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love and loss: the power of stories in healing choices and end-of-life care

Join us for a morning of extraordinary stories by a UCLA cardiologist, an integrative veterinarian, an author, and a storyteller, who have each been transformed by end-of-life experiences.

Witness the power of their stories to facilitate meaningful dialogue on these issues by bringing them to the realm of the heart.

At the end of the program, there will be an experiential process of inquiry to help you find meaning in your own stories and inspire you to add your voice to the momentum for change.

featured presenters:

  • Bestselling UCLA cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz will share her story of how exposure to veterinary practices, such as end-of-life care, changed her personal and professional perspective.
  • Leading integrative veterinarian Richard Palmquist will describe how he went from skeptic to champion of integrative veterinary medicine through witnessing miraculous outcomes from integrative approaches, after conventional options were exhausted.
  • Distinguished UCLA Extension writing instructor Barbara Abercrombie will read a poignant excerpt from her book, Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They’ve Loved & Lost and will share what she discovered while collecting these stories.
  • Award-winning storyteller Barbara Clark will tell her moving story of caregiving for 12 years for her late husband, and will then guide us through an experiential process of inquiry to help us find meaning in our own stories of love and loss.

Carry your inspiration forward in a special writing workshop on March 14 with Barbara Clark on

Finding Meaning in Your Life Stories of Love and Loss.


Refreshments provided by Home Hero:
a referral agency that services all of Los Angles, Ventura and Orange Counties.  Their mission: to offer the fastest, most-affordable way to find quality in-home care for seniors. 
Premium caregivers without the premium price.


date: Saturday, February 7, 2015 

time: 9:00 am to 12:15 pm

fee: This is a pay-what-you-can event.  Proceeds will support programs such as this one.

suggested donation for general admission.
FREE to current UCLA Medical Center (including public health) faculty/staff/students.  

Please use the following promo codes for alternative donation rates: 

  • To donate $20, please use the promo code 20TS.
  • To donate $10, please use the promo code 10TS.
  • If you are a UCLA Medical Center faculty/staff member or medical student, please use the promo code UCLA.  Past employees, UCLA alums, and hospital volunteers need to make a donation for their registration.

Advance registration guarantees admission; otherwise, seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Continuing Education credits for LCSWs, MFTs, and RNs can be requested during the registration process for an additional $15. Scroll down for details.


Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) Auditorium, UCLA.
David Geffen School of Medicine

635 Charles Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095

directions and parking:
Click here for directions to the Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) Auditorium at UCLA.

For a venue and parking map, see below image, and or, click here for the UCLA interactive map.

Campus Parking:

Parking Structure 9 (or 8). See above map for location.

Parking permits can be purchased in a kiosk (marked with an "i" in the map) for $12, literally in the middle lane of Westwood Blvd, between Parking Structures 8 and 9.

Off-Campus Parking:

Broxton Avenue Public Parking, located at 1036 Broxton Avenue, is is  ½ mile, or an 11 minute walk, from the Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) Auditorium.

Broxton Avenue Public Parking Rates:
1st two hours free/ $9 maximum

$1.50 each each additional 20 min after two hours
$9 maximum per day

$3 flat rate after 6pm

presenter bios:

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz
is a UCLA cardiologist whose patients include gorillas, lions, wallabies, and humans. Her medical rounds sometimes take place at the Los Angeles Zoo, or might include veterinarians in a discussion of human health at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, but they always channel the perspective of Charles Darwin. Dr. Natterson-Horowitz is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a professor in the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Co-Director of the Evolutionary Medicine Program at UCLA. While her medical specialty is cardiac imaging, her academic passion is the evolutionary connection between human and animal bodies and minds. In 2012, she co-authored the New York Times bestselling book, Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health, advocating a “One Health” approach to medicine. Zoobiquity was named Discover Magazine’s Best Book of 2012, The China Times Best Foreign Translation of 2013, and a Finalist in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Excellence in Science Books 2012. Her work has been featured in the New York TimesThe GuardianWall Street JournalNature, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among others. In addition, she founded the Zoobiquity Conferences to bring veterinarians, physicians, mental health and public health professionals together for "species-spanning" debates and collaborations. Dr. Natterson-Horowitz completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and received a Master’s degree from Harvard University. She received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco.

As a leading force in holistic veterinary medicine, Dr. Palmquist believes that this mission is about helping patients write stories with happier endings. In many cases patients have serious diagnoses but respond in unexpected ways. Beginning as a skeptic traveling from Los Angeles to de-license a New York holistic veterinarian, Dr Palmquist found hope and possibility in individual approaches using whole foods, herbs, and other natural agents combined with conventional drugs and surgery. Dr Palmquist graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, receiving the Upjohn Award for proficiency in small animal medicine. He is Chief of Integrative Health Services at Centinela Animal Hospital and also Past President and National Research Chair of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF) developing collaboration and dialogue leading to improved, humane clinical holistic research and professional education. Dr Palmquist is a fourth year preceptor at Western University of Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine and a faculty member of the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies in Australia. He serves as a consultant in alternative medicine at the Veterinary Information Network. In 2012, he was honored to receive the AHVMA Council of a Elders Peacemaker's award for his work to bridge the gap between holistic and conventional medicine. He acts as a director and US ambassador in the World Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition, he has published two books: the first is an evidence-based textbook for conventional veterinarians entitled, Integrating Complimentary Medicine Into Veterinary Practice. The second is a book for clients entitled, Unleashing Your Pet's Potential, that discusses how integrative thinking works. He has consulted with ABC and CBS news and his practice was featured for its unique integrative approach to oncology patients.

Ms. Abercrombie was awarded Distinguished Instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program in 2010, after having been voted outstanding teacher of the year in 1994.  She has published novels (two optioned for films, and both translated into five languages), award winning books for children, and memoirs. Her essays, poems and articles have appeared in national publications and anthologies. Her most recent books on writing include Writing Out the StormCherished: 21 Writers on Animals They’ve Loved & Lost and A Year of Writing Dangerously, which was published by New World Library (NWL) in 2012 and chosen by Poets & Writers Magazine as one of the best books for writers. In May 2013 NWL published her fifteenth book, Kicking In The Wall. Six years ago she began a blog,, publishing short essays about living the writer's life, with writing tips and exercises, that has a large readership from all over the world. Ms. Abercrombie is an original board member and supporter of WriteGirl, an organization that mentors teenage girls with professional writers, and has taught writing workshops for the Wellness Cancer Support Community for the past thirteen years. She is also a board member of the Adams Family Foundation that contributes to organizations that help abused children.

Ms. Clark is a professional storyteller who performs her original personal stories in concerts, conferences, and festivals throughout Southern California. The stories include events from her life in a small east coast town and Los Angeles, warm profiles of memorable relatives, and startling accounts of spooky events. In 2005, she was presented the "Storytelling Spirit Award" by the Los Angeles Storytelling Festival for her contributions to the storytelling community. Ms. Clark's polished stage presence reflects 30 years spent as an administrator with Los Angeles Public Library, for which she received a Presidential Citation from President Richard Nixon, and a Civil Service Commendation, the first given to a librarian. After retirement, she was a five-time recipient of L. A. Cultural Affairs Department grants to perform her stories at various Senior Citizen Centers. Another series of Cultural Affairs grants installed her as Artist-In-Residence at Vineyard Senior citizen Center, where for 9 years she conducted the "Tell Me A Story" storytelling workshop which instructed participants in techniques for turning memories and life experiences into structured stories suitable for performing before an audience, in two annual shows. In 2006, she was recognized as "Unsung Hero of the Year" by KCET-TV for her work with seniors, and her workshop was highlighted daily on television for the full month of February. Meanwhile, for 14 years she served as secretary / grant writer for a Literacy Council which provided gift books and professional storytellers to 26 mid-city preschools, and for that she was presented the "Guiding Light Service Award" by the council board in 2007. When City funding for her "Tell Me A Story" workshop was discontinued, Barbara twice relocated the workshop rather than ending it. Now in its 12th year, the workshop is currently located at the Institute of Musical Arts, where she is Board Chair and Artistic Director for its theater. There she produces and directs monthly storytelling performances, and leads a storytelling ensemble called "Women’s Voices." Barbara has a B.A. degree from Howard University and a M.L.S. degree from the University of Southern California.

continuing education units (CEU) information:

Provider Name: Arts and Healing Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Provider Number: 4468.

Continuing Education credits for LCSWs, MFTs, and RNs can be requested during the registration process for an additional $15.00. This course meets the qualifications for 3.25 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs, as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Continuing Education Units for RNs are provided by Helen Kiger, Provider No. CEP10957. This class is approved for 3.25 contact hours of continuing education credit for RNs as required by the CA Board of Registered Nursing.
If you are interested in CEUs for RNs, then advance notice is required, as we are unfortunately not able to accommodate RN CEU requests on the day of the program. For RN CEU requests, simply let us know via email at, with the subject header, "RN CEU Request," so we can ensure we have the appropriate paperwork prepared for you on the day of the program.

learning objectives for CEUs:
1. Participants will be able to give two examples of integrative veterinary practices that can apply to human to healing and end-of-life care.

2. Participants will be able to give one example of how integrative veterinary practices can be socially and emotionally supportive.

3. Participants will be able to give one example of the value of sharing stories of love and loss.

4. Participants will be able to give two examples of questions that can help people find meaning in their own stories.

5. Participants will be able to state two ways in which this information is useful to the practice of nursing.

for more information:
Please submit questions via email to or telephone us at (310) 452-1439.

Refund Policy: In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees. We hope that you will find comfort in knowing that your fees are going to a worthy cause.

Reservation Policy: Reservations can be made for free events, unless noted otherwise in the program description. Individuals who have made reservations and who have arrived on time will be admitted first. After that time, everyone will have an equal opportunity for admission.

Wait List Policy: Based on past experience, we expect that a certain number of registrants will not be able to attend events. If registration for an event is full, joining the wait list will give you a higher priority for admittance at the door. If additional space for an event becomes available, individuals on the wait list will be notified via email and given the opportunity to enroll in the event before the additional spaces are advertised to the general public.

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