Alishia Parkhill is a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Graduate School enrolled in the MS in Health and Social Innovation program with a concentration in Aging and Applied Thanatology. Upon completion of this program, Parkhill aims to create a self-sustaining social enterprise to support people in underserved communities facing death. She would help support those who are at their most vulnerable. Before starting the master’s program, she spent time as a senior leader in nonprofit management and is currently a consultant with various end-of-life organizations.
Sixteen years ago, Alishia was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Her experience battling this disease showed her how important it is to talk about end-of-life care is. She felt that medical professionals and family members were often afraid to speak in a forthright manner with patients about their prognosis and possible death. Her experience revealed that people often weren’t fully aware of how sick they were because vague or indirect language was used to talk about their condition. Parkhill’s future social enterprise would ensure people know their health status and can make informed decisions about their serious illness as well as their own death.