Our Speakers

Modern medicine has increased our life spans. In many ways it has also improved our quality of life as we age; but some medical treatments can actually diminish our quality of life.

Our free presentations explain what you can do to maximize your chances that you will stay comfortable if you become ill, and have a peaceful death if that time has come.

We offer two different types of presentations; either can be customized to meet your group's needs. For example, some groups only want a speech on advance directives, so for them we speak in more detail about that topic than we do in our usual presentation.

Both talks are suitable for the general public; we can also modify them for more specialized audiences such as health care professionals, graduate students or caregivers.

Our Presentations

To book one of our presentations, or to find out more about them than is explained on our site, please contact our Executive Director, Ayana Woods, at ayana@endoflifechoicesny.org or use the form at the bottom of this page. There is no charge for our presentations.

David Leven, JD

Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant
David Leven, JD, is Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant to End of Life Choices New York, after having led the organization for 14 years. He has won awards for his work in public interest law, and has played a leadership role in having legislation introduced and enacted in New York to improve pain management and palliative care. David has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs.
Danica Dorlette

Danica Dorlette

Speaker
Danica Dorlette is an oncology nurse and health advocate who thrives in environments where the primary goal is to provide quality care – whether to individuals or whole populations of people. She has a masters degree in public health and enjoys merging that with her nursing knowledge to educate others and address concerns of vulnerable communities through research, program development, and community mobilization.
constanza prieto figelist

Constanza Prieto Figelist

Speaker
Constanza Prieto Figelist is a Chilean lawyer and feminist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, who has lived studied and worked in Chile, France, and the United States. Constanza also collaborates with other environmental, feminist and immigrant protection NGOs.

Deborah Grayson

Speaker
Deborah Grayson recently retired after 16 years as a nutritionist with a large NYC hospice. Prior to that she worked in fields ranging from criminal justice research to book publishing. She has spoken before national and state hospice groups on nutrition-related topics. Deborah has two masters degrees - in nutrition and public health.

Laurie Leonard

former Executive Director
Laurie Leonard is the former Executive Director of End of Life Choices New York. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MSW from Fordham University. After a career in television broadcasting, Laurie developed an interest in end of life issues, and worked for Cabrini Hospice in New York City. She has served on the board of directors of many organizations, and in 2001 she received a New York Volunteer Service Award.
Avery Leora Ross

Avery Leora Ross

Speaker and Family Advocate

Avery Leora Ross is a dedicated and resourceful community and family advocate with ten years of positive impact working within agency settings serving countless families in the New York area. Skilled at needs assessment for bereavement programs and group facilitation coupled with versatile leadership and project management skills. As a volunteer with the Hospice of New York and the Services Program for Older People, Avery’s calling as a grief counselor and bereavement facilitator, has compelled her to support and re-frame the tasks associated with the loss of a loved one giving the group/ individuals an opportunity to acknowledge and accept the natural stages of loss and guiding them through the process of creating a new normal.

As a budding gerontologist, and a member of the Gerontological Society of America, Hospice, Palliative and End-of- Life Care division, Avery’s desire and compassion for all New Yorkers to have the right to choose their end-of- life care has ignited her to advocate for the Medical-Aid in Dying Act.

  • Testimonial
    “We all came away with valuable insights and information. Your engaging style and compelling information immediately motivated me to take some actions on my own behalf. After learning about what standard medical care can and cannot do, it’s clear that having basic information about hospice, pain management, palliative care and end of life directives is essential. You have given us the tools to advocate for ourselves to prepare for a time when we can no longer do so, and to help others do the same."
    Testimonial
  • Testimonial
    “Thank you so much for your very informative and engaging presentations last week…Your style of presenting and appropriate humor are always appreciated when the subject is so grave.”
    Testimonial
  • Testimonial
    “We wanted to extend our sincere gratitude for sharing your passion and expertise with us on such an important topic yesterday.  Your lecture was gripping, compassionate and extremely informative.”
    Testimonial
  • Testimonial
    “It was unanimous among all of us who participated that the program met or exceeded our expectations. Not only did you bring a wealth of valuable information to share, but your manner of presenting made it all so accessible and easy to understand.”
    Testimonial
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