two “pretty cool” children, one at Berkeley and the other at Tufts.  He is also a self-proclaimed “wannabe athlete,” attributing any success to the fewer number of competitors in his newly acquired age group (60-64)! 

Click here to view Dr. Kass’s curriculum vitae.

Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD

Elizabeth Wolfson, PhDElizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW is the Chair of the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program. Dr. Wolfson received her PhD in Clinical Social Work from New York University School of Social Work. Her experience includes thirty years in clinical practice and sixteen years as an administrator in social service agencies. She has been teaching for over twenty years (including twelve years at AUSB and at Columbia University School of Social Work, New York).

 Dr. Wolfson’s professional accomplishments include the creation of an innovative gang violence intervention program pairing at-risk youth with Holocaust survivors. She was Project Associate in the production of two films in collaboration with UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies (screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2006 & 2007.

In addition to overseeing the Master’s in Clinical Psychology Program at Antioch University, Dr. Wolfson also serves as Vice President of Professional Development on the Board of NASW and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Barbara. 

Holly Gendron, RN

Holly Gendron, RNHolly Gendron has been a Registered Nurse for over 40 years; with a Bachelors’ in Health Care and a Masters in Public Health. She has worked in acute care, critical care, chronic care and has been with VNHC doing home care and hospice for over 18 years. Holly has worked in many roles at VNHC and currently is the Director of Serenity House. End of Life care and palliative care have been the primary path and focus for Holly’s career for 12 years. Holly has been an educator, quality manager, and direct management roles for 30 years; and enjoys teaching and mentoring new staff in hospice and palliative care. Holly has worked mainly for non – profit organizations during her career and has been collaborating with a Palliative & Hospice Organization in Kenya for 9 years, doing site vists, education, and assisting the organization to attain improved healthcare access and future sustainability.

Serenity House is an 18-bed inpatient hospice house that provides care for hospice patients whose needs cannot be met at home.  Hidden on a hillside among Santa Barbara’s majestic coastal oaks, it’s a place where patients are cared for in a serene and homelike setting. Each private room allows patients to be surrounded by loved ones. Serenity House provides round-the-clock medical care from a team of specially trained doctors, a nurse practitioner, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, hospice aides and volunteers that support emotional, spiritual and practical concerns.