Health :: Mayo Clinic to Host Spiritual Care Research Conference

Mayo Clinic is to host Spiritual Care Research Conference – Life Near the End of Life: Spiritual Research and Evidence-Based Support Interventions.

Conference goals are to promote spiritual care research for end-of-life care; promote the development and implementation of evidence-based support interventions for end-of-life care; present research methodologies to support spiritual care research for end-of-life care; and provide a forum for the presentation of spiritual care research data for end-of-life care. Conference attendees can interact with people from across the continent with common interests in spiritual care and related research.

A conference highlight will be Megan Cole’s one-person version of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama WIT. Cole performed the leading role in WIT when it debuted in 1995 in San Francisco. For the conference, she will perform her solo version of the play, The Wisdom of WIT, on Friday, Nov. 10, at 1:15 p.m. at Mayo Clinic in Phillips Hall, Siebens Building. A panel discussion following the play will include a physician, oncologist, hematology nurse, chaplain and patient.

Ira Byock, M.D., is director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, and director of the Palliative Care Service in Missoula, Mont. He is past director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national grant program and past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Byock has authored numerous articles on ethics and the practice of end-of-life care, and two books, Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life and The Four Things That Matter Most. He has received many awards, including the National Hospice Organization’s Person of the Year and National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship’s Natalie Davis Spingarn Writers Award.

Megan Cole has had a long acting career on the professional stage and in recent years has made television guest-star appearances on “Seinfeld,” “ER,” “The Practice,” “Star Trek,” “Judging Amy,” and “Las Vegas.” The recipient of various L.A. acting awards, Cole originated the leading role in WIT, and has subsequently performed the role in three other productions. Cole is artist-in-residence at the University of Texas at Houston where she conducts workshops on empathetic communication between caregivers and patients, based on a model of actor training. She also leads classes on literature and medicine, and speaks frequently on the human face of medicine for health-related, end-of-life organizations.

Peter Hill, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. He is a visiting professor and senior research associate at the University of Cambridge in England. Hill has published over 50 articles in such peer-reviewed journals as American Psychologist, Current Directions in Psychological Research, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Journal of Personality. He co-authored The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism (2005) and co-edited Measures of Religiosity (1999) and the Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology (1999). Hill is past president of Division 36 (Psychology of Religion) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was elected a Fellow of the APA in 1998.

Judith Kaur, M.D., is the medical director for the Native American Programs of Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic and director of the Mayo Clinic Hospice Program and Palliative Care Task Force. Dr. Kaur directs three programs involving outreach to American Indians and Alaska Natives: Native WEB, which provides outreach training for nurses serving Native American and other underserved women; Native C.I.R.C.L.E., which provides and develops culturally appropriate cancer education materials for native communities; and “Spirit of Eagles,” which empowers intervention studies in native populations. Dr. Kaur is a Choctaw/Cherokee and one of only two American Indian oncologists in the country.

Thursday and Friday, Nov. 9-10, 2006 Thursday: 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. See attached program schedule session information.

Phillips Hall, Siebens Building, first floor, 100 Second Avenue S.W., Rochester, Minn.

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