Lisa is an excellent trainer. Lisa has suffered from disfigurement, and serious health traumas for the past 32 years. She inspires others by sharing her uphill battle with the rare autoimmune disease; scleroderma, she was diagnosed with at age 10. After the birth of her second child, Lisa survived the loss of two organs, temporary paralysis, and eight major surgeries during a 218-day hospital stay. By sharing her story, she motivates audiences to face life’s obstacles with grit and resilience.
Lisa provides keynotes to healthcare professionals in an effort to enhance their understanding of the patient’s perspective. She also speaks to Med-Tech and pharmaceutical companies, reminding them that behind every product and sale, is a patient.
In 2015, Lisa launched a movement to promote acceptance after the Facebook Ad team rejected a photo of her bare face, stating it may draw high negative feedback. Her campaign went viral and garnered international media coverage. She shares this journey with audiences interested in conquering fears, elevating confidence, or embracing differences.
Lisa offers educational workshops/ presentations on acceptance, anti-bullying, and being an up-stander. As a public school teacher for 20 years, she blends her own childhood memories with her experiences as a mother and teacher to send a powerful message to students, parents, and educators.
An award-winning writer, Lisa is the author of Does This Hospital Gown Come with Sequins? and has been published in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Dr. Oz, The Huffington Post, Chicago Parent, and more.
BS in Elementary Education, University of Illinois, Dean’s List (GPA 4.7/5.0)
MA in Reading, Northeastern Illinois University, Dean’s List (GPA 4.0/4.0)
Disney Teacher of the Year Nominee (1999)
District 69 Educator of the Year (2008)
Marjorie Wedell Outstanding Educator (2013)
Great Comebacks Award (2015)
Scleroderma Foundation Messenger of Hope Award (2016)
Parenting Media Association’s Editorial Award for Personal Essay (2017)
What’s it like being confined to a bed, vulnerable, disoriented, and stripped of basic human dignity? Having spent over 200 consecutive days in the hospital and three decades entrenched in the medical system, Lisa offers a unique glimpse into the patient experience.
Beyond the Medical Chart: Empathy in Patient Care.
An honest, and interactive course that lends insight into a system often saturated in statistics and bottom lines. As healthcare becomes increasingly digital, Lisa’s personal patient perspective reminds professionals that behind every number, there is a person. br> After the Mistake: Examining Medical Error.
With a balanced perspective and respect, Lisa offers an up-close look at the 218 days she spent in the hospital. Through highly engaging interactions, the audience evaluates what might have changed if medical mistakes had been openly disclosed and examined, rather than hidden. The benefits of collaboration, open communication, and patient empathyare demonstrated in this course.
Doctors and Nurses Influence Eternity.
Lisa celebrates the positive impact medical professionals make on the lives of their patients. She shares first-hand accounts of how her life was saved multiple times by the medical heroes who practiced the art of medicine. .
Treating the Patient, Not the Disease.
Lisa helps build positive communication skills through humorous role plays and real-life examples of both exemplary and demeaning communication she’s experienced as a patient. Concrete strategies are shared for delivering test results, patient rounds, and tough conversations.
Beyond the Sales Pitch: Bridging the Gap Between the Product and the Patient.
Companies bring Lisa in to personalize the meaning behind their industry. Often a keynote to launch a sales force meeting, this engaging content invigorates audience members and recharges their excitement when they return back to their lab, or office. .
The Art of Resilience.
Living with a chronic disease for more than 30 years, nearly dying at the age of 31, undergoing intensive physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy to regain her ability to walk, eat, speak and breathe, has taught Lisa the art of resilience. She shares her story with honesty, humor and a simple message; we all need to take a dip in the pity pool once in a while, but we don’t want to spend our lives training for a misery marathon. .
Professional Development for Educators.
20 years of teaching experience combined with her passion for public speaking is the perfect blend to inspire educators. .
Is ‘Fun’ the New ‘F Word’ in Education? – Resurrecting the Fun in Teaching.
Between high stakes testing and data driven instruction, teacher burnout is at an all-time high. With hilarious spoofs, humor only fellow educators understand, and 20 years-worth of anecdotes, Lisa inspires educators to reclaim their passion for teaching. .
Teaching Students to Embrace Differences.
Often, academics take a back seat when students are bullied, bullying, or feeling marginalized. Lisa explores how to create a classroom environment that celebrates student differences, promotes compassion, and still allows teachers time to actually teach. From ‘appeal forms’ to role play, Lisa provides teachers real strategies to apply in their classrooms the next day. .
How can women find a balance between taking pride in our appearance and placing too much emphasis on outer beauty? Lisa’s writing on this issue has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post , Chicago Parent, Dr. Oz, and many other publications. Lisa will share her own battle with self-acceptance and the surprising detour her life took after the Facebook Ad team rejected a photo of her face without makeup. .
Self-Advocacy and Community Support Propel All Women Forward.
In 2015, the Facebook Ad Team rejected a picture of Lisa’s bare face, stating it would likely draw high negative feedback. Lisa publicly challenged Facebook on their policy and launched a viral social media campaign where women around the world posted photos of themselves without makeup. Through trial-by-fire, Lisa learned the importance of self-advocacy and community support. Lisa relays a powerful message with compelling content and humor. Participants will leave with a renewed sense of empowerment and understanding of how women impact policy. .
“An amazing presenter……. absolutely the best message that we could have had for our sales team. Thank you so much for inspiringall of us to remember the patient behind the sale.”
– Doug Bohrer, Vice President, ConvaTec
“This should be mandatoryfor all employees in healthcare from environmental to RNs, Administration and CEO” *
“ Best presenter yet, very funny and applicable. Healthcare needs presentations like this” *
*Quotes taken directly from Presence Our Lady of the Resurrection CME Program Evaluation
“Your presentation was balanced, informative, and inspiring…… You are a treasure!”
– Susan Kovarik, RN, BSN, CCRN, CVRN
“The audience loved her….her message will truly impact the work they do every day.”
-Laura Concannon MD, FACP
” Outstanding job… an awe-inspiring set of messages with grace, poise and humor!”
– Catherine Kapferer Director of Sales Training & Development, ConvaTec
“As she spoke, all 1300 people sat riveted on the edge of their seats. …. She is a wonderful teacher and source of hope.”
-Rabbi Evan Moffic
” Lisa brings life and color to her story, and inspires others to take action. From laughter to tears to laughter, she left our audience of 400 plus business leaders, celebrities and philanthropists all motivated …”
– Amy Hewitt- Executive Director of the Scleroderma Research Foundation
“She helped students connect by guiding her message with her own personal story. The students walked away with a new understanding of kindness. The teachers were asking her to return before she even left the room.”
– Erin Kranz, Teacher at Glen Grove Elementary School