The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California has honored Dr. Gary Johanson and the Threshold Choir with the 2016 Compassionate Care Leadership Awards, and Kate O’Malley with the 2016 Compassionate Care Innovator Award. These awards recognize individuals and organizations who are changing the way we care for people who are seriously ill or approaching the end of life. The awards will be presented at the CCCC 8th Annual Summit on May 12-13 in Newport Beach.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Johanson – a leading palliative care physician – has been a community advocate for advance care planning and quality palliative care. He is medical director of Palliative Care Services and Memorial Hospice at St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County.
The Threshold Choir sings for and with those at the threshold of life and death. Their calm presence and gentle voices help soothe and reassure patients, family members and caregivers. Founded in 2000 in Berkeley with a group of 15 voices, the Threshold Choir has grown into a national and international network of a cappella choirs with more than 120 chapters and 1,300 members.
For the past 11 years, Kate O’Malley has served as a senior program officer with California HealthCare Foundation, where she manages projects focused on improving care and lowering system costs for high-cost populations, especially toward the end of life. She has worked with World Health Organization experts to develop a nursing curriculum for Kenya and traveled through central California as a mobile health clinic nurse.