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Bringing Pediatric Palliative Care to the Home Front
A Regional Conference for Rural Providers

Pittsburgh, PA- (March 2, 2018) – Children who are seriously ill usually receive specialized medical care in Pennsylvania’s world-renowned pediatric medical centers, but the children and their families also need to have palliative and hospice care services available to them in their home communities. The Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition (PPCC) is inviting all providers in northwestern Pennsylvania to respond to this growing need by learning how they can provide this valuable and essential care with competence and confidence to children in their own communities. To achieve this goal, PPCC is presenting a one-day conference, Pediatric Palliative Care: A Toolkit for Community Providers, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 10 am to 3 pm at UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital.

The conference is open to all those who care about the health and well-being of children, and especially to hospice and home care providers. “We are presenting this conference to help rural providers see the value of pediatric palliative and hospice care and understand that, although they may not have a high volume of pediatric patients, they are qualified to support and care for them competently,” says Lisa To, executive director of Hospice of Warren County and conference co-chairman. “Our speakers will present practical tools to get involved and to become comfortable. Local providers are an enormous support to families on the home front. Children at end-of-life can and should be cared for in their own homes and communities.”

Keynote speaker Scott Mauer, M.D., Medical Director of the Supportive Care Program at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, will offer guidelines for caring for very ill children at home and having “difficult conversations” with their families.  Lynn Weissert, R.N., CHPN, a nurse with Great Lakes Hospice, will present an interactive workshop on putting the tools into action.

“The resources to care for children with life limiting illnesses and their families exist in every community,” says Betsy Hawley, PPCC executive director. “PPCC can help mobilize those resources, provide education and tools, and serve as an ongoing support. We need everyone to be on board: the hospitals, hospices, home care agencies, school systems and other community members. No one provider can give a family everything they need, but they can each play a part. With this conference, we hope to spread the word and inspire communities to help us make this happen.”

The conference will take place in the Lincoln Education Center at 118 East Second Street.  Registration begins at 9:30 am; the fee of $15 includes lunch. CEUs are available. To register, visit www.ppcc-pa.org.

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