Leadership & Staff
Board of Directors
Geri brings more than 30 years’ experience in healthcare Risk Management, nine years in mental health care delivery, participation in end-of-life care through her personal experience, participation on the Madison Deane Initiative, and membership in the 1990s on the UVMMC Ethics Committee. Her latest professional role was that of Vice President for Academic Affairs for Coverys/Med-IQ, helping direct and deliver meaningful education on risk management and patient safety issues. She is best known for her work with the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, receiving both the Distinguished Service award and the Presidential Citation for lifetime achievement, in addition to the Journal Author Award and the designation of Distinguished Fellow.
What Geri is most recognized for is her work in furthering knowledge and awareness of transparent and human communication in healthcare, particularly in the areas of breaking bad news, disclosure and apology. She has taught these skills in 49 of the United States and believes there is much still to be done to support healthcare providers and caregivers in their work to deliver trusted healthcare. There is also much to be done to support patients in their efforts to navigate a complicated and often confusing system.
Geri is pleased to serve on the VEN Board and hopes to be able to contribute meaningfully to the work.
Toby grew up primarily in Danville, Vermont. He attended Sterling School in Craftsbury (’66), Harvard College (’70) and University of Maine School of Law (’73). He clerked for the Vermont Supreme Court, and was a staff attorney for the National Center for State Courts, before establishing a private practice in Danville in 1976. He served also as Caledonia Probate Judge for 20 years (1999-2019), and continues in private practice. His outside interests include choral music, classical guitar, community and home culinary projects and local history. He has two sons, Adam, a freelance writer, and Aaron, a Chinese scholar.
Linda is a regulatory healthcare attorney at Dinse working alongside healthcare organizations and providers to navigate the evolution from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement. She works regularly with accountable care organizations and brings a deep level of understanding of the barriers faced beyond the law itself, including cultural, financial, operational, employment, privacy and technological. She works collaboratively with clients to overcome these barriers with an orientation toward solutions. She has substantial experience in reimbursement issues involving both governmental and commercial payers, as well as federal and state regulatory compliance. View Linda’s complete bio.
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Neurology, Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine at Dartmouth.
Peg joins the VEN Board as a community member with a long time passion and interest in end-of-life care issues. She brings leadership experience in numerous non-profit organizations dealing with hospice and palliative care. At present, she is a key member and point-person for the Madison-Deane Initiative, the educational arm of the VNA’s End-of-Life Care Services for Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. Prior to joining the VEN Board, Peg had chaired the MDI for seven years, was a long time hospice volunteer and a founding board member of The Vermont Respite House. She was the moving force behind raising the funds to acquire and house the first ambulance in Shelburne, VT. In her professional life, she was the Capital Campaign and Development Director of the King Street Center in Burlington for over twelve years. She currently resides in Burlington with her husband, Tom.
Inspired by a family dilemma over how to handle the care of her dying grandmother, Kier Olsen DeVries self-designed an interdisciplinary major in Ethics at Smith College and then studied Bioethics in the PhD program in Philosophy at Georgetown University. During that time, she was a member of the board at a Maryland hospice and co-wrote her first published article, on the SUPPORT intervention. In 1999, still engaged in her dissertation (on end-of-life decision-making through a feminist lens), she moved to Vermont.
Editing and research assistant work at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics throughout graduate school led to a position at the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth, where she worked for 10 years. For several of those years, she served on the ethics advisory board of a Boston company doing stem cell research. In 2002, she began writing and editing for an online international network focused on communication for social change, where she is Senior Editor and Editor of their flagship e-magazine. She occasionally freelances for professors whose work she edited in the past, with Religion and the Newborn (forthcoming, Oxford University Press) being a recent example.
Kier is deeply involved in the community of Windsor. In 2010, a local minister nominated her to serve on the Mt. Ascutney Windsor Regional Ethics Committee as a representative of the Ministerium, a position she still holds. In 2014, Kier took part in a lay chaplaincy training program at the hospital, and, since then, she has loyally visited with elderly residents each Sunday at Historic Homes of Runnamede (HHR). She also serves as a member of the HHR board.
Dr. Berry is an internist and geriatrician with expertise in the practice and teaching of end of life care, beginning during fellowship training and completed in part at the Hospice of Washington, D.C. with Dr. Joanne Lynn. After moving to Vermont, she helped found the Fletcher Allen Health Care Palliative Care Program—now part of the University of Vermont Medical Center—in 1998, serving as its medical director until 2004, when she started a palliative medicine private practice providing consultation and home medical services. Since 2014, Dr. Berry practices and teaches as a member of the UVM Division of Geriatrics and currently serves as the medical director at The Arbors, where she provides memory and medical care for their residents. She teaches regularly about end of life care and related topics at the University of Vermont and its teaching hospital, providing education to groups and the public locally and regionally. Since 2016, Dr. Berry has served as a member of the Office of Public Guardian Ethics Committee of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. She has been a supporter of the Vermont Ethics Network for twenty-five years and is pleased to be able to continue that support through her role as a member of the VEN Board of Directors.
Michelle is a registered nurse who moved to the United States from Canada in 2005. She started her nursing career at Springfield Hospital in what was at the time known as the medical-surgical unit. She went on to work in mental health nursing at the Windham Center for Psychiatric Care which is part of Springfield Hospital. She became the clinical leader and then the director of the unit. During her time at Springfield Hospital, she served on the ethics committee and briefly chaired the committee. She is currently working at Ellis Medicine in Schenectady, New York. She works directly with patients in outpatient mental health at a clinic that is in the process of integrating in-house primary care for the population it serves. In this role, she provides health education and promotion to people who live with both chronic mental and physical illness.
Michelle received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of New Brunswick and her master’s degree in nursing from Norwich University. She has served on the board of the Vermont chapter of the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI – Vermont) and on the board of the New England chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA – New England). In 2017, she received the Grayce Sills award for distinguished service for her work with APNA – New England.
Gary Eley is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) who has been working since 1989 with Eley Financial Management as Owner and Founder. He was largely responsible for the client base of 350 clients with over $150 million under investment. Before his career as a financial analyst, he served as Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in South Burlington, Vermont, a position he held for 16 years.
An avid golfer, Gary currently owns and operates “Hickory Golf Workshop”, which is a small business that restores antique golf clubs and supplies enthusiasts with golf equipment.
Gary participates in several in Non-Profits as a volunteer and has been on the Vermont Respite House Board, the VNA advisory board and Finance Committee, as well participating in the planning of the COTS Walk in years past. He was on the Vermont Senior Games Board as a member and as president and has recently chaired the Move for Well-being Program, which is under the umbrella of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He currently serves on the Governor’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports and recently joined the board of the Opportunities Credit Union located in Burlington and Winooski.
Gary has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma (1966) in Philosophy and Letters, a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Drew Theological Seminary (1969), a Master’s Degree in Education (Counseling) from UVM (1979), and is a Chartered Financial Analyst in good standing with the AIMR (Associates in Investment Management and Research).
Cindy is the Executive Director and Certified Clinical Ethicist at the Vermont Ethics Network (VEN). She earned her BA from Colby College in Waterville, ME, Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Vermont, Masters in Clinical Ethics (MSB) from Clarkson University & the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and holds a certificate in bioethics with a specialization in health policy and law from Union Graduate College & the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. In addition to her role at VEN, Cindy works part-time at the University of Vermont Medical Center as a clinical ethicist, chairs the Ethics Committee for the State of Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), co-chairs the Central Vermont Medical Center Ethics Committee and directs the Statewide Task Force on Palliative Care. She is the 2020 recipient of the Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life Care. A native Vermonter, Cindy lives in central Vermont with her husband, children, black lab, horse and miniature donkey.