Expert on hospice, palliative and end-of-life care comes to Paducah

Ira Byock, MD, expert on hospice, palliative and end-of-life care will come to Heartland Worship Center on Friday, November 1 at 1 p.m. to give a free presentation to care providers, families and anyone wanting to learn more  about hospice and palliative care. Byock has authored numerous articles on the ethics and practice of hospice, palliative and end-of-life care and has been a consistent advocate for the voice and rights of dying patients and their families.

“During Dr. Byock’s presentation, attendees will learn how to ensure the best possible care for those we love and how to take steps to move past our cultural aversion of talking about dying. Attendees will receive a free “Conversation Starter Kit” that will give the tools to talk with loved ones about their wishes and how to make your wishes known before it’s too late,” said Shannah Poindexter, Community Relationship Manager, Lourdes Homecare and Hospice.

During Dr, Byock’s residency in 1978, he co-founded a hospice home care program for the indigent population serviced by the university hospital and county clinics in Fresno, California. Dr. Byock has been a featured guest on numerous national television and radio programs including NPR: All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and On Being, CBS 60 Minutes, Fox and Friends, and PBS: The News Hour.
“Dying Well, Dr. Byock’s first published book in 1997 has become a standard in the field,” according to Poindexter.  The Four Things That Matter Most, (2004) is used as a counseling tool widely by palliative care and hospice programs, as well as within pastoral care. “His most recent book, The Best Care Possible (March 2012) tackles the crisis that surrounds serious illness and dying in America and his quest to transform care through the end of life. It has been praised by the Wall Street Journal and recognized by POLITICO as a key issue book for the 2012 presidential campaign, which won  the Annual Books for a Better Life Award,” said  Poindexter.

Byock is a past president (1997) of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. During the 1990’s, he was a co-founder and principal investigator for the Missoula Demonstration Project, a community-based organization in Montana dedicated to the research and transformation of end-of-life experience locally, as a demonstration of what is possible nationally.  From 1996 through 2006, he served as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national grant program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


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