End-of-Life Care Program Faculty




Our faculty are specialists in geriatrics, palliative medicine, patient satisfaction improvement, law, and ethics. Their expertise combine to provide an innovative learning experience in critical knowledge and skills for successful Advance Care Planning in the primary care and other health care practices and settings.

Leslie Bank, MA '84

Until her retirement in 2015, Leslie Bank was director of customer services for Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, one of the largest health care systems in the nation. She established and grew a department responsible for patient advocacy, patient satisfaction measurement and improvement, and interpreting services to meet the needs of one of the most diverse communities in the nation. Ms. Bank also joined the faculty of the Einstein College of Medicine in their third-year course entitled "Patients, Doctors, and Communities."

Prior to Montefiore, Ms. Bank served as Greenwich Hospital/Yale New Haven Health’s first director of patient and guest relations services, and facilitated that hospital’s rise and adherence to Press Ganey’s 99th percentile in national patient satisfaction. Ms. Bank also led Greenwich Hospital’s effort to create the first “patient friendly” hospital bill, and is known as the "Mother of Patient Friendly Billing." She speaks nationally on this topic and many others.

Ms. Bank received her Bachelor of Science and Physical Therapy degrees from Simmons College, Boston, and her Master of Arts in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. She was the recipient of the Abraham Beame Fellowship for Graduate Studies in Public Administration at Baruch College.

Ms. Bank is vice president of client services, PerformXhealth.

Deborah Cappell, MD

Dr. Cappell is board certified in sleep medicine, as well as pulmonary, palliative care, and critical care medicine. She received her medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and completed her residency and fellowship training in pulmonary, critical care, and internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Cappell is the medical director of New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital’s Palliative Care Program.

Rebecca O. Johnson, MSCED, MFA

Rebecca O. Johnson, MSCED, MFA ’07 is a member of the Graduate Health Advocacy faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. Rebecca brings 40 years of experience organizing with and advocating for immigrant, refugee, and US-born women of color on community health issues. Rebecca’s research and writing utilize participatory action research, oral history, and other forms of community history research to document the experience of dispossession in the United States.

Sharon Parish, MD

Sharon J. Parish, MD, is a professor of medicine in clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine and an attending physician at New York-Presbyterian/Westchester Division. In addition to her academic and hospital clinical responsibilities, she maintains an active faculty practice specializing in sexual medicine. Dr. Parish was recently named the first president-elect of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH). She has been working with the Society as the education committee chairman for the past five years, developing educational programs worldwide and serving on the board of directors.

Dr. Parish is a practicing primary care internist at Montefiore Medical Center. She has developed an array of curricula addressing fundamental areas in psychosocial medicine, such as interviewing and empathy skills, psychiatric diagnosis and management, and patient education and compliance, as well as specialized areas such as motivational interviewing, substance abuse disorders, and women’s mental health. Her expertise in teaching about substance abuse has been recognized by the Hazelden Foundation, a nationally known alcohol and substance abuse treatment and professional training institution where she frequently lectures, facilitates interviewing skills sessions, and conducts faculty development workshops.

Lisa Volpe, JD

Lisa Volpe is an attorney with the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service (MHLS), Second Judicial Department. She advocates for individuals with mental disabilities, with a focus on appellate practice in all areas of the New York mental hygiene law, as well as federal litigation addressing systemic violations of the civil rights of individuals with mental disabilities. A significant focus of her appellate and trial practice has been questions relating to end-of-life decision-making, Advance Directives, and the proper application of the Surrogate’s Procedure Act, Article 17A and the Family Health Care Decisions Act to individuals lacking capacity to make their own treatment decisions due to mental disabilities.

Ms. Volpe is also a member of the legal writing faculty at the Benjamin J. Cardozo School of Law, teaching “Lawyering Skills and Legal Writing” to first-year law students. Prior to her association with MHLS, Ms. Volpe was an appellate court attorney with the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, where she worked in the law and motions departments, and was the law secretary to the late Honorable Daniel F. Luciano for four years. She began her legal career in private practice as a civil litigator in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Volpe received her JD in 1989 from Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles; she received her BA in 1978 from Sarah Lawrence College. She is admitted to practice law in New York and California, and is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

Advisory Committee

Patricia Bomba, MD, MACP

Patricia Bomba, MD, MACP is a nationally and internationally recognized palliative care and end-of-life expert who designs and oversees the implementation of community projects. Dr. Bomba currently serves as the Vice President and Medical Director, Geriatrics for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. She served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee that produced Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness.

Dr. Bomba chairs the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) Statewide Implementation Team and the National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) New York State Coalition, and is a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York Ethics Committee. She serves as eMOLST Program Director. She envisioned eMOLST when New York’s MOLST program was launched as a means to improve quality and patient safety and as a result, achieve the triple aim. She is a founding member and New York State’s representative on the National POLST Paradigm Task Force, serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the POLST Public Policy Committee. She currently serves on NCQA’s Geriatric Measurement Advisory Panel. In addition to serving as a New York State Delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, she served as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Primary Palliative Care Committee and the Review Committee of the National Quality Forum’s “Framework and Preferred Practices for a Palliative and Hospice Care Quality” project.

Dr. Bomba is passionately focused on educating the medical community and the public at large with a goal of improving the quality of life for seniors and their families. Dr. Bomba attended Immaculata College, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and spent most of her career in private practice caring for frail elders and their families and caregivers. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester and the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.

Deborah Cappell, MD

New York-Presbyterian Medical Group, Westchester

Sayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH

Columbia University Narrative Medicine

Andrew Morton Leavitt, MD, MPH

Ethics Committee, Kaiser Hospital; Walnut Creek Community Faculty; Joint Medical Program, UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco

Constance Peterson, MA

Director, Patient Services Administration, Emergency Department

Holly Prigerson, PhD

Irving Sherwood Wright Professor of Geriatrics; Professor of Sociology in Medicine; Director, Center for Research on End-of-Life Care, Weill Cornell Medical College

Roberta Samet, LCSW

Roberta Samet, LCSW

Peer Reviewers

Clarion Johnson, MD

Physician & Global Medical Director, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Andrew Morton Leavitt, MD, MPH

Ethics Committee, Kaiser Hospital; Walnut Creek Community Faculty; Joint Medical Program, UC Berkley/UC San Francisco