Our Advance Directive Advocates

Myra Hyder

MS Bioethics, JD Candidate

As soon as I heard about the Healthcare Proxy Helpline, I knew I wanted to get involved in any way possible. As a current law student and former bioethics student, I understand the need for advance directives in general; this need has only heightened during the current COVID-19 pandemic for both patients and health care professionals/first responders. However, it is also apparent that there are many issues of accessibility when it comes to end-of-life planning depending on a person’s privilege and interactions with healthcare institutions. The Healthcare Proxy Helpline is a fantastic step in the right direction to make end-of-life planning more available to the greater community, and I am thrilled to be a part of this initiative.


I graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2016 with degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and then graduated from Columbia University in 2017 with a Master of Science in Bioethics. After graduating, I worked as an Institutional Review Board Analyst at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for 2 years, and have just completed my first year of law school. I hope to pursue a career at the intersection of health and public interest law, and am particularly interested in issues of healthcare access for marginalized populations. 

In my undergraduate career, I studied mortality, specifically as it pertained to cultural perceptions of death and the compassionate care of patients at the end of life. When my paternal grandmother passed of colon cancer in the summer of 2016, my whole family cared for her when she moved to hospice.  The time we spent with her in her last weeks was tremendously meaningful, and our agency in the process was extremely important in allowing that.  I am very passionate about granting more people that agency by facilitating their completion of Advance Directives, especially in the tremendously difficult circumstances of the COVID19 pandemic.


I am a current Bioethics MS candidate at Columbia University from Tampa, FL.  Having studied Biology and Philosophy in my undergraduate career at the University of Chicago, I have long been deeply interested in medical ethics, compassionate care, and the importance of patient agency in healthcare decision making, especially at the end of life.  In addition, I have extensive research interest in the field of Type 1 Diabetes and am a licensed first responder in the state of Illinois.  Outside of class, I enjoy taking walks outside, dancing, trying (failing) to learn the violin, and seeking out absurd humor on the internet.

Emily Rodriguez

MS Bioethics candidate

Karin Sobeck

RN, MSN, MS Bioethics

I chose to be involved in the Health Care Proxy Helpline because I have seen the anguish on family member’s faces when asked to make decisions for a loved one without knowing what their choice would have been.  These situations frequently come without warning in Emergency Rooms and ICUs across the country.


I have more than 47 years of experience in health care including nursing administration, budget and staff healthcare delivery systems. I am a certified nephrology nurse and certified nurse transplant coordinator, and have worked at both Stanford Medical Center and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center as an RN Transplant Coordinator.

I decided to be an Advanced Directive Advocate because I believe it is an important way to give back to our community during COVID-19. Often times difficult and informed healthcare decisions arise in acute settings, and it is an honor to assist in helping people properly prepare for those decisions.


From personal experience, taking care of loved ones, and honoring their legacy, is so important. I spent 10 years along with my mother caring for my grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. I am also inspired by my father, a Venezuelan doctor who spent 40 years practicing medicine in inner-city communities. I intend to honor their legacy and pursue my passion of a career in geriatric medicine.


I am currently a medical student at the Howard University College of Medicine. I hold Master’s Degrees in Narrative Medicine and in Bioethics, both from Columbia University, and I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Political Science from Tufts University. I am also a co-author of “Team-Building Skills and Enhancing Competencies in Health-Care Professions,” featured in the book Keeping Reflections Fresh: A Practical Guide for Clinical Educators.

Brandon Sultán

MS Bioethics, MS Narrative Medicine, JD Candidate

Dhaval Khamar

MS Bioethics, Incumbent MD Candidate

Meet our Program Assistant

It’s an honor to be the Healthcare Proxy Helpline’s Program Assistant. Having had family members go through difficult medical situations, advanced care planning has always been important to me. Now more than ever I think it’s critical for people to designate a health care proxy, and it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of a new way of helping people fill out these important documents.


I graduated from the University of Central Florida with Bachelors degrees in Biology and Religion & Cultural Studies. I went on to receive a Masters of Bioethics degree from Columbia University, and worked as research and policy analyst with New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. I will be attending Drexel University School of Medicine in Fall 2020