Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2016 AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly - Friday

by Christian Sinclair

This is the Friday March 11, 2016 preview for the AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly. To learn more about this conference check out our overview, or see the previews for WednesdayThursday and Saturday.

As noted in the first preview, you have the stellar early-riser concurrent sessions, but the gem will be the plenary speaker Candy Chang who created the "Before I die..." walls project.  I'm thankful the conference  organizers recognize the importance of cultural influence in hospice and palliative care. Candy Chang helps encourage the conversation long before people become patients. You can read more about this project from our 2012 post on it by Dr. Holly Yang.

After the plenary, two sessions really caught my eye: Dignity Therapy: Narratives at the End of Life by Weckmann, White and Montross Thomas and "Bas Sona": Healing versus Sedating Using a Celtic Framework for Total Pain by Dieter, Waitkevich, Williams and Berry. Having read so much about Dignity Therapy, it will be nice to hear directly from practitioners applying the knowledge. And with Bas Sona, you got me hooked because I have no clue what it is, and my curiosity gene has been tickled.

Botulinum toxin for symptom control, pediatric VADs, and helping the unbefriended are all unique topics covered Friday afternoon, so don't think about playing hooky just yet. The one that catches my eye is the Prognostication, Relatedness and Hospice Formulary talk by Crook, Harrold, Lund Person, and Sears. Even though I am not a current hospice medical director (HMD), this topic is really important to sustainability of hospice organizations, and the threat of audits when rules are not clear or unequally followed in the community.

Later that day, the session by Kaye, Mahoney, Lyman and Cunningham on Face-To-Face Interdisciplinary Postmortem Review as a Tool to Mitigate Complicated Bereavement and Promote Legacy Building is intriguing because the title is one of the longest, and it sounds like a unique way to still care for patients and families even after death.

This day also has a few opioid safety sessions, which honestly you didn't see much at this conference in the past. Will a Better Mousetrap Help When You Work In A Lion's Den? What is the Role of Abuse-Deterrent Pharmaceuticals in Hospice and Palliative Care? by Barclay, Ray, Klempter, Capobianco and Why Are You So Scared? Managing Risk and Safe Prescribing of Opioids in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by Esch and Goldberg both highlight the difficulties of balancing access top pain medications and protecting the larger public health concern over opioid overdoses.

On Friday evening, many of us may be going out to sample the fine food in Chicago, but consider going to the Service of Remembrance and Celebration from 6-7pm before dinner. A solemn but meaningful opportunity to honor those in our field and those close to home.

Don't forget Friday is also the last day to see the exhibits and posters!

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