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TEDxLehighRiver Studio Talks are pre-recorded, stand-alone talks that were taped in the studios of Lehigh Valley Public Media. Click the photo of each speaker to view the video of their talk.

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How At-Risk Youth and Rescued Animals Change Each Other's Lives

Jamie Dawson is the Director of Education at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world’s first refuge for birds of prey, where she oversees all local-to-global education programming, including expanding the sanctuary’s global reach through international education training. Jamie is also the co-founder and Board President of the Barn Nature Center Foundation, an educational animal sanctuary for rescued and rehomed exotic companion animals.


Jamie is the former Chief Operating Officer for Youth Services Agency (YSA) and the former Director of the Barn Nature Center and YSA Nature Center. In her past roles, Jamie, along with her family, has developed animal sanctuaries for rescued companion animals to provide experience-based educational, therapeutic, and recreational opportunities for at-risk youth and communities, as well as adventure and team-building programming in efforts to strengthen connections between youth and the natural world. In this talk Jamie explores the extraordinary impact that animals in distress have on at -risk you and vice versa.

Lorraine Dickey

A Formula for Kindness

Lorraine A. Dickey, MD MBA FAAP, is an innovator and activist for a better experience of care within the healthcare system, both for patients and staff. She is a healthcare entrepreneur and a board-certified Neonatologist as well as a board-certified Pediatric Hospice & Palliative medicine physician. Dr. Dickey is certified in Pediatric Bioethics and earned an MBA in Health Care Management.


In 2001 Dr. Dickey was involved in a catastrophic ski accident, including a serious head injury, that changed the course of her life. She was told she would never be able to practice as a physician again. After nearly 3 years of physical recovery and rehabilitation she returned to medicine as a neonatologist in 2004 and then became the Medical Director and Chief of Neonatology in a 45-bed Level IIIC NICU. During this time Dr. Dickey personalized the philosophy of Patient- and Family-Centered Care, integrating it in both policy and program development within the Division of Neonatology including  a novel narrative program to help her staff address their challenges, and recognize their joys, in taking care of patients and their families...and the necessity of taking care of each other. In 2013 she made a mid-career transition and entered a Fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine. Almost immediately she was diagnosed with cancer. After taking a year off for surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, she returned and finished the fellowship in 2015.


These very personal experiences led Dr. Dickey to become passionate about improving the experience of feeling “cared for” during the healthcare encounter. In this talk, DR Dickey explores the value of kindness, the reasons it’s sometimes hard to be kind and how we can do better.

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Diane Lawson is a volunteer and currently holds the position of Executive Director - Lehigh Valley and board member of Neuro Diverse Living (NDL) based in Doylestown, PA.


NDL is a mission-driven organization that is developing neuro-inclusive housing opportunities for adults with autism and other intellectual developmental disabilities (I/DD).  One of these opportunities is cohousing which includes people who are not I/DD but want to be part of this caring community. Diane is a parent of two children, one of whom has autism.  This talk focuses on the same fear every parent of a child with autism or I/DD has – “what will happen to my child when I’m no longer here”.


“We are working to solve the housing dilemma for as many parents as possible.” said Lawson. There are many opportunities for people with different skills and interests to help NDL achieve its mission.   If you are interested in learning more, please visit or call Diane Lawson directly at 610-762-1201.

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