Dr. Atul Gawande Speaks About Life and ‘Being Mortal’ to a Crowd in NYC

By / Posted on October 13th, 2015

Dr. Atul Gawande speaks at The New Jewish Home  3rd Annual Himan Brown Symposium at the AXA Auditorium in New York, NY on October 2, 2015.  (photo by Stephen Smith)

Dr. Atul Gawande speaks at The New Jewish Home 3rd Annual Himan Brown Symposium at the AXA Auditorium in New York, NY on October 2, 2015. (photo by Stephen Smith)

More than 400 of The New Jewish Home’s friends, care partners, colleagues and supporters joined them on Friday, October 2nd at the AXA Auditorium in Manhattan as they hosted featured speaker, Dr. Atul Gawande.  Author of the best-selling book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Dr. Gawande led the audience through the challenges we all face when making end-of-life choices for our loved ones and ourselves.  He spent some of his presentation highlighting the work of Dr. Bill Thomas and THE GREEN HOUSE (R) Project by sharing how the model is transforming long-term care and allowing elders to define what a good day means for them. Dr. Gawande applauded The New Jewish Home’s initiative in creating the Living Center of Manhattan, which will be the first 20 story Green House in a major metropolitan area, and for already opening 3 small houses based on The Green House model in their Westchester nursing home, the Sarah Neuman Center. Dr. Gawande cited these as true examples of positive transformation in eldercare.

Dr. Audrey Weiner and NY Times best selling author Dr. Atul Gawande discuss audience questions at The New Jewish Home  3rd Annual Himan Brown Symposium at the AXA Auditorium in New York, NY on October 2, 2015.  (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Dr. Audrey Weiner and NY Times best selling author Dr. Atul Gawande discuss audience questions at The New Jewish Home 3rd Annual Himan Brown Symposium at the AXA Auditorium in New York, NY on October 2, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

After his remarks, Dr. Gawande was joined on stage by The New Jewish Home’s CEO, Dr. Audrey Weiner, to engage in further dialogue on how we in America can do the best job possible caring for our elders.  The conversation was made possible and paid in full by a generous grant from the Himan Brown Charitable Trust, and the symposium is part of Jewish Home’s ongoing ongoing mission to change the way people think about and talk about eldercare.

The takeaway? Talking about death and dying is actually a conversation about life, and we should be having it with our loved ones sooner than we think.