Table Talk, a series created by and for people of color, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented communities, is an honest, lively, and unscripted conversation among health professionals, spiritual and faith-based leaders, artists, and other creative individuals to address this central question: What does it mean to live and die well in our respective communities?
In this Table Talk, Jeff Lujan, LCSW (Atsihem /Manso) and Lisa Cook, RN (Choctaw) reflect on the meaning of compassionate care for those who identify as Indigenous, Two-Spirit (2S), and/or LGBTQ+.
Lisa Cook, RN (Choctaw) has been a nurse since 1990, first as an licensed practical nurse after which she completed her degree as a registered nurse. For the past 14 years, she has been employed as a hospice nurse in many roles and currently serves in admissions at Abode Hospice in Colorado Springs. According to Lisa, “Hospice by definition is end of life care, but I view it as a transition from physical living to spiritual living.” Prior to hospice she worked in transplant ICU, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, geriatrics, and sub-acute nursing.
Jeff Lujan, BEd, MSW, LCSW (Atsihem/Manso) is a licensed clinical social worker and educator with a broad range of service. His experience includes hospice, trauma-informed care, medical case management, substance abuse counseling, infectious disease outreach and prevention, program development, implementation, and management, and educating youth and adults. He was formerly a certified teacher in Hawaii and has extensive experience in public speaking, professional presentations and working in multicultural settings including Hispanic, sexual minority, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American communities.
Jeff has developed and delivered professional development training related to trauma-informed care for elementary, intermediate, and high school settings including unique subgroups such as special needs, at-risk, and tribal student populations. He has provided counseling services for elementary, middle and high-school students in public schools as well as clinical settings. He has worked across many cultural settings to address the social/emotional needs of students, families, and those who work in settings that serve youth. He is also a hospice social worker who provides end-of-life resources for individuals and their families.
Jeff is currently working with the Manaaji’idiwin pilot project sponsored by the Province of Manitoba as an alternative approach to meeting education/training needs for residential youth care.
About Table Talk
We recognize that marginalized communities and cultures -- Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian American, Disabled, LGBTQ+, etc. -- have their own unique perspectives and shared truths. All of these groups face tremendous challenges in dealing with serious illness, dying, grief, discrimination. And there is a shared need for platforms to talk about these issues freely in order to connect, learn, heal, remember, and take action.
While individual Table Talks are developed by and for specific communities, we recognize that often these groupings are permeable. Many of us describe more than one group as “home,” and many of us have experienced oppression based on multiple aspects of our intersecting identities: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and more.
Table Talk topics include:
Values, Wishes & Plans
Palliative & Comfort Care
Ceremonies & Rituals
Reimagine invites people of all backgrounds to join us to witness, listen and learn at Table Talk. Ultimately we are creating space rooted in the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in order for everyone to thrive.
Table Talk is made possible with support from the Fetzer Institute and the John and Wauna Harman Foundation.