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Archive for the ‘Caring Coalition’ Category

Save the Date – 10th Annual Caring Coalition Conference March 15, 2017

Posted on: November 15th, 2016 by Mike

Watch this space for details on the 11th Annual Shenkman-Weisberg Caring Coalition Conference to be held March 21, 2018.


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The Best Care Possible

The 10th annual Caring Coalition Conference, The Best Care Possible, to be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Southfield, Michigan, will bring together nurses, social workers, clergy, case managers, nursing home administrators, and other health care professionals from Southeast Michigan and bordering states. The intent of this conference is to increase understanding of the complex issues related to serious and terminal illness. Conference participants will receive continuing education credits, along with the opportunity to network with others in their field.


Co-chaired by Rabbi Bunny (E.B.) Freedman, director of Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, and Carolyn Cassin, former president and CEO of the National Hospice Work Group, this symposium will feature national presenters Ira Byock, MD, Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Jessica Zitter, MD and David Pinsky, MD. The program will also include a viewing of the award winning documentary “Extremis” as well as an Experts Panel moderated by hospice medical director Michael Paletta, MD. Panelists include our conference speakers as well as local experts.



Ira Byock, MD, is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving end of life care. He serves as executive director and chief medical officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services. Dr. Byock is professor of Medicine and Community & Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is former director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Byock is the author of Dying Well, The Four Things That Matter Most, and The Best Care Possible, as well as numerous academic articles. In 2014 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


Jessica Zitter, MD, advocates for raising awareness of health care practices, medical training and social perceptions of critical and end-of-life care decision-making. She practices critical care and palliative care medicine at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California and has been board-certified in palliative care since 2010. Dr. Zitter is also a writer for The New York Times and Huffington Post. She is featured in the short documentary, “Extremis”, which shows ordinary people grappling with death. She is the author of Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life, and is co-founder of Vital Decisions, a telephone-based counseling service for patients with life-limiting illness.


Sheldon Solomon, PhD, is professor of psychology at Skidmore College. His studies of the effects of the uniquely human awareness of death on behavior have been supported by the National Science Foundation and Ernest Becker Foundation. He is co-author of In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror and The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Sheldon is an American Psychological Society Fellow, and a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation, a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity, and the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Faculty Award.


David J. Pinsky, MD, is the division chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Michigan, as well as the scientific director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center. Pinsky is former director of research for the Cardiovascular Disease Training Program at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. As a result of his groundbreaking research, Dr. Pinsky has earned a reputation as one of the country’s foremost experts in understanding the relationship between blood flow and heart and brain diseases. His research efforts have earned him numerous grants and awards, including the American Heart Association Melvin Marcus Young Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Physiology and the AHA Established Investigator Award.


Corey L. Kennard, MACM, has been involved in healthcare for more than 19 years and is currently Spiritual Care Lead for St. John Hospital and Medical Center. He has a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, and has served for several years as a faculty member of Duke University’s Institute on Care at the End of Life national training program. Pastor Corey is an avid blogger, has been published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, written motivational columns for The Detroit News, and is a contributing columnist for The New York Times. He has been published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, and is the author of “Goliath Must Fall”.


Michael Miller is Regional Chief Mission Officer for Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS). His responsibilities include spiritual care and clinical ethics for the five SJMHS in Southeast Michigan. Miller is Regional Community Benefit Ministry Officer, and an advocacy liaison for local, state and federal policy makers. He serves on the Washtenaw County Board of Health and serves as an ex officio member of the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health Board. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Loyola University, a Master of Arts degree in Theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology and a Master of Arts degree in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University.


Jeffrey Forman, MD, FACR, is medical director of the Michigan Region of 21st Century Oncology and past medical director of affiliate programs and satellites for the Karmanos Cancer Institute. He earned his medical degree from New York University and completed an internship, residency and fellowship in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Forman has held faculty appointments at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University. He has been the principal investigator of 12 grants, and has authored nearly 300 professional publications. A national and international presenter, Dr. Forman has received numerous honors and awards.




The Best Care Possible conference is presented by the Caring Coalition, a diverse group of Southeast Michigan hospices, hospitals and community organizations whose purpose is to educate health care professionals and the general public about issues related to hospice and palliative care. Our attendees serve the physical and emotional needs of thousands of patients and their families throughout Southeast Michigan and bordering states. The more than 75 members of the Caring Coalition have worked together since 2008 to present accredited conferences featuring nationally known and local experts and have each attracted more than 900 health care professionals.


The recent 2016 conference featured neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky, PhD, geriatrician Joanne Lynn, MD, oncologist Richard Payne, MD, Marcus Engel, and Michael Paletta, MD. The 2015 conference, Caring for the Whole Person featured Rawandan survivor Immaculeee Ilibagiza, grief specialist David Kessler, psychologist Dr. Dale Larson, and cancer researcher Dr. Sofia Merajver. In 2014 Pain, Loss and Suffering presented journalist and author Joshua Prager, physicians Stacie Pinderhughes and Michael Levy, and local grief survivor Gary Weinstein. The 2013 conference, Values, Ethics and Culture at End of Life, with keynote speaker bioethicist Arthur Caplan, focused on the impact of values and ethics on end of life experiences. The 2012 conference, On My Terms: Patient Directed Care focused on patient centered care, and featured nationally recognized hospice physician and author Ira Byock, M.D. Our 2011 conference, The Science of Comfort Care, explored evidence-based practices and philosophies offering comfort to those affected by chronic and life-limiting illness. The 2010 conference, Handle with Care: Powerful Compassionate Care Giving drew attendees to a conversation about best practices in caregiving. In 2009, our conference, The War on Pain, addressed the under treatment of pain in patients with chronic and terminal illness. In 2008, The Same But Different symposium explored the similarities and differences in rituals and customs practiced by different faiths at the end of life.


2008 – The Same but Different

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer



2008: The Same But Different


In March of 2008, the 25 organizations comprising the Caring Coalition presented its first conference, The Same But Different, which explored the similarities and differences in rituals and customs practiced by different faiths at the end of life. The keynote speaker was Thomas Lynch and panelists included clergy from five denominations. Attracting more than 700 attendees, the conference was professionally accredited for social workers and nurses, and was also attended by many clergy members and those in the funeral business.



2009 – The War on Pain

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer



2009: The War on Pain


In March 2009, the Caring Coalition, now numbering 35 partners, presented The War on Pain. The intent of this conference was to understand and discuss the rapidly evolving field of pain management. The keynotes of this event were nationally known pain management authorities Dr. Russell Portenoy and Dr. Perry Fine. Other speakers included nurses, physicians, clergy and family members with personal experiences. This conference was accredited for nurses, social workers, physicians and pharmacists, and drew more than 750 attendees.



2010 – Handle with Care: Powerful, Compassionate Caregiving

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer



2010: Handle with Care: Powerful, Compassionate Caregiving


The 2010 Handle with Care conference attracted more than 750 nurses, social workers, case managers, nursing home administrators and others who care for the chronically and terminally ill and the elderly. Seven speakers from a wide array of fields included AARP Caring Ambassador and nationally renowned author Gail Sheehy, best known for her book, “Passages”. This conference, sponsored by more than 50 organizations of the Caring Coalition, demonstrated that caregiver skills and well-being directly impact the outcome of patient care.



2011 – The Science of Comfort Care

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer



2011: The Science of Comfort Care


The 2011 Caring Coalition Conference, The Science of Comfort Care, was sponsored by 58 organizations drawing 600 attendees. This symposium focused on evidence-based practices and by chronic and life-limiting illness. Nationally known speakers Dr. Diane Meier, Dr. David Casarett and Dr. Harold Koenig were joined by a panel of local integrative medicine experts.



2012 – On My Terms: Patient Directed Care

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer



2012: On My Terms: Patient Directed Care


On My Terms: Patient Directed Care was the theme of the 2012 Caring Coalition conference. Dr. Ira Byock was the keynote speaker, with talks given by Dr. Dale Larson and Dr. Stewart Fleishman. An Experts Forum discussed experiential factors accompanying diagnosis and prognosis. The intent of this conference was to increase understanding of the value and benefits of patient-centered care in order to maximize comfort and quality of life for those affected by chronic and terminal illness. More than 700 professionals attended this conference.



2013 – Values, Ethics & Culture at End-of-Life

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer



2013: Values, Ethics and Culture at End of Life


The 6th annual Caring Coalition Conference was held at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield on March 13, 2013. This accredited conference drew 883 attendees for a day-long event entitled Values, Ethics and Culture at End of Life. Nationally known speakers included political reporter and editor Eleanor Clift who discussed “How Americans Confront Death”; Dr. Richard Payne, professor of medicine and divinity at Duke University, shed light on holistic palliative care with his talk “Your Patient is Unique”; Dr. Joanne Lynn, hospice physician and policy advocate who focuses on shaping national health care policy for Altarum Institute examined “The Frailest Seniors: Our Sacred Obligation”; The keynote speech, “Must We Ration Health Care at End of Life,” was given by bioethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan of New York University.

A panel of local experts discussed the ethnic and cultural practices valued by patients and families facing serious and terminal illness. “Cultural Competency at End of Life” focused on how followers of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Eastern religious traditions approach end-of-life situations. Dr. Michael Paletta, medical director of Hospice of Michigan, moderated. Panelists included Rabbi E. B. Freedman, Najah Bazzy, RN, Ann Suziedelis, PhD, and Father Carl Buxo.



2014 – Pain, Loss & Suffering: Our Patients’ and our own

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by Access Computer

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2014 – Pain, Loss & Suffering: Our Patients’ and our own



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