University sponsors 'Before and After Death' conference

3/19/2007 7:00:00 AM

The Nevada Center for Ethics and Health Policy (NCEHP), Truckee Meadows Community College, the Gerontology academic program and various local hospitals, hospices and support centers are sponsoring a conference entitled, "Before and After Death," March 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Truckee Meadows Community College. The conference is designed to provide information about grief and bereavement for professionals in hospice care, nursing home services, counseling, mortuary services and students in those fields.

"The topic isn't a popular one, but it is very essential," said Noel Tiano, Director of the Nevada Center for Ethics and Health Policy.

The eight-hour conference will include a series of workshops and a national teleconference featuring a panel of professionals throughout the country. The teleconference will allow local professionals to call in questions to be answered by the panel.

"Working in a hospice can be very difficult," Tiano said "For those who do it, it's a validation to know that others are doing the same job in a national setting."

After the teleconference, a local panel will discuss resources in northern Nevada. Tiano said he looks forward to the collaborative effort of the Reno area's five local hospices.

"These key players are doing similar types of work and don't often get a chance to work together," Tiano said. "Our goal is to help professionals understand the dynamics of grief and loss and assess the needs of the bereaved."

Tiano said local hospices provide various support methods including support groups and follow-up groups. He said hospices also keep in touch with bereaved families for up to a year after their loss.

"As a community, we need to give ourselves permission to mourn, grieve, face our fears, learn and celebrate," Tiano said. "Death affects all of us and it is not a matter of taking two aspirins and moving on."

Rabbi ElizaBeth Beyer, a lecturer for NCEHP, will be the event's keynote speaker.

"Rabbi Beyer is very familiar with the topic both professionally and personally," Tiano said. "She is a rabbi, a lawyer and a clinical nurse specialist. She has also lost members of her own family."

Rabbi Beyer will give a lecture called, "Life Goes On: Living with Grief." Her lecture will focus on the survivors.

"My background includes working as a nurse in areas of oncology and intensive care," Beyer said. "From a practical sense, I have a lot of experience with death."

While the conference is focused toward professionals, it is open to the general public. General registration is $85 and includes two meals, a continuing education attendance certificate, workshops and a book. Students can also attend for $10.
 
"This conference can be beneficial to anyone," Tiano said. "Everyone experiences loss, whether it is loss of a pet, a job or even a course grade."

Those interested in attending this conference are encouraged to Contact Peggy McGraw, the event coordinator at (775) 327-5708 or by e-mail at mcgrawm@unr.edu. Information is also available at www.HealthEthics.org.


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