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Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition to Hold Third Annual State Conference in October

Conference Will Focus on Needs of Children with Life Limiting Illnesses and Their Families

Caring for children with serious, chronic and life-limiting illnesses is a calling that demands the utmost clinical and human capabilities from those who work in this pediatric specialty, and in Pennsylvania, they have capable support from the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition (PPCC), which is presenting its third annual statewide conference in early October.The upcoming PPCC conference, “Navigating Challenges in Pediatric Palliative and Hospice Care,” features an outstanding faculty of nationally recognized experts who will offer presentations about the clinical, ethical and psychosocial issues that confront physicians, nurses, social workers and others who care for children with serious and life-limiting illnesses and their families. The goal of the conference is to improve the lives of children by providing education for healthcare professionals; sharing resources with professionals and families; raising public awareness about pediatric palliative care; and encouraging networking across the state by convening multiple disciplines who care for children with complex medical conditions.

The all-day conference will take place Thursday, October 5, 2017, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, in Malvern, PA, near Philadelphia. Keynote speaker Chris Feudtner, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., is Director of Medical Ethics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Director of Research for the Pediatric Advance Care Team, which provides palliative care, end-of-life care and bereavement services, and the Integrated Care Service, which provides care for hospitalized children with chronic conditions. Dr. Feudtner is a pediatrician, epidemiologist, historian and medical ethicist and is widely known for his research, publications and leadership in pediatric specialty care.

A special session will present Parent Speaker Maria Kefalas, Ph.D., who has produced a video, Reframing Hope, about her daughter Cal. Mrs. Kefalas is the co-founder and executive director of the Calliope Joy Foundation, a charity that advocates for children with leukodystrophy.

Additional sessions cover a comprehensive program of topics, ranging from perinatal palliative and hospice care, to managing the needs of very ill children who are wards of the state, to the use of medical marijuana in pediatric palliative care.

PPCC has a multidisciplinary focus and encourages all pediatric healthcare professionals, hospice providers, home care providers, clergy, bereavement specialists, child life specialists, teachers, social service professionals, hospice volunteers, families and members of the community to attend the conference.

Registration fees include CEU’s. Early bird registration, until September 1, is $125 and after that the fee is $150. The fee includes breakfast and lunch. To register or to find information about sponsorships or exhibiting, visit www.ppcc-pa.org.

The Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition was founded in Pittsburgh in 2004 to improve the quality and availability of palliative care and hospice services to children. The coalition includes hospitals, home care agencies, hospice providers, bereavement groups, parent advocacy organizations and charitable organizations that serve children. Palliative care transcends the medical model and addresses the medical, social, emotional and practical needs of families.

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