Hinsdale – Two Adventist St.
Thomas Hospice employees and two volunteer hospice chaplains are scheduled to
share their work at an upcoming international conference. The 17th International
Congress on Palliative Care, taking place Sept. 23-26 in Montreal, has accepted two of the hospice’s abstracts
Both abstracts highlight the hospice’s vigil
program, established in 2007 to provide support to patients, families and
facility staff when a patient begins his or her dying process. Vigil volunteers
are specially trained hospice volunteers who remain at a patient’s bedside for
the duration of the dying process in the event that no family members are able
to be there or if all the family members are experiencing a crisis.
These volunteers must have completed at least 33
hours of training and have at least six months experience as a hospice
volunteer. During the bedside vigil, volunteers can gently massage a patient,
re-position them to make them more comfortable and serve as a calming presence
for the patients and all the people involved in their care.
Barb Zerby, coordinator of volunteer services,
Ellen Norton, a hospice nurse, and volunteer chaplains Linda Liu and Ed Partyka
are scheduled to present information at the conference. Zerby established the
Presented by McGill University’s Departments of
Medicine and Oncology, Palliative Care Division, the biennial event is designed
to give healthcare professionals, therapists, volunteers, and all those
involved in care for the dying the opportunity to renew themselves as providers
of care and obtain the inspiration that will help shape the palliative care of
the future. Thousands of people from all over the world are expected to attend.
“We are honored that our representatives were chosen
to present information to our peers about this groundbreaking program,” said Pam
Mezyk, executive director of Adventist St. Thomas Hospice.
St. Thomas Hospice, 8230 S. Madison, Burr Ridge,
is part of Adventist
For more information on the vigil program or other hospice programs, call (630)
856-6990. For more information on the congress, visit www.pal2008.com/index-e.html.