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07/25/2018

Dr. Ira Byock to keynote third annual Symposium of United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging

Dr. Ira Byock to keynote third annual Symposium of United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging

Ira ByockMARION – Dr. Ira Byock, a leading palliative care physician, author and public advocate for improving care through the end of life, will share two keynote addresses during the third annual Symposium of United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging.

The Symposium is slated for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Marriott Columbus University Area, 3100 Olentangy River Road, Columbus.

Byock, who will present Surprising Opportunities for Well-Being Through the End of Life and What Mortality Has to Teach Us About Living, is founder and chief medical officer of the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services, based in Torrance, California. He is professor emeritus of medicine and community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. From 2003 through July 2013, Byock also served as director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

He has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978, during his residency. At that time, he helped found a hospice home care program for the indigent population served by the university hospital and county clinics in Fresno, California. He is a past president (1997) of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

“We are thrilled to bring the expertise of Dr. Ira Byock to Ohio for this one-day conference,” said Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, executive director of the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging. “This is a unique opportunity for senior living administrators, social workers, chaplains and other professionals to hear one of the nation’s leading physicians speak about end-of-life care.”

Byock has authored numerous articles on the ethics and practice of care. His research has led to conceptual frameworks for the lived experience of advanced illness, subjective quality of life measures and simple, effective life-completion counseling. His leadership in development of groundbreaking prototypes for concurrent care of people through the end of life has been foundational to advancing patient-directed care.

Byock’s first book, Dying Well, (1997) has become a standard in the field of hospice and palliative care. The Four Things That Matter Most (2004) is widely used as a counseling tool by palliative care and hospice programs, as well as within pastoral care. His most recent book, The Best Care Possible (March 2012) tackles the crisis that surrounds serious illness and dying in America and details his quest to transform care through the end of life. The Best Care Possible has been praised by the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and other major publications, and won the Annual Books for a Better Life Award in the wellness category.

The event’s afternoon session will feature four spiritual leaders sharing their perspectives on end of life and reflecting how their traditions approach the experiences that make this time of life sacred.

Panelists are David T. Ball, a partner at Rosenberg & Ball Co.; Rabbi Wendy Ungar, MaHL, advanced chaplain practitioner of the palliative care team at Riverside Methodist Hospital; Lama Kathy Wesley, resident teacher of Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center; and Asma Mobin-Uddin, lead physician of the Clinical Bioethics Consultation Service of The Ohio State University Center for Bioethics.

“Since one’s faith journey and spiritual practices connect us to what is personally most important, it is invaluable to understand the connections between end-of-life decisions and our systems of belief,” Long-Higgins said. “We are excited to provide space for an interfaith discussion on palliative care.” 

Registration is available beginning Aug. 1 by visiting https://abundantaging18.eventbrite.com.

For more information about United Church Homes, visit unitedchurchhomes.org.

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About United Church Homes:  United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The faith-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 74 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

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