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First of its Kind Academic Palliative Care Symposium

 First-ever Academic Faculty Event to be held September 30 – October 1 in San Marcos, CA

 SAN DIEGO, CA – August 22, 2016 The California State University (CSU) Institute for Palliative Care has announced the complete agenda of speakers and presenters for Engaging the Next Generation: Academic Palliative Care Education and Research” Symposium to be held September 30 – October 1 on the campus of California State University San Marcos. The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care, with the support and collaboration of the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and the Gary and Mary West Foundation, are convening national experts and academic faculty from around the country to exchange the latest ideas in teaching and research in palliative care for immediate integration into today’s healthcare teaching curricula. Palliative Care is an underutilized, multidisciplinary approach to providing specialized medical care for people suffering from serious, chronic illness.

Keynote speakers include national palliative care leaders who will underscore and revitalize work done in classrooms and research studies all over the country such as:

  • Amy Berman, BSN, LHD, Senior Program Officer for the John A. Hartford Foundation and palliative care patient advocate;
  • David Casarett, MD, Chief of Palliative Care at Duke University and author of best sellers on his research and teaching;
  • Angelo Volandes, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, who has done groundbreaking work in making advance care planning conversations more universally held; and
  • Christine Ritchie, MD, Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging, University of California San Francisco, who has worked tirelessly to research and advance palliative care availability.

First-of-a-kind Gathering

“The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care Symposium is the first of its kind event and is calling for the academic community to join us as we all rise to the challenge of educating more of tomorrow’s workforce on ways to ease suffering and improve the quality of life for people with serious or chronic illness,” said Helen B. McNeal, executive director of the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care.

Never Enough Experts in Palliative Care

Amy Berman, BSN, LHD, Senior Program Officer for the John A. Hartford Foundation, will kick-off the event. Ms. Berman is a five-year invasive cancer survivor who has been called upon widely to tell her story of palliative care’s effectiveness. She most recently testified in June to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. “We need more experts. There are no federal training dollars for palliative care physicians, nurses and others. We also need training for all those who are involved in the care of seriously ill people to ensure they are competent in palliation and difficult conversations because we will never have enough experts,” Berman said.

Learning Sessions Give Immediate-use Tools

In addition to keynote presentations, five break-out tracks feature faculty speakers from leading universities and health centers. The tracks include Innovations in Teaching Palliative Care; Building a Palliative Care Community; Research in Palliative Care; Building Interprofessional Teamwork; and Current Issues in Palliative Care. Attendees will come away with ideas and tools that can immediately be implemented in the classrooms throughout the country. A poster reception will highlight current research in the field and allow for dialogue on further collaborations.

Panel Will Discuss Community-based Palliative Care Challenges

The West Health Institute will lead a panel, “Home and Community-based Palliative Care: Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing Healthcare System,” which will feature experts from the Joint Commission, Sutter Health, University of California San Francisco and Aspire Health.

“New healthcare models that deliver palliative care in alternate settings, such as the home, have great potential to help seniors more effectively manage chronic illnesses, while improving their quality of life and preserving their dignity and independence,” says West Health Institute’s Executive Vice President of Medical Research and Informatics, Zia Agha, MD, MS. “This panel brings together leading experts at the forefront of palliative care to share their expertise and discuss future opportunities in research and collaboration to ensure we advance medical education and training programs for treating the most seriously ill patients.”

Advances in interprofessional education for the academic setting will be shared by educators from the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Kentucky, the University of California San Diego and the California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care.

Seed Grants Foster Further Innovation

Any faculty member interested in deepening their own or their students’ exposure to challenges facing the chronically ill, whether personally or professionally, will want to register for this Symposium. To foster further innovation and research, those registered for the conference will have the ability to apply for one of five $2,000 seed grants made available by the Gary and Mary West Foundation.

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