For nearly fifty years, Tom and Kathy DeLoughry have been partners in raising two daughters, playing music and creating programs that help seniors, adults and teens to meet their needs.
Together they’ve created Living Well. It is an evidence-based program that draws from the story of their marriage and careers; plus their AARP-honored program that addresses each piece of the Wellness Puzzle.
Tom DeLoughry, EdD, writes with sensitivity about the issues that threaten three generations by drawing from his six years of experience as director of adolescent and drug abuse services in Child Psychiatry at Buffalo Children’s Hospital; and his ten years at Independent Health, a large managed care organization, where he served as Corporate Director of Wellness and Disease Management, utilizing grants from New York State United Teachers, the New York State Health Department and Pfizer, Inc. to extend programs into homes, schools, worksites and primary care offices.
He also served as an Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry, as well as an Assistant Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine, at the State University of NY at Buffalo, where he received his masters (MS) in Counseling and his doctorate (Ed.D) from in Health Education and Behavior.from the School of Public Health.
After his mother’s death and his stumbles as her caregiver (as described in Caregiver Stories and Stress Solutions), he took a three year sabbatical to direct the Center of Renewal, a Franciscan retreat center where half his salary was supported by grants from the NIagara County Office for the Aging; the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York and the Ralph Wilson Foundation. While there, he collaborated with John Kinner, Executive Director of the Health Association of Niagara County, to develop “a simple mind-body-spirit program for seniors, adults and teens of any faith, or no faith” that was honored by AARP’s Social Impact Award. Program components included, Stop Stress; Control Chronic Illness; Eliminate Abuse; Share Your Wishes, an end-of-life planning program; Connect Your Care to reduce hospitalizations and Caring for the Caregiver.
For nearly forty years he and his wife, Kathy, played in a music group similar to the Trilogy’s Friendship, plus they provided music and leadership for many Life and Death Transition and Himalayan Instittute program. Like the spiritual explorers in Tom’s novels, they benefit from the teachings of both Eastern and Christian faiths. Tom served as Chair of Older Adult Ministries for the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church; and is currently a Prayer Chaplain at Unity of Buffalo.
Kathy DeLoughry, MS, is an educator, yoga teacher and stress management trainer for New York State United Teachers. She helped develop and teach the “Love Skills” at Buffalo Children’s Hospital, as well as its later evolution into the “Satisfaction Skills.”
Because social support is a key element in stimulating change, Kathy led the development of Feeling Fit at School which integrated stress management, nutrition and exercise objectives into the required middle school curricuum for health, home and careers and physcial education. Behavior change was reinforced by refrigerator progress charts that involved the whole family in “feelng fit” – and by contests in which prizes were only awarded if a majority of the student and faculty teams exercised regularly. Concurrently, Feeling Fit would be introduced to the teachers as a personal wellness and weight loss program at staff conference days in February or March. Thus, students would often see teacher teams “walking the talk” (of thier wellness lessons) in school hallways after dismissial while exercising in thier Feeling Fit t-shirts, motivated by the approaching bathing suit season. At its peak Feeling Fit at School ran for multiple years in over forty school districts with funding from the New York State Health Department, the teacher’s union and managed care organzations. The same Feeling Fit concept and materials were later used in worksite and health care settings. In 1995, Feeling Fit at School, Work and Primary Care was honored by the American Managed Care Review Association’s national award: Excellence in Preventing and Managing Chronic Illness.
Kathy often co-presents programs on “Less Stress, Better Health and More Love” and helped to develop and present our workshops on “Forgiving Yourself, Others and God.”
After decades of success as a elementary school teacher, Kathy was selected to be a full time mentor with responsibility for coaching teachers. She then served as a district wide technology integrator, tutoring both students and teachers in the use of computers and educational software. After retiring, she served on the Department of Education Faculty at the State University Collage of NY at Buffalo, supervising student teachers who were completing their internship.
Dr. Tom DeLoughry’s book, Caregiver Stories and Stress Solutions was honored by AARP’s Social Impact Award as “a simple mind-body-spirit program for seniors, adults and teens of any faith, or no faith.” These true stories of his struggles and successes as his mother’s caregiver inspired a related workbook, Less Stress Better Health and More Love, as well as the Friendship Trilogy novels.
He authored the American Lung Association’s national program, Help Patients to Better Breathing while serving as their Western New York program coordinator. He also produced a booklet and two videos on “Occupational Health for Students “ plus a series on “Occupational Stress” that received a national award for excellence from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. His “Feeling Fit at Work and School” and “Feeling Fit with Diabetes and Hypertension ” series, co-led by Kathy and supported by New York State United Teachers, was honored by the Excellence in Quality Management Award from American Managed Care Review Association for demonstrating that both teens and adults both benefit from the same set of instructional materials to prevent and control diabetes and hypertension in schools, worksites and primary care offices.
Tom is the author of Spirituality and Eldercare, a chapter in a Templeton Press textbook, Spiritual Dimensions of Nursing, edited by Harold Koenig and Verna Carson. He also wrote The Managed Care Guide for CBS HealthWatch and Never Too Old To Be Well, a multi-media program for the Niagara County Office for Aging (booklet, flyers, video DVD, computer CD) that was designed for whole family, the whole organization and the whole community.
He is the director of Living Well and the Center for Health Management, a private consulting agency offering programs for the whole person, the whole organization and the whole community.
He can be reached by email at [email protected]