Constanza Prieto Figelist, End of Life Choices New York's Latino Outreach Coordinator
Constanza Prieto Figelist
April 9, 2019
Executive Director Laurie Leonard

A Letter From Our Executive Director

Serving as the Executive Director of End of Life Choices New York has been wonderful, meaningful work and I am proud of our accomplishments. However, as I grow older I become more aware that I have a limited amount of time to engage in other projects that I would like to pursue. The only way to create the time for them is to leave this position, so in December I asked our board to begin a search for a new Executive Director. I will continue to do some public speaking for EOLCNY and may assist in other ways, but on June 1 I am leaving the day to day leadership of our organization.

Fortunately, we have found an excellent person to be our new Executive Director: Chelsea Kline, an experienced advocate for social justice. Chelsea graduated from Smith College and Harvard Divinity School. She has worked in higher education, creating and overseeing programs for non-traditional college students. She ran a rigorous campaign in 2018 for Massachusetts State Senate, and won nearly 41% of the vote. Chelsea serves on the board of directors of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and was appointed by the State of Massachusetts as a Commissioner on the Status of Women and Girls. I am sure you will enjoy meeting her, and that she will prove to be an inspiring and enthusiastic leader.

I am very grateful to all the donors and volunteers who support our work. I have been touched by your generosity and your strong and passionate commitment to improving end of life care.

It has been a pleasure to work for the EOLCNY board of directors, led by Terry Perlin and Peter Rogatz. Our board members come from a variety of professions but have in common their unwavering support for social justice.

And I would like to thank the highly talented, deeply dedicated staff and consultants to End of Life Choices New York, who work so hard to educate health care professionals and the general public about end of life topics; advocate for laws that will improve end of life care; and counsel those nearing the end of life and their families. They are:

  • David Leven, who retired as Executive Director in 2016, but who still works tirelessly to expand end of life choices, and has generously shared his extensive knowledge and experience with me;
  • Judith Schwarz, our Clinical Director, whose inspiring strength and compassion have directly improved the lives (and deaths) of so many people;
  • Ayana Woods, our Director of Outreach and Education, whose ability to brainstorm new ideas and reliably implement them has brought significant increases in knowledge to all who attend our events or read our materials;
  • Martha Quiros, our CPA, who has generously donated her time and expertise to ensure we are fulfilling our legal and financial obligations;
  • Doug Wingo, our Development Consultant, whose wisdom and encouragement have helped us to expand our resources;
  • Vince Marrone, who has enthusiastically shared his seasoned knowledge of the legislative process so that we can better achieve our goals;
  • Nick Henderson, our Web Designer, whose creativity and insight have vastly improved our online communications;
  • And Constanza Prieto Figelist, who we hired this month to be our Latino Outreach Coordinator and is off to a great start.

It has been a pleasure to work with such a talented team, and to have had the opportunity to help to improve end of life care, a cause to which I remain deeply committed.

Warm wishes,

Laurie Leonard

Executive Director

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