Betsy Barton, MPH is an Educator at Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh, NC. She has been conducting community education about serious illness and end of life since 2010. Like so many others, her experiences with supporting her own family members through illness and death led her to take action to talk about how we cope with serious illness — how we talk with our families, our friends, our health care providers, and within our faith communities.
Prior to working at Transitions LIfeCare, Betsy led a collaborative process to develop a participatory curriculum for faith-based groups to learn how to support and educate their fellow congregants about serious illness. Through stories, role plays, journaliing and dialogue, they learned about advance care planning, palliative care and hospice, the dying process, how to support grieving friends, and so much more.
She received her Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1990. Betsy considers herself very fortunate that she met Jane Vella during her studies there, and was able to convince Jane that she needed a teaching assistant for her class! She fell in love with the principles of dialogue education instantly – it was like coming home. Since then, she has been designing & leading learning experiences for vulnerable populations about a variety of “taboo” topics including occupational health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and serious illness and death.
Betsy has lived in Durham, North Carolina for 42 years. She enjoys traveling, and is always willing to toss her bike on the back of the car for a road trip with a friend or two to check out new bike trails. She also loves kayaking, hiking, sailing and anything involving the beach.