2024 Board of Directors

President – Laura Matson, MA, MEd, LCPC is a Hospice Care Consultant with BJC Hospice. She got her start in hospice, working for BJC’s inpatient hospice facility, Evelyn’s House. Prior to pursuing her passion in hospice, Laura spent 16 years in education pursuing her passion of middle school development on the north shore of Chicago. While in education, she earned an MA in counseling and a ME.d in School Leadership. Laura’s personal experience walking alongside her brother during his cancer and later hospice journey, ignited her advocacy for end-of-life issues.

Vice President – Kim Gladstone, RN, CHPN, MA has thirty-five years of experience in healthcare spanning several diverse roles. With each experience, she strives to learn and then share what she’s learned with healthcare professionals and patients to improve healthcare in our communities.  She was a hospice volunteer for eight years before deciding she loved it so much, that she pursued the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse designation and now provides direct patient care as a nurse case manager with SSM Hospice, St. Louis.

Secretary / Treasurer – Lauren Ponder currently works as a Human Resources Coordinator at Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Lauren earned her SHRM – CP certification along with her End of Life Doula certification (death doula) both in 2020. Lauren has utilized her passion as a death doula to create the St. Louis Death Positive Collective and St. Louis’ first ever death positive festival – Last Call: An End of Life Festival. Both aim to create a cultural shift regarding death and agency at end-of-life through community, education, resources, and advocacy. In addition, she has started her own company, With Love Events, to guide people through pre-planning for end-of-life events and more. Outside of her professional career, Lauren enjoys gathering with friends and family, creating traditions with her children and husband, and dancing (a lot).

Member at Large – Carla Baum is founder and principal of Meaningful Life, and Advocate for End-of-Life Conversations. Meaningful Life is a resource for Advance Care Planning and Advance Directive conversations and creation. The website offers various resources for individuals who understand the importance of sharing what matters most at the end-of-life with their loved ones. Carla was a senior healthcare executive in the St. Louis area, with extensive experience in older adult living, acute care, and rehab services. She holds Certification in Advance Care Planning, Respecting Choices, was a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and earned a master’s in healthcare administration. Carla’s community service includes membership on several boards in the metro St Louis area.

Member at Large – Cheryl Doerr is Director of Community Services with Pathways Hospice & Palliative Care, part of the Delmar Gardens Family. Cheryl has over thirty years of experience overseeing business development, education, and community outreach. She brings an in-depth knowledge of healthcare marketing in a wide variety of settings including hospice, palliative care, home care, long-term care, and acute in-patient hospital care to the Gateway End of Life Coalition. She has a passion for
education and advocacy regarding “Quality of Life at the End of Life,” and enjoys sharing her knowledge and insight with physicians, social workers, the senior population, and their family members.

Member at Large – Vivial Lopez is currently a certified Diversity, Equity & Inclusion specialist. She has non-profit experience spanning from community engagement to leadership development. Vivial earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and proudly served her country in the United States Marine Corps. Her passion for people, leadership and family led her to Gateway End of Life Coalition. She is committed to advocating for more access to end-of-life care information and resources for black and brown communities.

Member at Large Lynn Potts, MBA is Director of Business Development at Vizient, a healthcare performance improvement organization. She brings her experience working with both acute and non-acute healthcare providers, and extensive knowledge of the hospice industry, to the Gateway End-of-Life Coalition. Lynn experienced the value of hospice services personally when her uncle needed hospice care. He lived thousands of miles away without family members nearby and the hospice provider was a blessing during his end-of-life journey.

Member at Large Yolonda Yvette Wilson Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, with additional appointments in the Departments of Philosophy and African American Studies. She earned the Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently working on a monograph, Black Death: Racial Justice, Priority-Setting, and Care at the End of Life. Professor Wilson’s public scholarship on issues at the intersection of bioethics, race, and gender has appeared in The Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum, USA Today, and The Conversation and republished in outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Salon.com, and The Philly Voice. Her media appearances include outlets such as Al Jazeera English and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio. Professor Wilson is a 2019-2020 fellow of the National Humanities Center (Durham, NC USA) and a 2019-2020 Encore Public Voices Fellow.

President Emeritus – Joan Bretthauer, M.S., B.S., is a Certified End-of-Life Doula and NEDA Proficient with ACE End-of-Life Doula Services. She has special training in End-of-Life Coaching and Advance Care Planning. Joan has been a hospice volunteer for over 10 years.  As someone in the community committed to make a difference, Joan advocates for Hospice and Palliative Care legislation in Washington D.C and Missouri.  With more than 30 years committed to the welfare of others, she devotes her energy, talent and experience to fulfilling on her mission and making a difference for others around the end-of-life experience. End-of-life is a sacred time in a person’s life. Joan believes all people deserve compassion, dignity and above all, a loving space to be complete at the end of their life’s journey. Joan is President Emeritus of Gateway End-of-Life Coalition. During her many years as a board member, she created programs, workshops, and educational training for health care providers and the community. She is currently Executive Director of The Conversation Project, St. Louis.  Joan is a member of National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, End-of-Life University and Aging Life Care Association..