Chris MacLellan Whole Care Network
Christopher MacLellan, M.A., CSA

Christopher MacLellan
The Bow Tie Guy

Christopher MacLellan is affectionately known as “The Bow Tie Guy” in the vast network of family caregivers.

Chris started a caregiving blog entitled, “The Purple Jacket” after his partner’s diagnosis of esophageal cancer in 2011 and continues to be an ardent advocate for caregivers and their carees through his blog and radio show, “Healing Ties.”

Chris completed his Master’s Degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2016. Being in the caregiving trenches while caring for his deceased partner, Bernard Richard Schiffer, Chris now views the issues family caregivers and their employers face through the lens of Communication and Leadership.

The Dream

The Whole Care NetworkThe Whole Care Network has been a dream of Chris’ for quite some time. With a background in social work, Chris has extensive experience in the field of Communication, Leadership, Information and Referral.

Fortified with the personal understanding that caregivers need three things:

  1. Validation: YES, Caregiving is hard and it is Okay to be frustrated
  2. Respite: It is important to recharge and take time for yourself
  3. Referrals: Trusted resources from caregivers to caregivers…

…The Whole Care Network is being developed as a multi-media platform for Caregivers to locate and share trusted resources, take comfort and refuge through real-life stories, while being personally validated in your caregiving journey by those who understand.

Five Things You Might Not Know About Christopher MacLellan:

  1. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri
  2. He has five older siblings, 25 nieces and nephews and over 40 great nieces and nephews
  3. He is the proud holder of three regional Professional Bowlers Associations championships and 13, 300 games completed
  4. He has been an avid hockey fan of the St. Louis Blues since 1967!
  5. He is The Bow Tie Guy! “Wearing a bow-tie is like wearing having two smiles!”

In Sickness and In Health

The story of Chris MacLellan and his partner, Richard Schiffer was chronicled in a 2015 Pulitzer Prize-nominated story “In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey” about their journey of caregiving.

The story told of the challenges that LGBT partners have in dealing with the medical and legal system, but it also told of the love and joy that Richard’s last years had on their relationship. It was written by Diane Lade and Careline Jean of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and has been seen by over 400,000 people from around the world.

Professional Background and Accomplishments

Out of his caregiving experience, Chris MacLellan has written a powerful and compelling book, “What’s the Deal with Caregiving” that informs caregivers about how to deal with the challenges they will encounter, regardless of sexual orientation, family situation, or age.

Chris’ Master’s Degree thesis entitled, “Spiral of Silence: Caregiving, Stress and its Impact in the Workplace” was accepted by the faculty at Gonzaga University, where Chris earned a Master’s degree in Leadership and Communication in 2016.

Chris presents frequently on topics that impact family caregivers and their employers and founded the Whole Care network in 2016.

The Whole Care Network includes:

  • The Purple Jacket Blog with over 500 blog posts on issues surrounding caregiving
  • Healing Ties Radio with over 150 radio shows featured on multiple podcast platforms including the Whole Care Network, iTunes, iHeart Radio, and in the United Kingdom on UK Health Radio.com
  • The Bow Tie Guy brand with over 7,000 social media followers
  • Published Author
  • Public Speaker

PBS South Florida WEXL-TV Caregiving Show by “Debra”

The Palm Beach Post

The Florida Times Union

The Wall Street Journal



“What’s the Deal with Caregiving” (available on Amazon)

Spiral of Silence: Caregiving, Stress and Its Impact in the Workplace”

CareGifters Book Series

American Society on Aging: “Two Relationships in One”

Social Media

With over 7,000 social media followers on a variety of networks, the persona of “The Bow Tie Guy” was created to brand Chris as a leader in the vast network of caregiving and senior care.

He is active in many areas:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn


  • Age Safe America
  • Care|Mind – Reassure Analytics.com
  • KalendarKards Memory Support System
  • Keeping Us Safe
  • LifeWork Systems
  • One Legacy – The Family Historian
  • Silver Dawn Institute


University of Illinois: B.A., Springfield; Child, Family and Community Service

Sacred Heart School of Theology: 55 graduate hours in Philosophy and Theology

Gonzaga University: M.A., Communication and Leadership


Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)

Certified Beyond Driving Educator

Certified Special Needs At Sea Advocate

Certified Dementia Communication Specialist

Certified Senior Home Safety Specialist

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