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Symposium Focuses on Advanced Illness Management

| Date Posted: 6/8/2012

PINEHURST – Three clinicians with expertise in the management of advanced illness were the presenters for a May 30 Advanced Illness Management Symposium co-provided by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Community Care of the Sandhills and Sandhills Community College.

Advanced Illness Symposium

Patty Upham, director of FirstHealth Home Care Services (left), greets two of the presenters for the recent Advanced Illness Management Symposium at Sandhills Community College. Also pictured are Beth Hennessy, R.N., MSN, executive director of Integrated Chronic Care at Sutter Care at Home in Fairfield, Calif.; and Jonathan Fischer, M.D., a family physician in Carrboro and a consultant for Community Care of NC. FirstHealth of the Carolinas co-provided the symposium along with Community Care of the Sandhills and Sandhills Community College. More than 200 nurses, therapists, social workers, dietitians, administrators, educators, liaisons, case managers and other professionals in hospice, home care and disease case management from several states registered to attend the half-day event.

The program was held in Owens Auditorium on the Sandhills Community College campus and was highlighted by a feature presentation by Beth Hennessey, R.N., MSN, executive director of Integrated Chronic Care at Sutter Care at Home in Fairfield, Calif.

Hennessy has more than 30 years of health care experience in a variety of settings including home care, acute care, medical practice management and higher education. She has co-authored numerous articles relating to best practices in patient-centered chronic care, transitions of care, patient-centered medical home and home care’s unique value in health care reform.

Under Hennessy’s leadership, her staff developed the Home-Based Chronic Care Model, which has been recognized with national awards for excellence from the National Association of Homecare and Hospice and “Modern Healthcare” magazine. Her topic for the symposium was “Advanced Illness Management: A Journey toward Excellence.”

Also presenting at the symposium were Leslie Bryan, M.D., and Jonathan Fischer, M.D.

Dr. Bryan is the medical director and attending physician at Eldercare of the Triangle and Sandhills regions and the palliative care physician consultant for Community Care of the Sandhills. Her symposium topic was “Advanced Care Planning,” which focused on communication techniques to help guide patients toward making decisions for their future care.

Dr. Fischer is a family physician practicing at the Carrboro Community Health Center and a consultant for Community Care of NC, the state’s Medicaid-managed care organization. Dr. Fischer spoke on “Palliative Care in Advanced Illness Management,” focusing on the important role of palliative care in the continuum of care and its distinct difference from hospice care.

More than 200 nurses, therapists, social workers, dietitians, administrators, educators, liaisons, case managers and other professionals in hospice, home care and disease case management from several states registered to attend the half-day event. The program was designed to introduce participants to the principles of advanced illness management, which is the patient-centered approach bridging home health and hospice care.

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