PresentersAnnual Gathering 2018
Annual Gathering 2018
June 22-24, 2018
Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio
Stories of Healing
A diversity of perspectives will enrich our weekend theme through plenary and workshop sessions. Following are brief introductions of plenary session and workshop presenters. Watch for updates to this page as more information becomes available.
Libby pastored Mennonite Churches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Fresno, California before becoming the palliative care and oncology chaplain at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. For over a decade, Libby has served as presider and homilist at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin. Libby finds joy in gardening, knitting, cooking and listening to books on tape in the evening with her husband, Dave, and service dog, Lucy.
Doug Graber Neufeld lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia with his wife, Cristina, and two sons, Alex and Evan. He teaches in the Environmental Sustainability program at Eastern Mennonite University, and recently became director of the new Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS). His commitment to climate issues developed out of years of working with students on solutions to environmental issues, and from service terms with MCC in Cambodia and Kenya. Most recently in Kenya, he observed firsthand impacts of climate on both urban populations and rural farmers, and their attempts to adjust to their new reality. He and his family are passionate campers, gardeners, and, in general, lovers of the outdoors.
Dr. Anna Kauffman is a family physician at Mercy Health – Bluffton Family Medicine. She enjoys caring for patients of all ages. Hobbies include cooking, gardening, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Anna Kauffman lives in Bluffton, Ohio with her husband, Ross Kauffman, and their daughter, Nora.
Ross Kauffman is the Director of Public Health at Ohio Northern University. Ross enjoys developing virtual reality experiences for teaching and research. He lives in Bluffton, Ohio, with his wife, Anna, who is a family physician and his 1-year-old daughter, Nora.
Paul Leichty has been Executive Director of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) since September 2011. After a medical leave of almost nine months, he returned to his role with MHF in September 2017. Paul has also served as a pastor, church musician, computer support person, disabilities advocate, and administrator/organizer of a number of church-related ministries. In addition to responsibilities at MHF, Paul is Executive Director of Congregational Accessibility Network and an occasional consultant as outgoing Director of User Services at Mennonite.net. He is an active member of Agape Fellowship of the Mennonite Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife, Twila Charles Leichty.
Harman, West Virginia
Herb is a retired family physician and geriatric psychiatrist. He is an avid birder, turns wood, collects stamps, dabbles in photography and writing, and is always reading a book. Sarah is a retired teacher, occupational therapist and program director of Compeer Lancaster. She enjoys arranging flowers, canning and freezing fruits and vegetables, baking whole grain yeast breads, trying new recipes, putting jigsaw puzzles together, and spending time with grandchildren. Currently living in West Virginia, they volunteer at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. They have been married almost 53 years and have three adult daughters and seven grandchildren (one deceased). Together they have journeyed through Sarah’s May 2001 diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, two years of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant at National Institutes of Health in March 2003, and the challenges of graft-versus-host disease following the transplant.
Alex Sider is Harry and Jean Yoder Scholar in Bible and Religion at Bluffton University where he teaches in the areas of Religion as well as Peace and Conflict Studies. His research and teaching focus on the connections among medical ethics, disability studies, and Christian theology in the Historic Peace Church traditions. Alex and his family live in Bluffton.
Beth Toner is a senior communications officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with nearly 27 years of experience in marketing and corporate communications. She is also a registered nurse with clinical experience in long-term care and community health settings. In her current role, Toner provides communications support for leadership development and nursing programs at the Foundation. Toner finds her work at the Foundation to be the perfect blend of her two passions: communications and health care. She believes that narrative – storytelling – holds an important key to helping improve health care and—ultimately, health. Born in Detroit, Toner currently lives in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Joe, and their son, Joseph, while their adult children make their way in the world. She is also a volunteer nurse at a free clinic in West Chester, Pennsylvania and enjoys hiking and camping with her family, as well as running marathons and trail races.
Gail Weybright, RN, MSN
Bio coming soon.