Mastodon AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Preview - Saturday Feb 2nd ~ Pallimed

Saturday, January 26, 2008

AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Preview - Saturday Feb 2nd

Since there is so much going on at the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Annual Assembly I will just cover some of the highlights of each day. This is the last one covering the conference sessions. You can find the previous ones at the links below...or get the whole series in one document for easy printing.

Previous posts for 2008 Annual Assembly:
AAHPM Pre-Conferences Wed Jan 30th
HPNA Pre-Conferences Wed Jan 30th

AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Thu Jan 31st
AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Fri Feb 1st

Saturday, February 2nd


AAHPM and HPNA SIG Meetings
Never been to a Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting? You should find one that interests you and get there to #1) Network with like minded individuals, and #2) Make some change for our profession and support the AAHPM and HPNA. The SIG's are split up over this AM and Thursday PM. You can see the barely active Professionals-in-Training Special Interest Group at


While many sessions this AM may cover topics that interest you, I highly recommend the Case Conference's during this session, 9:45-10:45a, and 11am-Noon (last one not listed in mailed program). Each case conference session has 3 cases presented by students, residents, fellows of various disciplines with plenty of time for Q&A afterwards. This is the 4th year of the Case Conferences and if you have not been to one yet, make time to go. Here is a list of the cases to be presented at the PIT-SIG Blog. I am grateful to the AAHPM/HPNA for expanding this session to three sessions this year. It is a real pleasure for me to work with the submissions and see how much the response to this opportunity for Professionals-in-Training to present at a national conference.

Another great topic is Hypodermoclysis by Gomez (Woodlands), Robb and Voiles (MD Anderson) and working with patients who cannot speak and another session on substance abuse. For those interested in hypodermoclysis (subcutaneous administration of fluids), I highly recommend the free article from American Family Physician which includes practical tips.


Besides the second of the Case Conferences, I am most intrigued by the talk by Baker and Berger (NIH) titled Being There: Extrapolating the Meaning of Support. "Being present" along with "dignity therapy" are two areas that palliativists practice all of the time, but rarely have a structured framework for understanding or giving credit for all that they do. To highlight this topic there is a recent blog post by an Emergency Physician who acted well by "being there" for a dying patient in his ED.

Although the proportion of HIV patients in hospice has dropped in the last decade, understanding the place for HAART in Hospice by Norris (Lifepath) would be good for the practitioner who works closely with this population. Also there is another "State of the Science" lecture this time on Supportive Care for Pulmonary Disease by Rocker (Dalhousie University). I am guessing these are labeled State of The Science since they are invited lectures? Is there some sort of trademark on "State of the Science?" If not I need to cash in on that.


Last of the Case Conferences this session. Along with the previous talk on Medical Errors, the theme of Palliative Care Consults Gone Wrong is great to see at a conference. Our field cannot improve if we are not quick to point out our failings, or missteps. I wonder how many palliative care teams or hospices have some version of M&M conferences? Small I would imagine. Many thanks to Galanos and Gentry (Duke) for presenting this. For those who have not worked with Dr. Galanos, he is a very good palliative care clinician, I am sorry I will be missing his talk since I will be at the Case Conferences. Ritchie (UAB), Kvale (UAB), and Bruera (MD Anderson) cover Cachexia, probably presenting some info gathered from the recent Cachexia conference. A group of Florida Hospices present how to approach hospice patients about much needed research. Filling out the rest of the session are Depression, Radiation Oncology, Nausea/Vomiting and Geriatric Palliative Care


Debility Unspecified and Failure to Thrive as Appropriate Hospice Diagnoses are presented by Rozynes and Beroldi (Vitas) which would be of great interest to those working with many LTC facilities. I wonder if they might have any inside scoop as to CMS possibly planning to change reimbursement mechanisms for LTC patients? Eric Prommer (Mayo) presents on Spinal Cord Compression. If anyone wants any hints about how to get accepted to AAHPM for a talk, talk to Dr. Prommer. He is presenting three topics this year, and I recall him presenting at least 2-3 sessions for each of the last few years. Tell him Pallimed sent you. And further encouraging the role of research at hospices, Melissa Carlson (Mount Sinai) helps us in Designing and Analyzing Observational Studies.

State of the Science
by Fischberg (The Queen's Medical Center)
and Goldstein (Mount Sinai)

Always a great lecture to end with, as has been tradition for the last few years at least. Entertaining and informative these two do a classy job in giving us the key research articles that can help us provide quality care and inform our non-palliative peers on how our field can help. I hypothesize that their talk is going to be very similar to the Annals of Internal Medicine Update in Palliative Medicine article (free after July 2008). Here is a link to the table that summarizes the highlights. AAHPM usually publishes their slides on the front page after the conference as well for those who miss the talk.

Phew. Done. No more posts about the conference.

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