The Southern California Myeloma Community Chapter welcomes guest speaker Louise Lavin, an advanced practice psychiatric nurse and a licensed professional clinical counselor, to share valuable insights for patients and their loved ones on coping with the emotional aspects of multiple myeloma. Diagnosed with myeloma in 2015, Louise brings a uniquely informed perspective from her experience as a patient, in her practice, and through coaching others as a HealthTree coach. Whether you are a patient or care partner, newly diagnosed or a veteran warrior, you are sure to receive helpful tips through this interactive session.
Diane has lived in Southern California for most of her life. Her husband Todd was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017. She spent her career working in marketing until January 2020 when she and Todd retired from their respective first careers, to devote their time and talents as patient advocates, Myeloma Crowd coaches, and ambassadors for City of Hope’s expansion to Orange County. She and her husband are committed to helping improve and advance cancer care for all patients and feel a collaborative, virtual support group that draws from this region is an excellent way to help current patients and their families, and future generations of cancer thrivers as well.
Todd Kennedy is a Myeloma Coach and grateful patient. His background includes over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry until he and his wife Diane retired from their respective first careers to devote their time and talents as patient advocates, Myeloma Crowd coaches, and ambassadors for City of Hope’s expansion to Orange County. Todd is living life to the fullest with his wife and sons in Orange County, CA.
Louise Lavin is an advanced practice psychiatric nurse and a licensed professional clinical counselor in Ohio. She received a BSN with Distinction at the University of Rochester and a MSN in psychiatric nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center and on the psychiatric liaison team at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She has also been an adjunct professor at the Graduate Family Nurse Clinician Program at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Graduate School of Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Cincinnati. In 1981, she was one the first nurses in Ohio to open a private practice offering individual and marital counseling with a special interest in helping patients cope with serious physical illnesses. After being diagnosed with myeloma in 2015, she directed her focus to assisting fellow patients. She participated in the development of the training material for Healthtree coaches and was a speaker at the first Myeloma Coach Summit. She also presented a patient’s perspective on MRD testing at a MMRF webinar and served as a patient reviewer for the MMRF’s HIT videos. Presently, she volunteers as a myeloma coach and presents a variety of workshops on the emotional aspects of Myeloma. Utilizing her mental health background and her personal experiences as a patient, she strives to help fellow myeloma patients cope more effectively with their illnesses.
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