Social Issues Faced by the Chronically Ill, Library Program April 10

Helen Kao, M.D., Medical Director of Clinical Innovations at Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care, will discuss The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness, by Meghan O’Rourke, as part of the library’s Random Review series April 10 at noon. The program will take place in the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library’s Main Meeting Room.

The Invisible Kingdom is a deep dive into the challenges faced by individuals with chronic illness, including the author. O’Rourke draws on her own life and her considerable skills as a reporter and writer to document her own and others’ battles with autoimmune diseases, genetic conditions, long Covid, Lyme disease and more, and the societal issues faced by those who struggle with such illnesses. O’Rourke is a poet and author, editor of The Yale Review, and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her writing appears in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and more. The Invisible Kingdom was a finalist for the 2022 National Book Award for nonfiction.

Dr. Helen Kao previously delivered the November 2022 Random Review on Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova. She is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and hospice & palliative medicine. For the past 15 years her clinical work has focused on the care of frail, homebound, and vulnerable older adults, with particular interests in dementia, home-based care, palliative care, and advocating for the comprehensive care of patients with complex medical and social needs. She has received many awards and honors in her field including the American Geriatrics Society’s Clinician of the Year Award in 2022. She and her family have lived in Corvallis since 2016.

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