I started in healthcare in 1986. Now that I am 50 years old, I have over 30 years of professional experience in the field. This is coupled with varied personal and academic training in contemplative practices. My educational background includes graduate coursework in Eastern Philosophy and Western Mysticism at Western Michigan University (1991-1993). I received a BA in Psychology in 1990 from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY followed by a BSN from D’Youville College in 1997. As a registered nurse I have specialized in several areas including; trauma/emergency care, post-op organ transplant, medical/surgical nursing, oncology and palliative care. I am currently working as a palliative care nurse liaison. In 2017 I was 1 of 6 finalists for the Schwartz Center Compassionate Care providers in the nation. In 2018 Jonathan Received the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Pioneering Spirit award.
I am passionate about promoting resilience in health care and I have been involved in co-facilitating (with Maria Tussi Kluge) the first resiliency retreats at the UVA School of Nursing (beginning in 2009). I currently lead weekly Wednesday morning (6:00 a.m.) meditation sessions and co-facilitate nursing student introductory resiliency retreats for the Compassionate Care Initiative at the University of Virginia Nursing School.
I have led retreats for the community, healthcare providers and first responders. I have mentored countless nurses, physicians and EMS providers throughout my career. I am a podium presenter on topics varying from non-pharmacologic pain management, compassion, resiliency in healthcare, breaking difficult news as a first responder, the importance of resiliency in first responders, and palliative care.
My interests are multifaceted and varied. I am a trauma nurse, a palliative care liaison, a resiliency retreat facilitator, an educator, an artist, a mentor, a writer, a father, a podium speaker, a resiliency coach and a partner in an innovative hot sauce company called Mad Hatter Foods.
My greatest interest lies in improving how healthcare providers care for their patients and themselves. My goal as a Palliative Liaison is not only to offer palliation to patients and their families, but also to help palliate the suffering that accompanies working in the healthcare profession. I want to leave this world a much better place than when I entered it.
Your work is awesome. Thank you! I heard about you in Tim Cunningham’s article in the Richmond Times Dispatch. I am also a Uva grad and nurse with 30 years of practice in the OR. We have often, instinctively taken a pause at the end of a patient’s life. Thank you for increasing the awareness in honoring a life lived and loved.
Excellent Jon. I’m so proud of your accomplishments and I know your Dad would be also! Love Mom
I just want to thank you for the work your doing. I think I’m today’s fast paced world taking a moment especially when someone passes is a crucial step toward process all that was lost. I really enjoyed your talk at end well yesterday and connecting with you after. When I get home I am going to be putting together a presentation for the hospitals on Oahu and would love to implement the pause into it. I’m sure I’ll have questions along the way and would love to be able to pick your brain as a professional but also as a human being.
Look forward to connecting
Love and Light
I had the opportunity to hear you at End Well 12/5/19 and was so touched. I have shared your information with our small hospital Petaluma Valley Hospital. Grateful for your intuitive knowing how to care for our caregivers!!
Social Work Supervisor
Hospice of Petaluma, St Joseph’s Health
Greetings. When I visit a patient’s home as a hospice nurse to pronounce a patient, they have usually died an hour earlier. But as the family starts to nervously talk to me about the patient’s last moments, I interrupt and ask to say hello first. I kneel by the patient and say, “Please say hello to my mom and dad, tell them I am OK, and that I will be along by and by.” Then I spend about 30 seconds in silence. The family always spontaneously joins me in that space. It calms everyone down and brings us all back to together instead of being lost in confusion of “What now?” Thanks for your words of encouragement and and lightenment.
Thom Schwarz RN CHPN
Hi Jonathan, don’t know if you remember me from our days on the palliative care unit at UVA many years ago. Your passion and commitment inspired me then and continues to inspire me now. Keep up the great work! Bill Plonk MD