Annual conference trains professionals,
highlights the work of Jewish hospice.
Palliative Care — the new kid on the
hanks to the philanthropy of the
block in medical practice — focuses on
Jewish community, whose gener-
relieving suffering and achieving the best
ous donations both large and
small continue to make our work possible, quality of life for patients and their fam-
ily caregivers, a great advantage not just
the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network
for hospice patients but for anyone facing
works daily to get the best care for our
long-term, non-terminal illness.
patients. We learned early on, however,
Dr. Diane Meier is shaping
that we can't just be "shnorrers,"
this rapidly growing field,
we have to be seen in the com-
making its benefits available
munity at large as leaders.
to millions of Americans suf-
So while we need to fight and
fering from serious illness.
advocate for our patients, we
In her geriatric practice at
also need to lead and give back,
Mount Sinai Medical Center in
so that the health care system
New York, she recognized that
believes in our mission.
modern medicine's focus on
To that end, our fourth annual
curing disease and prolonging
Caring Coalition Conference,
life failed to treat the physi-
"The Science of Comfort Care
cal. and psychological distress
recently brought together 725
of patients in both early and
professionals working in hospice
Special to the
advanced stages of serious
and palliative care through-
out Southeastern Michigan at
In answer, Meier estab-
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
Southfield to learn from nationally promi- lished the Hertzberg Palliative Care
Institute at Mount Sinai, a model pro-
nent physicians in the field.
gram that assists patients and families in
MacArthur Fellow Dr. Diane Meier, a
navigating the complexities of illness and
pre-eminent authority on palliative care,
devising strategies for managing pain and
delivered the keynote address and was
joined by Duke University's Dr. Harold
During the conference, Meier com-
Koenig, National Hospice and Palliative
mented on the unique position of Jewish
Care Organization's Dr. David Casarett,
and Seasons Hospice's Dr. Robert Zalenski. hospice in the field of hospice and palli-
Exhibits and attendees filled one of Shaarey Zedek's social halls.
Attendees were able to discuss the sessions over lunch.
Caring Community on page 62
April 14 • 2011