Upcoming Hospice events will have notable guests

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by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Coming up in October will be two significant events put on by the Beth Donovan Hospice, each featuring keynote speakers whose excellent reputations precede them. On Thursday, October 13, the Hospice will host an event called, “An Evening with BJ Miller, M.D.” B.J. Miller is a noted physician and the founder of Mettle Health, an American organization which provides online palliative and holistic care without a doctor’s referral. He is also the author of a book on palliative care called, “The Beginner’s Guide to the End”.

The October 13 event will take place at the Carleton Dominion Chalmers Centre in Ottawa, with a meet and greet from 6-7 pm, and a presentation and Q&A from 7-9 pm. General admission tickets are $50, with a half-off price of $25 for Hospice Volunteers. Admission to the event will be limited, so those interested are encouraged to secure their tickets early. 

The following day, on October 14, the Hospice is organizing a Rural Community Hospice Day at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. The event will run from 8 am – 4:30 pm, and tickets cost $25, with lunch and snacks included. Themes for the event will include improving palliative care, showcasing programs and services, and promoting community outreach. Trauma and Grief Counsellor, David Kennedy, will be the keynote speaker for Rural Community Hospice Day. As with the October 13 event, the event on October 14 has limited space available. 

The Times spoke with Sue Walker, Mary Lou Anderson, Melissa Hill, and Megan Dillenbeck of the Beth Donovan Hospice to gain more insights about what inspired the planning of the upcoming events. The women discussed how urban Hospices connect very easily with each other, but it is much more difficult for rural Hospices to do so. This was a main driving force behind planning October’s events. The team spoke of being very excited to have secured BJ Miller as a speaker, as he is internationally recognized as a palliative physician, and has only spoken in Canada one other time. He is also a university professor, and has appeared on television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show.

The team also expressed high regard for David Kennedy, who will be the keynote speaker on October 14. In the coming weeks, the Hospice will be putting out packages requesting abstracts for future presentations, as they would like others to have a chance to share their work and their experiences in the field. There has been a limited amount of educational experiences in the last two years, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Hospice is eager to facilitate opportunities to learn. 

The Beth Donovan team expressed much gratitude for their presenting sponsor, the OutCare Foundation. OutCare has been very generous financially in helping the Hospice cover the cost of the upcoming events. Funds raised through ticket sales from October’s events will go directly toward covering the costs of the events, but if there is any excess, it would be applied toward future events. Tickets for both the October 13 and October 14 events can be purchased at https://bit.ly/3Ba60MR.

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