Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Annual Teleconference To Address End-of-Life Issues

Published April 7, 2005

A panel discussion featuring nationally known speakers on ethical dilemmas related to end of life will be presented at the Hospice Foundation of America’s 12th annual bereavement teleconference.

The panel will address the relationship of ethics, values, religion and legalities.

VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Atlanta will serve as a local downlink sponsor.

The national, live-via-satellite broadcast takes place Wednesday, April 20, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

The teleconference, which is free of charge, will provide information of particular interest to healthcare professionals, clergy, lay people, attorneys and others concerned with end-of-life care issues.

Continuing education units are available at a $25 charge for professionals who attend. Registration for CE students begins at 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by broadcast journalist Cokie Roberts, the national panel includes ethicists, educators, gerontologists and hospice professionals who will consider the role of place, religion, culture and other variables in defining medical ethics in end-of-life care.

“The Terry Schiavo case has been making national headlines recently, but caregivers face ethics decisions every day,” says Brenda Presha, VITAS bereavement services manager in Atlanta. “This teleconference will offer constructive advice on the daily circumstances that challenge those of us who care for the dying.”

A local panel of experts will lead the discussion following the teleconference. They include Rabbi Scott Saulson, Jewish Families and Career Center; Rev. Jackie Watt, retired ICU chaplain at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Robert Sprinkle, D. Min., Emory University Rollins School of Public Health; Robert Cowgill, M.D., VITAS medical director; Sister Sally White, ICU chaplain, St. Joseph’s Hospital; and Director Laura Williams, R.N., M.B.A., N.C.B.F., palliative care coordinator, St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The teleconference is sponsored by VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Atlanta and St. Joseph’s Hospital. For more information or to register to attend, call Ramona Franklin at (404) 851-7837 or Brenda Presha at (404) 874-8313.

VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, a pioneer and leader in the hospice movement since 1978, is the nation’s largest provider of end-of-life care. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, VITAS operates 34 hospice programs in 12 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin). VITAS employs 7,159 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily, primarily in the patients’ homes but also in the company’s 24 inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities/residential care facilities for the elderly.