Dying in America: Ensuring the Best Care Possible

| By Casa de la Luz

Leading hospice and palliative care physician and bestselling author, Dr. Ira Byock returns to Tucson as the keynote speaker for the 12th annual Casa de la Luz Foundation End of Life Conference on Friday, November 9 at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church.

 “We make dying harder,” states Dr. Byock. “We all want the best care possible for ourselves, our spouses, parents, for our patients. One size doesn’t fit all.” During his keynote presentation, Dr. Byock will expand on how the healthcare community needs to respond in newer and more innovative ways to change how we treat serious and chronic illness.

The theme of this year’s conference is Dying in America: Ensuring the Best Care Possible. Each year, the Foundation conference seeks to address the state of death and dying in America by creating a space for open dialogue and educating the community about issues at end of life.

“There is no greater voice for compassionate end of life care in our country than Dr. Ira Byock,” said Frank Williams, conference chairperson and Casa de la Luz Foundation board member. “Dr. Byock’s quest to transform care through the end of life speaks to one of the major concerns we have today in our society.”

Dr. Byock is one of the foremost palliative care physicians in the country and professor at Dartmouth Medical School. He argues that how we die is among the biggest national crises facing us today and has been a consistent advocate for the voice and rights of incurably ill patients and their families. He is the author of bestselling books, Dying Well, The Four Things That Matter Most, and his most recent, The Best Care Possible, as well as numerous published essays. He has also been featured on Nightline, Talk of the Nation, The NewsHour, and he and his team were featured in November 2009 on CBS’ 60 Minutes, in a segment, “The Cost of Dying,” which won a Peabody award for journalism.

Experts in the field of death and dying will host morning and afternoon workshops for conference participants. The one-day conference is open to healthcare professionals, caregivers, volunteers, and community members interested in improving end of life care. More than 200 attendees are expected to attend this year’s event.

Funding for the 12th Annual End of Life Conference was provided by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona through the Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund as well as additional sponsors and private donations.

To register for the Thursday evening seminar or the Friday all-day conference, go to www.casafoundation.orgor call 520-544-9890. Early reservations are recommended as space is limited.

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