Wednesday, February 7, 2007

AAHPM Preview - 2/16 - PM Sessions

This is the fifth post in a series previewing the sessions at the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine's Annual Assembly.

You can see all the posts in the series below:
2/14 - Pre-conferences
2/15 - AM Sessions
2/15 - PM Sessions
2/16 - AM Sessions

2/16 - PM Sessions
2/17 - AM Sessions
2/17 - PM Sessions

Click here for the AAHPM Annual Assembly Brochure 2007 (pdf)

Register soon
if you have not already!

(Note: I am not commenting on the lunch time activities. No particular reason.)

Friday, February 16th - PM Sessions

There are a couple of interesting talks with interesting titles here and the one that has me most intrigued is the 'Risks and Benefits of Terminal Illness Acknowledged.' Very cryptic but very interesting. I hope it offers a unique perspective as the title implies. Have not heard the speakers before, but sounds really interesting. This title has me interested: 'A Session for those Not Ready for Self-Care.' Will we learn about caring for ourselves or about how to help others who are not ready to care for themselves, or is this about the loss of independence at the EOL. I am not sure, but Martha Twaddle is a pretty good speaker, so good vibes on this one. Another slightly cryptic title is the one about the 'Pediatric Voice.' I presume this is focusing on making sure that children are involved in EOL issues, but I am not sure if this means 'pediatric hospice' or 'adults at EOL when children are present.' I find both issues interesting but would have to read the detail on the talk before deciding to go to this one or not.

Glad to see there is a methadone talk. i think this is a good idea for beginners to intermediates in this field, and probably a topic that should be present every year, given that palliative practitioners should be well familiar with this opioid as a tool for difficult pain situations. This talk is given by tow doctors from Excellerx (parent of Hospice Pharmacia), so I am guessing this will focus mostly on oral methadone. I am curious about their input on intravenous/subcutaneous methadone, given its lack of availability but possibly better cost-benefit ratios.

I am not sure about the educational value of the PC-FACS talk alone, but I think this is a great service from the AAHPM, and Amy has done a great job putting this out.

There is also a talk on brain tumors in this time slot, but I hear there is a much better one later that day...(shameless plug)


A little more weight towards policy issues with this session with some of the big guns weghing in (Von Gunten, Herbst, Casarett, Teno, Storey). All probably good talks if these policy areas (Medicare denials, QI, Pandemic Plans) are of interest to you.

Two symptom based talks look promising. The intrathecal talk one is pretty important as we will be seeing (or have seen) more and more implanted pumps for symptom control. I heard Dr. Stearns talk 2 years ago. Helpful talk. Best advice, get to know at least one pain interventionalist near you who is willing to work with the hospice field. I am lucky to have one in Rich Morgan here in KC. I am not sure what evidence the DVT talk will bring that will change my management as we have blogged here about DVT's in the past. (here and here)


Wow this is getting late in the day. I hope you are all sticking around for the best talk of the day: Palliative Care of the Brain Tumor Patient by myself and Dr. Salacz (Who has 3 talks at this conference - simmer down now!) Other than our great talk, there are some good ones in this session, like the one on ''Management of Addiction" by Crossno and 'Creating Deep Lasting Organizational Change.' I have not heard many of these speakers talk except for Chamberlain. No big comments on the other sessions although the Cardiac Program talk would be good for those looking to specialize their palliative care programs.

Phew! There are a lot of talks this day. Guess no going to Alta for me!

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