Dr. Kelly Rhoades
Chairperson and Professor
B.A.A., Central Michigan University
M.A., Ph.D., Michigan State University
Dr. Rhoades completed her Ph.D. in 1994 at Michigan State University in Family Ecology with an emphasis in Family Therapy. She began working specifically with grieving families within hospice bereavement programs in 1987. Dr. Rhoades focused her doctoral course of study on grieving family dynamics and the healing potential of transformative grief.
During the past 20 years, Dr. Rhoades has worked in a variety of hospices as a direct care bereavement counselor and consultant. Dr. Rhoades began teaching at Madonna University in the Hospice and Palliative Studies Department in 1995 and became the Chair in 1999. She was instrumental in helping to create the Hospice master’s degree in 1996, and her vision to offer graduate course work in Bereavement became a reality in 2000 with the creation of the Post-Master’s Bereavement Certificate. As an online and on-campus offering, the certificate prepares students to conduct high-risk assessment and intervention with families where complicated grief and trauma may be involved.
Dr. Rhoades believes her greatest accomplishment is sharing the responsibilities with her spouse for raising their daughter. Dr. Rhoades enjoys teaching graduate courses in bereavement theory and family systems theory, and oversees graduate students in field placements and research activities. She is also pleased to announce the publication (2009) of a story book about children’s grief with useful tips for adults. Her hobbies include freelance writing and photography, and walking her English Setter.
RN, MSN, PsyD, LLP
Doctorate in clinical psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies
Cathie Kurek-Ovshinsky, RN, MSN, PsyD, LLP, completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies in 2002. Her dissertation, “Living One’s Dying: a Phenomenological Investigation," explored the intimate “experience of surrender” with 12 hospice patients during the process of dying.
For more than 30 years prior to becoming a psychologist, Cathie worked as a psychiatric mental-health clinical nurse specialist. In 1991, she began a private practice to focus on working with clients who were adapting to living with chronic illness and the emotional experience of loss and grief. Cathie completed her psychology practicum and internship in the counseling service at Karmanos Cancer Institute. She is a nurse/psychologist who advocates holistic care for patients and families while doing qualitative research to shape public health care policy.
As an assistant professor of nursing, Cathie taught child-adolescent psychiatric nursing at Wayne State University for 10 years. She has been a consultant to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Wayne County Detroit Receiving Hospital, Michigan Peer Review Organization, the Macomb and Wayne County Jails, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. She has published articles and presented conferences both locally and nationally. Cathie has co-produced several teaching videos for Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The first, an award winning 30-minute documentary entitled, "Lost & Found: Young People Talk About Depression" and "Telling Bad News: The First Step in Healing," a guide for health care professionals giving bad news.