health & fitness
Caring Community from page 61
Diane E, Mertt, 4D
Director, Center to Advance Patliativit-Cat
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April 14 m 2011
Hapkv Carr .
Dr. Diane Meir was one of the major speakers.
ative care. "Jewish hospice is leading
the way in showing the importance
of spiritual support to our patients.
Jewish hospice had the wisdom,
the vision, to see that this spiritual
component did not have to be repro-
duced hospital to hospital, but can
be an outside resource available to
The Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy
Network (JHCN) does not compete
with any other hospice agency or
providers. We exist to augment and
expand the care they render by pro-
viding their patients with the Jewish
component. We are the unifying
element with the distinct ability to
bring together all of these compet-
ing entities so that we can learn
together, work together and go back
into the field to benefit the patients
and family member caregivers we all
JHCN had the vision to create the
Caring Coalition, bringing together
more than 50 medical care providers,
hospices, social service agencies and
community organizations as part-
ners working to advance the cause
of greater education in end-of-life
and palliative care. Our sponsorship
coalition is committed to ensuring
that those facing serious or terminal
illness receive the best care pos-
sible, and our yearly conference is the
showcase of that dedication.
Mr. and Mrs. Shenkman's foresight
in establishing the Jack and Miriam
Shenkman Caregiving Team has given
JHCN the ability to assume this lead-
ership role in the hospice and pallia-
tive care world and to train not only
our staff but the whole community.
Chaired by Carolyn Cassin, a leader
in the hospice movement since 1983,
and myself, this year's conference also
featured a panel of speakers from the
four major health networks in the
area — Beaumont Hospital, DMC
(Wayne State), Henry Ford Health
System and St. John Providence
Health Systems — as well as from
the Maggie Allesee Center, Hospice of
Michigan, and Seasons Hospice.
Our annual conference depends
on the dedication of Cheryl Weiss
and Bashy Zeiler, who not only help
plan and develop the conference, but
facilitate the accreditation certifica-
tion process, communicate with
our coalition partners and oversee
the logistics of hosting such a large
conference with its wide range of
exhibitors in the impressive Shaaarey
Attendees have already marked
their calendars for next March, when
our fifth annual conference will
feature keynoter Ira Byock, M.D., a
renowned author in our field from
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center,
whose first book Dying Well has
become core reading on the subject.
The monies donated by our com-
munity enables our JHCN team to be
very effective in advocating for our
patients and families because we give
so much to the hospice community.
Our efforts to educate the southeast
Michigan healthcare community on
life-limiting illness results in better
care for Jewish patients.
We rest every night, knowing that
the Jewish community is in good
hands thanks to your continued sup-
port of our holy work.
Rabbi E.B. Freedman is director of the
Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network,
based in West Bloomfield.