Ellie has a long history of caring for people who are nearing the end of their lives. In the 1990s, she worked with many as an herbalist, helping them to discover ways to find comfort. Though she could not offer cures for their life-threatening diseases, she was able to help them elongate their lives with a focus on enjoying what time they had left. They shared deep and profound conversations with her, and Ellie found she was comfortable in these discussions.
In 2000, she embarked on a nursing career and in 2003 chose end-of-life care as her medical focus. The dying patients often shared their thoughts, fears, and visions around death with Ellie, and she was inspired to learn from them. She carried journals in her car to record the details of the profound conversations she and her patients were having. This was when the seeds of her book were planted. She wrote at length about the incredible unexplained events she was witnessing and the important lessons she was learning from these experts on death— the dying patients.
In 2017, after many attempts to write the book, Stepping-Stones finally began to flow freely onto the pages for her. The process was cathartic, invigorating, and necessary. Ellie spent two years writing more than forty stories and has included ten of them in her first book Stepping-Stones ~Following a Pathway to the End of Life.
Her second book, More Stepping-Stones~Unique Experiences and Vital Lessons Along Life’s Pathway, was released in early August of 2021 and her third book, The End-of-Life Pocket Guide, was released in December of 2021.
Ellie is an herbalist of over 40 years, who started making plant medicines as a teenager in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, she planted her first herb garden, which grew into a teaching garden for her students—offering medicinal plant identification of over 200 species. She offered clients natural approaches to healing through health consultations and made them plant medicines tailored to their specific needs. She advocated for and spoke on the safe use of herbal medicines throughout New England. Ellie’s presentations were well received by the medical community, the general public, at the Annual Women’s Herbal Conference, as well as many college and university programs. For many years she offered a course that she designed, called Herbalism and Natural Healing, to hundreds of participants.Ellie served as adjunct faculty at Manchester Community College, where she offered a course in herbal studies. Many of her students went on to pursue more in-depth training, while others opened product line businesses using the knowledge and hands-on teaching she had shared. In the mid-1990s, Ellie was a writer for the Manchester Union Leader – Little Newspapers division, offering a column called, Herb of the Week. The column introduced readers to the growth, cultivation, culinary, and safe medicinal use of plants.
In 2000, Ellie embarked on a nursing career, and after graduating in 2003 decided the field of medicine she felt most connected to was hospice. She became certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (CHPN) and later advanced her certification to become a Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Educator (CHPNE). This enabled her to offer teaching on palliative care and pain management to physicians and nurses. She was one of the first Providers Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) educators trained in the state of New Hampshire. This was an effort to get patients’ healthcare wishes recognized and entered into their medical records. Ellie became a Certified Hospice Consultant through the Accreditation Commission for Health Care(ACHC).
In 2010 Ellie was given the opportunity to open a hospice program for a large Visiting Nurse Association. The role was both challenging and rewarding as it quickly grew into a successful program. The healthcare providers she helped to assemble remain among the most exceptional hospice teams she has ever worked alongside. After leaving the hospice director role, she opened a holistic health care center that encompassed her knowledge as a nurse and herbalist, allowing her to offer holistic health consultations—bringing her back to her roots.
Ellie began offering private nurse advocacy services to assist patients through the challenges of a complicated medical system in 2016. She facilitated meetings in many settings, including nursing and assisted living facilities, private homes, and hospitals. When patients request more clarity regarding their options, meetings with their caregivers, and healthcare team, especially their physicians and surgeons, facilitated by a private nurse advocate, can be powerfully effective. She aptly named the service Healthcare Guide. Ellie is best known for her thorough, compassionate care and for untiring advocacy for her patients, colleagues, and staff. Due to the arrival of COVID-19, she had to close the business. Currently working as a hospice nurse, she continues to care for dying patients and support their families. Ellie says this is a role she feels called to, which offers her the never-ending privilege of being a loving presence at the end of a human life.
Wishing you peace.