Liberating unmourned loss and unforgiven guilt/shame

Abi Katz, D.O., M.S., HMDC

Building a better world by addressing the individual and collective unrest that plague people and communities

October 25, 2019 – Fairborn, Ohio

Opus Peace is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational programs to healthcare providers and others that help people reckon with the unassessed wound of Soul Injury. Soul Injury is a wound to our sense of self, stifling personal potential. Soul Injuries are caused by unmourned loss/hurt and unforgiven guilt/shame. The grassroots movement was started by 5 VA hospice nurses who took care of 10,000 dying Veterans over 30-year careers. Lessons about a process for attaining personal peace, paradoxically, were learned from people who had been trained for war. Those lessons have now evolved into a grassroots movement that raises awareness about Soul Injuries. To date nearly 200 Leadership Ambassadors have been trained to carry out the Opus Peace mission around the world.

Each year, Opus Peace recognizes someone whose personal and professional life serves as a beacon for peace by advancing the Soul Injury movement. Nominees must exemplify: Unswerving Leadership, Passionate Advocacy, and Humble Service. Recipients demonstrate what the famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

At a commemoration ceremony held on Friday, October 18 in Tampa, FL, Dr. Abi Katz, D.O., M.S., HMDC, was honored as the 2019 recipient of the Opus Peace “Mead Team” Award. Dr. Katz has donated countless hours of time, energy, and effort to Opus Peace to advance the Soul Injury mission. For the last decade, she has served Opus Peace selflessly through humble, behind-the-scenes service, which has helped heal the wounds of war, trauma, and violence. Not only did she help develop multiple Opus Peace programs, she helped implement those programs, traveling across the U.S. to provide Fallen Comrade Ceremonies designed for Veterans and First Responders, as well as Soul Restoration Ceremonies for Personal and Professional Caregivers. Dr. Katz helped design the Soul Injury Self-Awareness inventory and is currently leading a research project to prepare for publication on the subject. She piloted a 10-week “Dying Healed” Course in California and is collaborating with leaders in Ohio and Tennessee to use Soul Injury principles to improve end-of-life care for patients and families.

Dr. Abi Katz, D.O., M.S., HMDC currently serves as Assistant Professor, in Department of Geriatrics and Program Director for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is also the Medical Director for Friends Care Community in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She specializes in community based palliative medicine, including facility and at home care. Her special interests include having difficult conversations about prognosis, goals of care and the developmental tasks of dying (life completion) and program development for people living with serious illness and their families. Dr. Katz is a graduate of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and earned her medical degree from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed internship at Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, and a residency in Family Medicine at Clinton Memorial Hospital, in Wilmington, Ohio. She went on to complete a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of South Florida. She is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Academy of Home Care Medicine, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Practice.