Past Events

Past Gateway End-of-Life Coalition Events

6/29/2023 Pet Loss: Why Losing a Pet is Harder Than Losing a Person

The grief of losing a pet is crushing; and yet it is too often minimized. This talk explains why the pain of pet loss is different and why it is valid. Dr. Sarah Hoggan has been an emergency veterinarian for over 20 years. Many people meet her on the worst day of their life; when their pet is injured, when no one else is available, and when it is time to say goodbye. Her career of dealing with critically injured pets, and their frantic families, gives her a compassionate perspective that only comes with experience and helping many animals to have a soft goodbye. Click here for the recorded presentation.

2/23/2023 Science and Sustainability in the Funeral Sector and Aquamation Alternative to Traditional Funeral Options

Bob Jenkins is the co-founder and president of Verde Products Inc. (VPI) – Let Your Love Grow. He shared alternative practices based on scientific research data that provide maximum benefit to the planet including safe and clean disposition that can be applied anywhere in the world. Jon Hughes is a Funeral Director and Embalmer providing Aquamation to families and funeral homes in the Midwest.  Jon shared current data showing that families across the country are gravitating to non-traditional, more environmentally friendly funeral options.  

1/19/2023 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death

Eileen Wolfington is a retired Grief educator and Yoga Leader.  The session helped the audience base their planning on their values and priorities and to begin to lay the groundwork to be prepared for the inevitable.  Self-reflection and personal inquiry work can inform and encourage your planning.  Whether you have days or decades left to live, thinking about and preparing for your death will inspire you to live your best life now. 

12/6/2022 Supporting Your Grieving Friend this Holiday

This presentation by Sandy Dillon, MSW, LCSW, and Eileen Spinner, LPC shared practical ideas for how to care for yourself and others who are grieving throughout the holiday season. The tools shared can be used both personally or professionally with coworkers or clients/patients and their families. Participants gained insight on how to deal with feelings/emotions related to grief and the holidays. They also learned helpful tips on how to approach traditions and social events around the holidays. Practical holiday tools and intervention ideas were shared that relate to supporting children and individuals of all ages. Click here for the recorded presentation. 

11/8/2022 Curating Family Stories

In this unique talk, international communications expert Vance Crowe, who has interviewed hundreds of people to tell their stories, explains the value of curating your family stories so that your future generations will be prepared for life and benefit from the wisdom you have accumulated the hard way. Crowe illustrated his perspectives through entertaining stories, prompting everyone to think more deeply about their own stories and offering a way to pass down wisdom in a more deliberate and complete way. Click here for the recorded Zoom event.

6/16/2022 Death Positive: The Movement is Coming to St. Louis

Lauren Ponder, Gateway End-of-Life Board Member and the Founder of St. Louis Death Positive Collective, an organization that takes action to create a guide to a good death for the community was our presenter.  In this presentation, Lauren introduced us to the Death Positive Movement, which encourages everyone to speak openly about death in order to live life more fully.  The philosophy is that when we confront death by talking about it, we take away the unrealistic fear, and therefore live life with a bigger appreciation for the daily beautiful life we live. The Collective also put on “Last Call:  An End of Life Festival” October 15th and 16th, 2022.  This was St. Louis’ first, but not last Death Positive Festival.

5/10/2022 “Yes, And…: Reframing Serious Illness Communication and Advanced Care Planning Using Improv Skills”

This virtual presentation with Dr. Isaac Shin Chua, Rachel Rusch, and Dr. Gitanjli (Tanya) Arorawill offered attendees insight into the art of discussing serious illness outcomes and Advanced Care Planning topics to patients and families with the tool of Improv and the “Yes…and” approach to communication.  They demonstrated how communication of very difficult information can be enhanced when framed under the key tenets of Improv. 

3/29/2022 Advance Care Planning Considerations & Challenges in the Post-Acute Care/Long-Term Care Setting

This webinar featured local experts, Dr. Alka Kapoor with SSM Health, Dr. Charles Crecelius with BJC Healthcare, and Dr. Michael Nash with Mercy Health. It gave attendees an overview of the need for advance care planning from the perspective of physicians who provide care in skilled nursing facilities.  They relayed lessons learned, best practices and provide tools that will enhance needed end-of-life conversations for our sick and elderly.  This course was ideal for anyone faced with addressing end-of-life conversations. 

3/1/2022 Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

In this workshop, Angela Berra provided an overview of mental health, along with tips for self-care and coping skills. She explained how the peer-led model supports recovery and mental health and she’ll reacquaint attendees with their local NAMI St. Louis services.

1/22/2022 Hospice and Housing Discrimination in St. Louis, MO

This lecture examined the impact of anti-Black housing discrimination on the distribution and practice of hospice care in Saint Louis, Missouri. It will begin with a history of how local, state, and federal housing policy has shaped the geography of both Saint Louis city and county. Dr. Braswell explained how this policy’s discriminatory aspects has been found to be responsible for a number of health disparities predominantly impacting African Americans. Drawing on both qualitative research and quantitative studies, he then connected this discrimination’s impact on end-of-life care. The course concluded by considering some of this argument’s ethical implications for healthcare professionals.

12/14/2021 Laugh for the Health of It! Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga was developed in India 24 years ago by Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian physician as a way to help people to laugh and play more.   It consists of learning to laugh as an “exercise” and alternates with deep breathing exercises. There are also some very light and easy stretching exercises.  It is very accessible to most ability levels but adapts well to many disability levels.  Marlene Chertok who has been teaching and practicing laughter yoga since 2004 was the presenter.  She began exploring the health benefits of laughter for her own health and healing following cancer and while working to regain her own wellness. Marlene is a retired nurse, earning her BSN from St. Louis University. She did her Laughter Yoga Leader training in Toronto Ontario with Dr. Madan Kataria. In 2004, she introduced Laughter Yoga to St. Louis, founding the St. Louis Laughter Yoga chapter. 

11/18/2021 Visiting Nurses Assn. (VNA) Advanced Illness Management (AIM) Program

This was the 2nd of an ongoing series featuring our local Palliative Care programs. With each presentation, an area expert shared details about their organization’s current program and will answer a standard set of questions to ensure comparable information is shared. This series was designed to increase our community’s understanding of Palliative Care in general and to explore the unique offerings in our area. This presentation featured Mary Fox, MD.

11/11/2021 Mercy Palliative Program Overview

This was the 1st of an ongoing series featuring our local Palliative Care programs. With each presentation, an area expert shared details about their organization’s current program and will answer a standard set of questions to ensure comparable information is shared. This series was designed to increase our community’s understanding of Palliative Care in general and to explore the unique offerings in our area. This presentation featured Cameron Simmons, MD of Mercy Health.

10/26/2021 New Developments in End-of-Life Teaching for Roman Catholic Healthcare

This presentation featured Jason Eberl, Ph.D. in a follow-up to his October 2020 presentation. It highlighted the foundational anthropological, moral, and theological principles and reviewed the Church’s teaching on appropriate end-of-life care, and how this teaching has evolved over the past forty years. A particular vision of the nature and dignity of human persons informs the Roman Catholic perspective on what constitutes appropriate forms of care for terminally ill patients and severely disabled infants. While the Catholic Church rejects euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (also called aid-in-dying), it does not follow that all available means must be utilized to maintain one’s life at all costs. Physiological futility or disproportionality between the burdens of a particular treatment and the expected benefits justifies withholding or withdrawing treatment deemed to be “extraordinary.” The recently publicized cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, two severely disabled infants from whom life-sustaining treatments were withdrawn despite parental wishes to the contrary, recently led the Vatican to issue a new teaching document on end-of-life care, Samaritanus Bonus (“The Good Samaritan”). 

9/15/2021 Home Funerals: A Family or Community-Centered Response to Death and After-Death Care (Midwest End-of-Life Doula Collective)

Rev. Olivia Bareham discussed the benefits of a natural home-based funeral and how the family remains in charge from the moment of death until burial or cremation. A family can take as much time as they need to personally care for their loved one according to religious or cultural beliefs and traditions and the body can be viewed without being embalmed. She explained the preparation and preserving of the body at home. How it’s carefully washed, dressed and preserved with dry ice to prevent decomposition and the caring for an in-tact body naturally, at home, using gentle, non-invasive techniques. She also discussed sitting vigil with the body. This is when the body lays in honor while family and friends visit to pay their respects and say goodbye. The funeral service most often takes place in the home on the 3rd day of the vigil before the body is taken to the crematory or cemetery. Whatever one’s personal beliefs, lovingly caring for a body and holding it in a sacred space allows family and friends time to accept the loss, say goodbye and begin to face their own lives with a deepened sense of gratitude and peace.  More information at

June 17, 2021, What Happens When the Patient Doesn’t Die? Understanding Live Discharge from Hospice Care

Cara L. Wallace, Ph.D., LMSW, APHSW-C, and Stephanie P. Wladkowski, Ph.D., LMSW, APHSW-C co-presented this workshop. Though hospice is strongly associated with death, some enrolled hospice patients do not decline as quickly as predicted leading to what is referred to as a ‘live discharge.’ In 2018, 6.3% of all hospice discharges were patients discharged alive due to no longer meeting eligibility requirements (nearly 90,000 patients annually). As hospice enrollment continues to increase, it is expected the number of individuals discharged alive will also grow and the need for specialized support for both patients and caregivers will be critical. This presentation provided participants with an understanding of the live discharge process, the policy and practice challenges for hospice agencies within current discharge practices, and how to become involved in improving care delivery and care transitions related to live discharges.

May 11, 2021, Native American Communities and End-Of-Life Care

Presented by Jordan Connell, enrolled member of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, University of Oregon, Robert D. Clark Honors College Graduate.  This presentation examined the various sociocultural, political, and historical contexts necessary to consider when working with Native American communities and patients in end-of-life care. The participants learned the importance of culturally inclusive and appropriate care which is paramount when working within Indigenous communities and with Indigenous patients in order to halt a longstanding pattern of systemic oppression and trauma on behalf of social work, public health, and medical disciplines. This presentation covered social norms, appropriate language, historical trauma, and more in order to inform the work of non-Native practitioners and provide them with foundational knowledge for providing culturally sensitive care. The participants also learned about the need for further research on Native American communities and end-of-life care.

April 27, 2021, Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask a Lawyer About Advance Directive

Presented by Debra Schuster, Elder and Disability Law Attorney. Deb was available to answer any and all questions posed by the participants about advance directives – durable powers of attorney for health care, financial matters, living wills, and other advance care planning documents answered in an open Q&A session.

March 24, 2021, Supporting People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Throughout the Disease Process

Presented by Anna Zelinske, MA, CRC, CCM. Participants gained an increase in understanding of ALS and the disease process, as well as how ALS impacts a person’s life and the way the person interacts with the world. Participants also learned about the programs and services the ALS Association – St. Louis Regional Chapter offers people with ALS from the time of diagnosis through the end of life.

February 18, 2021, Death, Dying, and Cultural Norms

Presented by Dahley Mensah, LMSW, QMHP. Participants engaged in a discussion on spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of the dying process, how culture/tradition can inform caregivers and loved ones’ responses to hospice care, cultural influences on nutrition at the end of life, customs and disposition of body (sepulcher), and cultural differences and response to grief and anticipatory grief.

December 17, 2020, Music Therapy in Hospice and Palliative Care

Presented by Kathryn Coccia, MM, MT-BC, and Andrew Dwiggins, M.A., MT-BC. Research supports the use of music therapy in hospice and palliative care to address physical, psychological, social, and spiritual goals—the four domains of “Total Pain.” In this presentation, the participants learned how to correctly identify what is music therapy and what is not music therapy, how to identify situations where a music therapy referral is appropriate, how to integrate music therapists into your patient’s treatment team to improve the quality of care they receive, and how to describe at least one music therapy intervention used in hospice and/or palliative care.

November 10, 2020, Ethical Issues Related to Organ Donation

Presented by Jason T. Eberl; Professor of Health Care Ethics and Director of the Alber Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, St. Louis University. Dr. Eberl has numerous book publications on bioethics and Christianity, in addition to journal articles ranging from Covid-19 related ethical challenges as well as Catholic social teaching and Metaphysical Ethical Perspectives. The participants learned about the process of organ procurement and distribution in the U.S., as well as the various cultural and religious perspectives on organ donation. The participants became familiar with critical analysis of permanent ethical issues, such as models of consent and the determination of death.

October 1, 2020, What an End-of-Life Doula IS and IS NOT

Presented by Deanna Cochran, RN. This event was co-hosted by Gateway End-of-Life Coalition and The Midwest End-of-Life Doula Collective. The purpose of this program was to provide information about end-of-life doulas and their increasingly important role in the community. End-of-life Doulas are non-medical companions to the dying and their families. They provide a wide range of holistic services, including physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support. The end-of-life doula may work with families from initial diagnosis through bereavement. Deanna examined this growing field and how trained end-of-life doulas can complement the care that hospice and end-of-life professionals provide. The participants learned the scope of an end-of-life doula and the difference between an end-of-life doula and hospice services. They learned how to utilize a doula if they are a hospice or palliative care agency. Participants also learned what to look for, how to hire and utilize a doula if you are a family member. The Midwest End-of-Life Doula Collective is comprised of professionally trained end-of-life doulas and doulas in training who serve the dying and their families.

May 7, 2020 Zoom with Barbara Karnes

This was our first event during the pandemic. Our presenter was Barbara Karnes, RN Award Winning End of Life Educator, Award Winning Nurse, NHPCO Hospice Innovator Award Winner 2018 & 2015 International Humanitarian Woman of the Year. While at the bedside of hundreds of people during the dying process, Hospice Pioneer Barbara Karnes noticed that each death was following a near identical script. Each person was going through the stages of death in almost the same manner and most families came to her with similar questions. These realizations led Barbara to sit down and write Gone From My Sight, “The Little Blue Book” that changed the hospice industry.  For our event, Ms Karnes shared insights about giving care at the end of life during Covid and took questions.  More information about her materials at

January 20, 2020 Funeral and Body Disposition Options

Dan Loesche, Embalmer & Funeral Director, Body Donation Program, Washington University, Tim Cusick, Manager, St. Louis Cremation, Amy Beth Dormire, Funeral Director, Baue Funeral Homes, Rebecca Bathon, MSW, LCSW, Co-chair for Barnes Jewish Hospital’s Ethic’s Consult Committee. In this panel presentation, participants learned facts and information regarding cremation, green funerals, prearrangements, body donation, and transplant donation. The presenters discussed considerations regarding each option including costs, laws, logistics, religious beliefs and resources to help guide individuals and families. Gateway End-of-Life board member Heather Bell will moderate the presentation.

October 15, 2019, Communication Challenges in Hospice & Palliative Care

Dan Loesche, Embalmer & Funeral Director, Body Donation Program, Washington University, Tim Cusick, Manager, St. Louis Cremation, Amy Beth Dormire, Funeral Director, Baue Funeral Homes, Rebecca Bathon, MSW, LCSW, Co-chair for Barnes Jewish Hospital’s Ethic’s Consult Committee This panel discussion included Dr. Monica Muir (Mercy), Dr. Kyle Moylan (Esse, SSM), Colleen Gilmore, APN (BJC),
and Heather Bell, MSW, LCSW, ACHP (BJC), representing four specialties: pediatrics, geriatrics, palliative and hospice care. They shared their perspectives of communication challenges in the delivery and advocacy of hospice & palliative care and strategies for communicating with interprofessional team members, referring clinicians, and patients and families about the role and benefits of hospice and palliative care.

August 20, 2019, Welcoming Spaces for LGBTQ People in End-of-Life Care

Dan Steward, MS presented a framework, rooted in the fundamentals of language, policy, and
barriers to care related to the LGBTQ community. He helped us understand the unique legal,
psychosocial, spiritual, and care planning and coordination challenges for the LGBTQ community,
and how to implement evidence-based best practices in advanced care planning, palliative and end-of-life care for LGBTQ individuals. Click here for the PowerPoint.

July 18, 2019, Summer Speaker Conference – Ethical Foundations of Advance Care Planning: Promises, Pitfalls and Practicalities

Presented by Patrick McCruden, DBE, MTS, HEC-C and  Kirsten Dempsey, MA, this event provided an understanding of the ethical foundations of advance care planning, common challenges encountered in implementing advance care plans, and how a public health approach to advance care planning can enhance autonomy, contribute to public health and improve care at the end of life.  Click here for the PowerPoint.

June 4, 2019 Demystifying Myths and Fears Around Advance Directives

Debbie Schuster, Attorney/ Elder and Adult Mediator and Laura Matson, MA, M.eD. This was a follow up workshop to April 16th event on Health Care Directives and Living Wills.  Participants had the opportunity to complete their Advance Directive & have it notarized. The presentation included, myths and fears around completing an Advance Directive, the different Advance Directives available, the importance of including a HIPPA form in your Advance Directives Portfolio, and when is it necessary to complete a POLST or TPOPP form(s).

April 16, 2019 Health Care Directives and Living Wills: “What Are They All About?”

Debbie Schuster, Attorney/ Elder and Adult Mediator and Laura Matson, MA, M.eD led an interactive workshop covering the legal distinctions among the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Living Will, Right of Sepulcher, DNR, Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Order (OHDNR), POLST, TPOPP and other transportable physician orders, how various commercially available pre-printed Living Will documents differ and if any are more legally accurate/appropriate than another, how to work with other states’ health care documents and handling situations in which a patient may not have any documents appointing a health care decision-maker, and about dispute resolution techniques to address conflicts between health care appointees and non-appointed family members.

January 15, 2019, Workshop – Hospice is Palliative Care, but Palliative Care is not Hospice

Presented by Michelle Schultz, MD and Joanne Schleicher, MSSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW, Mercy Clinic Palliative Care. This presentation covered the differences between Hospice and Palliative Care, how to introduce and explain Hospice and Palliative Care to patients, families and other health care providers, the benefit and use of the Interdisciplinary Team in Palliative Care, and how to promote education about Palliative Care in the community. Click here for the PowerPoint.

October 16, 2018, Workshop – Common Psychiatric Disorders at the End-of-Life

Presented by Allison Jordan, MD, HMDC.  This presentation provided an understanding of the prevalence and presentation of psychiatric disorders at end-of-life, an appreciation of how personality traits can exert an influence on patient care, and pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments for psychological distress at end-of-life.  Click here for the PowerPoint.

August 21, 2018, Multidisciplinary Use of Dignity Therapy and Life Review

Presented by Eileen Spinner, MA, LPC. This presentation covered understanding the theoretical and empirical foundations of Dignity Therapy and life review,  describing tools and instruments that can be used when implementing Dignity Therapy and life review, and identifying how Dignity Therapy and life review can be applied to a diverse range of patients and care partners. Click here for the PowerPoint.  Click here for the Handouts.  Click here for a Related Article.

July 19, 2018, Sixth Annual Summer Speaker Conference – Freedom Beyond the “Right to Die”: Ethical and Policy Implications

Presented by Harold Braswell. This presentation provided a detailed introduction to the ethics of U.S. end-of-life care. It began with a discussion of one of the central controversies in end-of-life ethics: medical aid in dying or the “right to die.” It then argued that we should move “beyond” the right to die to consider the ethical implications of U.S. hospice care more broadly. By moving beyond the right to die, we can have a fuller understanding of end-of-life ethics, and a richer toolkit to promote social justice for dying people.  Click here for the handout.

May 5, 2018, Workshop – Care Delivery and Advance Care Planning: Connecting the Personal with the Professional

Presented by Cara L. Wallace, April Trees, Jennifer and Leslie Hinyard. Participants were updated on literature about barriers in advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care and information for how clinician’s own personal experiences of loss, death, and personal ACP may be connected to professional practices. Click here for the PowerPoint.

April 17, 2018, Workshop – Demystifying the Dying Process

Susie Pekios, LCSW, MSW, MA and Julianne Fels, RN, CHPN, ANP At the presented ways Advance Care Planning can aid in the dying process,  identified signs of normal, expected physical changes that happen months, weeks, days and hours before someone takes their last breath and talked about ways dying people shift away from this earth in an emotional and spiritual sense.  They identified some of the “Needs of the Dying” and explored evidence of “Nearing Death Awareness” – What it is and what it means.

January 16, 2018, Workshop –  Conscious Self-Care, Music, and Your Energetic Presence 

Amy Camie, Spiritual Harpist demonstrated how sympathetic resonance, forced resonance, and entrainment influence our thoughts, feelings, relationships, and communication. The presentation provided a deeper understanding of the power of music and the importance of making conscious self-care choices that support providers and those around them.

2017 – 2018 The Conversation Project at St Louis County Library Locations

Using The Conversation Starter Kit, Gateway End-of-Life board members, Joan Bretthauer and Kim Gladstone guided participants through steps for having a discussion about end-of-life wishes. Oct 6 Weber Road Branch, Oct 13 Grant’s View, Nov 1 Bridgeton Trails Branch, Nov 16 Prairie Commons Branch, Jan 11 Florissant Valley Branch.

October 17, 2017, Workshop – Polypharmacy in Patients with Life-Limiting Illnesses

Dr. Patrick White, Chief Medical Officer, BJC Hospice identified commonly used medications that lack scientific evidence to support routine use in care for patients with life-limiting illnesses, the toxicity from a commonly used supplement that may harm quality of life in patients with life-limiting illnesses and one strategy for reducing unnecessary medications in patients with advanced illness.

August 15, 2017,  Workshop – Renal Disease and End of Life: Common Challenges and Symptom Management 

Presented by Dr. Thanh-Mai Vo, St Louis University, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology. This event covered the incidence and prevalence of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), the typical prognosis of the patient with ESRD, the perspective of patients living with ESRD, the role of shared decision making in ESRD and how to manage the patient with ESRD who decides to forego dialysis.  For the PowerPoint click here.

July 27, 2017 – Fifth Annual Summer Speaker Conference –  Fundamentals of Faith: Religious Perspectives on Serious Illness, Advance Care Planning, and End of Life  

Presented by Reverend Deborah Burch, Chaplain Bob Eigenrauch, Imam Orhan Kaya, Rabbi Dale Schreiber, with Dr. Gary Behrman, Moderator. This diverse panel helped attendees increase their knowledge of a variety of religious beliefs and practices regarding advance care planning and end-of-life issues, develop inclusive attitudes about how diverse religious perspectives inform practice at end-of-life, acquire skills and obtain resources on how to support persons and partners-in-care, in ways that incorporate and respect diverse faith traditions.  For handouts, click here.

April 18, 2017 , Workshop – Creative Expression and Advance Care Planning: Art and Provider Self Awareness  

Presented by Jill Oberle, MD, Becky Lasater, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Nicole Landwehr, MSW, LMSW, Kara Moreno, BSW candidate, Laurie Chappell, RN, MS. In this experiential workshop, attendees learned of the role of provider self-awareness in relation to advance care planning, the potential benefits of expressive arts to patients, providers, and the community in relation to advance care planning, the experience of participating in an expressive arts activity.

January 17, 2017, Workshop – The Role of Pets in Death and Dying  

Presented by  Sharon Orlet, MDiv, Mary Ann Virant, Allison White, ACSW, LCSW, CCDP-D and Kelly Karavousanos, LPC, CT.  At his event, attendees learned about the benefits of pet-human relationships including how pets may benefit patients and caregivers at the end of life, the mechanisms by which pets can aid in the bereavement process and what pets themselves need when aiding others at the end of life.  January 2017 PowerPoint

Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Workshop – Understanding Elder Abuse At End of Life From The Hotline Investigator’s Perspective 

Presented by Candice Ellis and Nan Downing, State of Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.  At this event, attendees gained knowledge and understanding of elder abuse at end of life through an overview of current statistics,  and Adult Protective Services and how Missouri responds to hotlines including interventions.  Click here for the PowerPoint.

Thursday, August 4th, 2016, 4th Annual Summer Speaker Conference, – Conquering Conflicts: Managing Crisis & Transition

Presented by Steve Sewell. Recognize the nature of conflict, explore effective collaboration, Identify components of healthy relationships and techniques for reframing conflicts.  Click here for the Power Point.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, Workshop – Good Grief! Can’t You Just Get Over It?

Presented by Beth Barrett, MSW, LCSW, CT  & Kelly Karavousanos, LPC, CT. Participants gained an understanding of the essentials of grief as a continuum from diagnosis through after death, three dimensions of grief and best practices for supporting family and friends during grieving moments. Click here for the PowerPoints.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015, Workshop –  Compassion Fatigue: Building Resilience for Self Care presented by Gary U. Behrman

This workshop presented an opportunity for participants to self-examine their strengths amidst the many changing demands that occur when serving those at the end of life. The model described moving from caregiving to partners in care as a means to build resilience. Click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation.

August 6, 2015, – Workshop – Ethics at the End of Life: Understanding Conflict and Seeking Resolution

Presented by Rachelle Barina. Attendees learned to understand the importance and scope of ethics for their institution/organization and for themselves as a person, to understand theoretical explanations that may underlie moral institutions and differences of opinion and to deepen their moral imagination and improve their capacity to respond to ethical conflicts.  Click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation.

July 21, 2015, 3rd Annual Summer Speaker Conference –  Funeral Options – Decisions and Finances 

Panelists: John Baue Devaney, Karen Shine, Desirae Roseneau, Sharon Randall Gardner, Dan Loesche. Attendees explored options available after death: burial, body donation, cremation, etc., services provided by each option, specifics of the programs offered that cater to their clients and considerations for the choices they have to make before death (pros and cons of each type of service).

April 21, 2015, Workshop  – “Who Cares? How to Initiate a Caring Conversation about One’s Wishes at End of Life”

Presented By: Heather Bell, MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW. Participants gained knowledge and understanding of reasons why it’s important to discuss end-of-life goals and wishes early, several tools to help with the Caring Conversations about EOL wishes and ways to ensure one’s EOL wishes are honored.

January 20, 2015, Workshop – The Kaleidoscope of Spirituality: Creating Connections to Enrich Quality at End-of-Life

Presented by Elizabeth Wilde, MSW, LCSW and Jason Winfrey RN, BSN, CHPN. Attendees expanded their worldview regarding the importance of applying diverse spiritual approaches at the end-of-life, identified spiritual themes that appear at end-of-life,  and applied approaches to empower patients to move from suffering to transformation.

October 21, 2014, Workshop – “An Introduction to Caring for Veterans at End of Life”  

Presented by Charli Prather, MSW LCSW RYT CCTP. Participants gained knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of Veterans, practical interventions for engaging their patient, ways to minimize patient and family stress, and yoga and meditation techniques for Veterans and those experiencing trauma and grief.

 Thursday, August 7, 2014,  Wishes to Die For: Emerging Issues in End-of-Life Care

This conference brought together three perspectives on critical issues in end-of-life care. Our presenters shared their extensive experience in cultivating the skills and sensitivities in listening to persons at end-of-life; and presented challenges and opportunities for health care professionals to develop creative and effective approaches to serving persons and their families at end-of-life. Click here  for PowerPoint slide presentation.

Thursday, August 7, 2014,  Difficult, but Not Impossible: The Physician’s Role with Advance Directives 

Presented by J. Paul Newell, MD & Susan Andresen, Ed.D.

Through an open conversation, we explored ways in which advance care planning and directives can support the wishes of the dying and their families and lift some of the burden from their health care professionals; and how to create timely, structured, and helpful conversations with patients and their families about end-of-life care. Click here for the slide presentation.

 Thursday, August 7, 2014 – Desire for Hastened Death: Critical Evaluation and Management in Palliative Care Patients.  

Presented by Mark F. Heiland, Ph.D & Anupam Agarwal, M.D., MSHA.  Desire for hastened death is a wish for death to occur prior to natural death. It is expressed in the context of progressive disease, a response to symptoms of physical and psychological suffering. Typically it does not involve active suicidal ideation or request for assisted suicide. This presentation outlined critical recommendations to assist providers in identifying patients with a desire for hastened death.  Identifying and managing approaches to these palliative care patients is challenging. Barriers to assess DHD and risk factors to both provider and patients were discussed.  Click here for the slide presentation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 – Preserving a Promise for Care: The Changing Landscape of Hospice Care   

Presented By: Tiffany Webster, CSM, LCSW, Judy Mange, PT, MBA, CMC & Maria Madeleine Kolbet Air Force Veteran, MSW. Attendees gained knowledge of the history and evolution of the Gateway Alliance for Compassionate Care at End of Life and the efforts to advocate for end-of-life issues in St. Louis area, the history and evolution of hospice care in St. Louis and lessons learned in developing the first free-standing hospice in the area, various hospice models and their impact on service in St. Louis, the Medicare Hospice benefit and how it has helped to expand services, the forecasted reimbursement plan by Medicare and the effect it will have on hospice, efforts to preserve and protect the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Click here for PowerPoint slide presentation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 – Summer 2014 Workshop/Luncheon

Click here  for PowerPoint slide presentation

Thursday, August 8, 2013 – What Really Matters: A Physician’s Vision for the Future of Care at the End of Life Presented by Dr. Karen Wyatt

This presentation examined the obstacles to effective end-of-life care that are inherent within the Western medical model, starting with the early years of medical education. The basic components of Integral Theory were presented as a rationale for understanding and overcoming the limitations of Western medicine.  Click here for PowerPoint slide presentation.