Free Workshops
Wednesday Evenings in October
7:00 - 8:30 PM

October 6: A Christian vision of death and the dynamics of dying.

Rev. Marlaena Cochran, MDiv

Spiritual Counselor and Chaplain with Family Hospice, UPMC

Marlaena is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church USA. She has worked as a chaplain for five years, three with Family Hospice and two with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Marlaena is also a spiritual director and retreat leader and has been active in church leadership for over 30 years. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis and being outdoors.

October 13: A discussion of medical issues that arise at the end of life and making value-based healthcare decisions.

Dr. Alicia Topoll, MD, MS

Associate Professor of MedicineAssociate Director, Cardiology Fellowship ProgramClinical Director, Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) Palliative Care Program

Alicia Topoll, MD MS is an Associate Professor of Medicine and is board-certified in both Cardiology and Palliative Care, having completed her training in both specialties at UPMC. She applies her skills to seeing patients with serious cardiac illness and severe symptoms, focusing on their support and goals of care needs and is the clinical director of the Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) Palliative Care Program. Dr. Topoll has a special interest in clinical education and completed a Master of Science in Medical Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Her academic interests include non-invasive cardiology, teaching communication skills, enhancing care for those with chronic illness, and supporting patient with serious cardiac illness.

Dr. Katherine Hill, MD, MS

Fellow of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, UPMC

Katherine recently finished her training in General Surgery and is a Fellow of Hospice and Palliative Medicine at UPMC. Katherine plans to practice both general surgery and palliative care in her future career and is passionate about improving palliative care and communication skills for surgeons and their patients.

October 20: An introduction to estate planning, wills, powers of attorney, and other legal issues.

Rebecca A. Auld, Esquire

Principal, Auld Brothers Law Group.

Rebecca is a cum laude graduate of Denison University in Ohio and the Duquesne University School-of-Law. Her practice consists of Wills, Financial and Healthcare Will Power-of-Attorneys, Estate Administration, Elder Law, Real Estate matters, Small Businesses and Criminal Law. She competently and passionately assists generations of families, in those areas.

This life-long resident of Adams Township of Pennsylvania resides with her husband and their three children, of which may become the 5th and 6th generations of Auld Attorneys, in Pittsburgh and Texas. When she finds a minute or thirty to spare, Rebecca likes travel, reading and cooking for her brood, as well as family and friends.

October 27: An introduction to other companions helping with decisions of care, accessing community resources, funeral planning and bereavement.

Lily Matson, MSW

Medical Social Worker, Grane Hospice

Lily always knew that she wanted to be a social worker in some capacity and work to help others. After delivering Meals on Wheels for 3 years and developing relationships with older adults around the community, she decided she wanted to focus on geriatrics. Through an internship at Pitt and personal experience with grief, she realized her passion for end of life care and began working in hospice.

Jarett D. Sperling, MSEd

Funeral Director and Owner, Sperling Funeral Home
Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been serving families with our family funeral home since 1986 as an attendant. I received my license in 1996 and now operate our family firm. I received my license as a counselor in 2005 and have been associated at Anchorpoint Counseling Ministries since 1999 and currently direct the grief support services. I was a ten-year volunteer at the Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and their families.