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Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times

Opening Plenary:
Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times

Naomi Judd

It is a challenging time for hospice professionals. Regulatory scrutiny, budgetary constraints, increased demands and more create challenges for interdisciplinary team members whose commitment and “mission” is to care for patients and their families.  Difficult work becomes more taxing when external demands take attention away from the “things that matter most” and it can make surviving, let alone thriving, a real issue in this important field of work.

Enter Naomi Judd; she knows a thing or two about surviving and thriving through challenges. Using her own touching personal stories and unique brand of humor, Naomi will share her journey of being both a patient (as a Hepatitis C survivor) and a caregiver (as a former nurse early in her life). Participants will learn about the “Eight Characteristics of a Survivor” and have an opportunity to consider these characteristics for their own lives and work/life balance, as well as identify areas that may need attention.  Naomi strongly believes in these characteristics and the practices that accompany them as she has found them to be very powerful in her own life. She also believes in the importance of hospice care, and will offer suggestions to professionals to promote surviving - and thriving - through tough times.

At the completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe unique life experiences as patient and caregiver and the challenges that accompany them
  • Discuss the “Eight Characteristics of a Survivor”
  • Describe the importance of intentional practices to promote surviving  - and thriving

Naomi Judd

From humble beginnings as a single Mom in a small Kentucky town to her meteoric rise as a country music superstar and American icon, Naomi Judd's incredible lifelong journey is an inspiring story of overcoming the odds through optimism and hard work.

Naomi Judd was first known to the world as half of country music's mother/daughter duo, The Judds. Reaching unprecedented success throughout the 80's and 90's, The Judds sold 20 million records, scored fifteen #1 hits and received over sixty industry awards, including six Grammy's and seven consecutive CMA Vocal Group of the Year awards and the ACM's Top Vocal Duet award. At the pinnacle of their career, Naomi was stricken with Hepatitis C, a potentially fatal chronic liver disease, incurred from an infected needle when she worked as a registered nurse cutting short her musical career and forcing her into retirement to battle the disease. The Judds bid farewell to the fans in 1991, but Naomi did not step out of the public spotlight for long.

Today, Naomi is a survivor of Hepatitis C and served as the first national spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation. Using her fame, her experience as a former RN and her passion to help people, she's re-directed energies into communicating her learnings and research through educating audiences about the scientific link between mind, body and spirit in the healing process as a keynote speaker. A member of Dr. Andrew Weil's board of directors, Naomi advocates an integrative holistic approach to medicine along with the latest in modern technology. She helps to bridge the conversation between academia, medical communities and the everyday person about health and family-related issues whether her audience is the National Institutes of Health or a group of uninsured, single working Moms.

In 2004, her self-penned bestseller, Naomi's Breakthrough Guide, 20 Choices to Transform Your Life, remained on The New York Times best-seller list for over eight weeks. In 2005, Naomi wrote her third children's book, Gertie the Goldfish, and in 2006, The Transparent Life hit the shelves. Hallmark Channel tapped her to host, Naomi's New Morning, a weekly talk show that aired 2005 to 2007. In 2007, Naomi released yet another best-seller titled Naomi's Guide to Aging Gratefully which was a message of empowerment to the millions of Baby Boomers in this country. She also served as spokesperson for Partners Against Pain, Post Cereal's "Heart Health" campaign, Prilosec and AARP. In seasons 2008-2009 she helped launch CMT's reality competition hit, Can You Duet as a talent judge. And coming full circle to where we first discovered this unique, captivating personality, Naomi and Wynonna took to the road in 2010 for

“The Judds: The Last Encore Tour” and released a new single, “I Will Stand By You.” Chronicling that experience was a hit docu-series, “The Judds,” which premiered April 2011 on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.  The series followed the award winning mother/daughter duo as they hit the road for their first and final concert tour in ten years.  Cameras captured their emotional journey as they worked to heal their relationship, reconnect with the fans and share the spotlight once again.

2012 - 2013 finds Naomi back in the familiar role of radio host with her six-week SiriusXM radio series “Think Twice” which launched nationwide in June of 2012. She has also found time to add film projects to her list of accomplishments as she shot “The Nearlyweds” in Vancouver in June 2012 for the Hallmark Channel and “An Evergreen Christmas” a feature film in February 2013.  

Meanwhile, Naomi continues humanitarian efforts including River Cities Harvest, the Saint Louis University Liver Center, M.A.D.D., Parents Television Council, Make-A-Difference Day, Women's World Peace Initiative, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and created her own July 4th Judd's Annual Food Drive to benefit families of Appalachia.