The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care is convening its first, national symposium this fall, inviting university faculty from all over the country to gather to exchange ideas and innovations in teaching palliative care. So, why would university faculty whose teaching or research incorporates palliative care find keynote speakers such as Dr. Angelo Volandes, MD, enlightening to their work?
What is Palliative Care?
Our Institute defines that palliative care provides those with a serious or chronic illness – from the time of diagnosis throughout the course of treatment – care that optimizes quality of life. It does this by anticipating, preventing, and managing suffering. Palliative care is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and other practitioners to address the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
About the Symposium
The Symposium, through gathering educators who teach in these interdisciplinary fields, and others such as philosophy, ethics, information technology, and more, will be the starting point for conversations that share what each does and can be of use to one other. Dr. Volandes’ work revolves around conversations, too, and in fact is the subject of his 2015-published book on revolutionizing end-of-life care, “The Conversation.”
About Dr. Volandes
Dr. Volandes, a faculty member in the General Medicine Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, focuses his research on improving decision-making at the end of life. Dr. Volandes believes: “A key ingredient to informed patient-doctor discussions regarding end-of-life care includes the patient’s ability to understand and imagine hypothetical disease states and medical interventions like CPR.” To mitigate barriers to critical conversations about these decisions, Dr. Volandes leads a group of internationally recognized researchers who create and study video decision aids to empower patients and families to make informed decisions at the end of life. The web site describing the initiative is www.ACPdecisions.org.
Dr. Volandes at the Symposium
In his delivery of the Symposium’s concluding keynote address, Dr. Volandes will be sharing the essence of his research: the results of his team’s video tools that have facilitated critical conversations about life goals and care support for thousands of patients, families, and providers. Attendees will gain yet another tool, through the Symposium’s keynote and break-out session speakers, to consider as options for facilitating and growing more conversations in their classrooms, curriculum, and communities.
Full information about the Symposium, the speakers and agenda can be found at https://csupalliativecare.org/symposium/