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Palliative Care and Medical Aid in Dying: Putting the Person First at the End of Life

  • 06:00 PM
  • 970-476-0954

Palliative Care and Medical Aid in Dying: Putting the Person First at the End of Life

Health and Wellness

With Dr. Jean Abbott, Dr. Mindy Cooper, Regina Fink, Dr. Jean Kutner and Matt Stinson, moderated by Dr. Jeanie Youngwerth

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6 p.m.

Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center | Edwards

When faced with terminal illness, there are few avenues for those who are contemplating the end of life but palliative care is one option. Palliative care is not hospice: It is patient/family-centered care that decreases pain and symptoms, eases suffering and increases survival for patients when offered early in people contending with serious illness. It is designed to address the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs to improve quality of life. Unfortunately, palliative care is a limited resource in many community settings.
In 2016, Colorado voters approved Proposition 106, “Access to Medical Aid in Dying” for terminally ill Colorado residents to ease their suffering and hasten the end of their lives peacefully through medication. Where this is available and the process for administering is not well known. Similarly, palliative care, its processes and challenges, are also unclear to many people.
In this presentation and panel discussion, health care professionals who are recognized experts in their fields will provide an overview of palliative care and present information about medical aid-in-dying. The discussion will address the challenges in delivering palliative care and aid-in-dying medication in rural settings and answer questions as well as proposing solutions such as increased support, education and telemedicine. Join us for this important healthcare discussion and get your questions answered by the experts.
Dr. Jean Abbott, MPH, is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and faculty member at the University of Colorado. She has a Masters of Humanities from CU and is a longstanding member of the University of Colorado Hospital Ethics Committee and Ethics Consult service. Her current work focuses on clinical consultation, palliative care and end-of-life issues through the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities. She designs and teaches the ethics content for the CU Palliative Care Master’s Program, training healthcare professionals in palliative care. She presents to various public groups in Colorado groups on a wide range of Advance Care Planning topics.
Dr. Mindy Cooper is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology and maintains a busy practice in the Vail Valley taking care of patients with kidney disease, dialysis patients and transplant patients. Her practice has now expanded to include work in palliative care as well as working with other doctors in the community as an advocate for medical aid-in-dying.
Regina Fink, Ph.D., RN is an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and College of Nursing. She is co-director of the Interprofessional Master of Science in Palliative Care program, the first in the U.S. She conducts research to improve palliative care to Latinos with serious illness throughout Colorado. She has also received a Colorado Health Foundation grant to improve advance care planning in underserved populations.
Dr. Jean Kutner is a tenured Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received her MD from the University of California San Francisco. She is Board Certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Her research focuses on improving symptoms and quality of life for people with serious advanced illness and their family caregivers. Dr. Kutner is co-chair of the NIH-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine Transforming End of Life Care Committee and is Past-President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Matt Stinson, MSPC, MPAS, PA-C is a physician assistant in oncology and palliative care at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, CO. He launched a hospital-based palliative care program to better care for seriously ill patients in his community.
Dr. Jeanie Youngwerth (Moderator) is an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine (UC SOM) board-certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Youngwerth completed medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago and residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Youngwerth is the Director of the University of Colorado Hospital Palliative Care Service. In addition, she is the Associate Program Director of the Colorado Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at UC SOM, the Director of the UC SOM Palliative Care Curriculum and the Medical Director for Halcyon Palliative Care and Hospice programs.
This program is generously underwritten by Lynn & Dr. Andrew Kaufman and is presented in partnership with the Eagle County Healthy Aging Program.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program will begin at 6 p.m. after a short reception. 

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