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Communication Through Crisis: Ken Wolter Explores the Power of Communication at TEDxEmeraldGlenPark

May 1, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–As I recently shared, our theme for this year’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark event is “Future.” A vital part of building a bright future is ensuring a shared vision, especially if there is an obstacle in the way. The importance of clear communication cannot be underestimated when we are building our shared future. Without clear communication, it can be difficult to overcome obstacles and implement your shared vision.

Ken Wolter, oncology chaplain, will focus on the importance of effective communication in critical or crisis situations during his talk at TEDxEmeraldGlenPark. As an oncology chaplain, Ken knows first-hand the damage that can occur without effective communication. He explains, “When we are emotionally invested with someone or in a particular situation, logic has a habit of leaving the room, and we only hear what we are expecting to, or in a real sense hoping to hear.”


“A great example is demonstrated in Ray’s story. The family  was in emotional crisis and had only heard the doctors say that Ray would have a good recovery if he came through the surgery, but not what the already irreversible damage might mean,” Ken explains. “The doctors, on the other hand, merely assumed that the family understood that irreversible damage meant Ray would always be on the vent.” 

Ken expands his learnings to everyday life as well. “We have tendencies to assume what might have been said,” Ken explains. In his TEDx talk, he will talk about the journey that brought him where he is now. Ken Wolter is a co-founder and President of esperas4cancer Foundation Inc, which provides emotional and spiritual support to oncology patients and their families and loved ones. Ken is currently working with Stanford Healthcare Valley Medical Oncology Consultants in Pleasanton, to provide a comprehensive chaplaincy that serves as a model for other oncology centers.

Ken is an ordained Calvary Chapel Pastor, who is also licensed by Cornerstone fellowship. He is also a certified law enforcement chaplain, working with the Sheriff’s Deptartment. He has worked as a hospital, palliative care, and oncology chaplain, having completed his CPE residency program at John Muir Hospital. He initiated a full time chaplaincy program at ValleyCare Hospital. He has also served as a palliative care, and oncology chaplain at Maui Memorial Hospital in Hawaii and as a Care Pastor for Cornerstone fellowship.

During his TEDxEmeraldGlenPark talk, Ken will also discuss how to hear people better, instead of just hearing you expect to hear or what you wanted to hear. “All too often, we project our sensibilities (what we might want) onto others, and even more so during stressful life and death situations,” he says.

Finally, Ken will explain how he developed a patient/family assessment to help patients and families communicate effectively through active listening and understanding the need for intentional questioning. “At the end, a full recovery involves the full family and requires that everyone shares the same vision and agree on a specific end goal,” shares Ken. “Recovery is never an individual journey. It takes a village!”

Ken’s talk promises to be an inspiring perspective on everyday struggles and relationships. “Through my experience working with oncology patients I have learned to appreciate every day, and that it that it isn’t the things we have, but the relationships we have are what give life meaning,” he says. “So, it is important to communicate better and more intentionally to help our loved ones overcome health challenges. They are absolutely worth it!”

Attending TEDxEmeraldGlenPark is a great way to get connected, get inspired, and get excited about our unique community and learning how better communications can help us created a shared vision for the future. Your presence would help create an enriching, intellectually stimulating experience for yourself and other attendees. And, of course, Ken’s unique perspective on communication can help us all in today’s fast-paced age of social media. A limited number of tickets are available online for you to purchase. There will be no tickets available at the door, so make sure you don’t miss out! I am so excited to meet and share ideas with this community. Let’s make this TEDx event one to remember.


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