Fourth annual hospice conference Oct. 16-17

COOKEVILLE – The Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation and the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) are presenting the 4th annual Hospice Conference, “Our Human Journey: Stories of life, love, hope and loss,” from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Bell Hall, 10 W. Seventh Ave. on TTU’s campus. 

The keynote speaker is Amanda Bennett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former Wall Street Journal international correspondent and author of the book “The Cost of Hope,” where she shares her story of life and love with her husband Terence Foley and an account of his illness and treatment in our health care system. She will speak Thursday evening and open the conference event Friday.

Also presenting Friday is nationally known and Nashville-based speaker-songwriter-storyteller Minton Sparks with an accompanying guitarist. Minton has performed at the Lincoln Center, the Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival, NPR All Things Considered and TED health care conference.

“We are so excited to have an internationally-known keynote speaker for both sessions,” said Bernice O’Roark, chair of the Upper Cumberland Regional Hospice and palliative care committee and retired founding director of the Ohio Hospice Organization.

Dr. James Meadows, director of palliative care for Tennessee Oncology, is another favorite speaker from past conferences and brings new material in his unique style. O’Roark will finish the day with stories of heroes at the end of life. The audience will also have an opportunity to share special stories from their families and experiences.

There is also an additional short session at the Cookeville Center for the Performing Arts from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.

The public is welcome to this conference and cost is $5 for Friday evening and $10 for Friday (lunch included). Nursing and social work CEUs and physician CMEs are available at minimal extra cost. Parking is available behind the building. 

The hospice and palliative care committee is committed to improving care for people and their families experiencing life threatening illness.  Throughout the year they provide financial assistance to patients and families in the last six months of their lives.  They also provide information to local community groups on completing a living will.

The event is a collaboration of several organizations and agencies in the Upper Cumberland.

“The generous support of our donors and volunteers permits us to offer high-quality and low cost public education events as well as provide support for patients and their families in the entire 14 county areas of the Upper Cumberland,” O’Roark said.

To register for this event or for more information, call Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation at (931) 783-2003.

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