Stephen  Kiernan

Stephen Kiernan

A prolific writer and award-winning journalist, Stephen Kiernan's true-life stories focus on the disparities in healthcare, and a sense of disconnection that people feel distress, anxiety, and prolonged belief that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Brought to the stage in word and video, his program is inspirational, educational and defines a path we can follow in sustaining the strength of our country. Stephen features individuals whose work made economic, as well as humanitarian, sense. Also their projects could be replicated in other communities. An uplifting message delivering positive results!

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Over his decades as a journalist, Stephen Kiernan has written for the Boston Globe, the AARP Bulletin, and many other newspapers and magazines. He has won 40 awards, including the Bechner Institute's Freedom of Information Award, the Gerald Loeb Award for financial journalism (two time commentary finalist) and the 2003 George Polk Award for medical reporting.

In 2010, Stephen wrote Authentic Patriotism: Restoring America's Founding Ideals Through Selfless Action. His book recounts the story of 60 people - seven of them in depth - who saw a problem and decided it should not be allowed to persist in a nation as great as the United States. Starting without money, fame or power, these people developed organizations, recruited followers, cultivated funding sources, and made a visible difference. Quite literally, they helped to improve this nation. Their stories - in realms as different as health care, scientific research, criminal justice, race relations, the environment and many more - are inspirational. The stories are also educational, for they show the path that all of us can follow if we care enough to commit ourselves to America's well-being.

In 2006 Stephen wrote the book: Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System, to raise people's awareness on death and the options open to them. "I found the way we die in America changed dramatically and the way we care for people dying not changing at all," Kiernan said. "I found people suffering needlessly." It has been said this book will radically change the way people face mortality." His book has been featured on

Stephen is a graduate of Middlebury College, and received an MA degree from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA degree from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has taught at Middlebury College and the New England Young Writers Conference, and has worked on the staff of the Breadloaf School of English and the Breadloaf Writers Conference. He has served on the board of The Brautigan Library and the Young Writers Project.

Stephen's programs uplift and inspire. Despite the serious subject matter, he brings humor to the platform and audiences find themselves laughing as well as being better informed.

Stephen has also performed on the guitar for many years. In addition to recording 3 CDs of solo instrumentals, he has composed music for dance, the stage, documentaries and TV specials. He lives in Vermont with his two amazing sons.

    "Stephen Kiernan is an incredibly captivating public speaker whose years of journalistic excellence convey a strong message about some of the problems and cures for today's health system."

    - Donald Schumacher, President, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

    "Kiernan goes beyond expose to uncover hopeful progress and practical ways to protect and nurture the people we love."

    - Ira Byock MD, author of Dying Well

    "Stephen Kiernan's speaking appearances are certain to change lives and make a significant difference for those fortunate enough to read his book or cross his path. I could not recommend any writer or speaker with more enthusiasm. Stephen Kiernan will change your life."

    - David Wolk, President, Castleton State College

    "Stephen Kiernan's personal authority and gentle presence are captivating. He has the uncanny ability to make us believe not only that the state of end-of-life health care in America must change, but that we must be active agents of that change."

    - Linda Piotrowski, Chaplain, Norris Cotton Cancer Center-Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center