Highlights & Special Events
There is more to do at the Annual Assembly than attend educational events. View the special events below to see how you can network with others, increase your professional development, and more.
Make the most of your education time by participating in pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, March 20.
These full and half-day workshops provide in-depth learning opportunities across all disciplines and settings of care. Below is an overview of available pre-conference workshops to meet your needs through these added learning opportunities.
All pre-conference workshops require separate registration at an additional cost and are for in-person attendees only.
8am - 5pm
HMD Board Certification Review Course and Update (P01)
Bethany Cox Snider, MD HMDC FAAHPM; Bethany Calkins, MD MMM HMDC FAAHPM; Balakrishnan Natarajan, MD HMDC; Abi Katz, DO MS HMDC FAAHPM
This intensive workshop is designed to explore and further develop the skills needed to successfully navigate today’s hospice environment. This intensive review will serve as part of your preparation for the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board (HMDCB) exam and is based on the exam blueprint. The workshop also serves as a great orientation for those new to the hospice field or as a critical update for all hospice practitioners and managers.
Faculty will address:
- Responding to and managing the needs of patients and families receiving hospice care.
- Exhibiting knowledge of medical, psychosocial, and spiritual conditions encountered at end-of-life.
- Utilizing effective skills and strategies in all aspects of communication and leadership in hospice care.
- Applying best practices for professionalism, ethics, collaboration and life-long learning in hospice care.
- Overseeing the organizational, regulatory, and team components of systems-based practice.
Interprofessional Leadership Skills Workshop for Creating Positive Change Within Programs: Communication and Business Planning for Emerging, Early-Career or Later-Career Leaders (P02)
Tom Gualtieri-Reed, MBA, Christine Khandelwal, DO, Rodney Tucker, MD FAAHPM, Donna Stevens, MHA, Lynn Spragens, MBA, Wendy-Jo Toyoma, MBA FASAE CAE - CEO and Executive Director AAHPM, and Brynn Bowman, MPA - CEO CAPC
Successfully leading positive change, particularly in the fields of palliative care and hospice, necessitates an awareness of your communication style, ability to build strong team connections, ability to foster strategic relationships, and an understanding of business concepts and perspectives. Leadership is also a journey that can feel lonely and frustrating, but with strong relationships and effective planning leaders can flourish.
Designed for emerging, early-stage, or experienced leaders across all settings (acute care, home, clinic, virtual), professions (administration, chaplaincy, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work etc.) and organization types (adult and pediatric acute care, hospice, outpatient, group practice, health plans, etc.).
This immersive session will include:
- Leadership and business planning concepts and frameworks (e.g. 4 types of behavioral styles and a business plan outline).
- Practical worksheets and tools for use by learners during and after the workshop (e.g. strategy planning worksheet).
- Tips, experiences, and guidance from interprofessional leaders who are “living” their own leadership journey.
- Opportunity to connect with leadership colleagues and ﬁnd mentors.
ACHPN Certification Review Course (P03)
Kate Stackhouse, DNP RN FNP-C ACHPN; Jaime Melhorn, DNP AGACNP ACHPN
This instructor-led certification review course is designed to help prepare you for your upcoming Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC) ACHPN certification exam. HPNA Certification Review Courses provide a framework to prepare, and a process to assess the strengths and weaknesses of content prior to sitting for an HPCC certification exam. These courses are facilitated by nationally recognized subject matter experts. Each module in the review course addresses sections of the detailed content outline from the 2022 HPCC Candidate Handbook.
8am - 12pm
Oncologist in my Pocket: What the Palliative Clinician Needs to Know About Hematology, Oncology and Radiation Oncology (P04)
Kristina Newport, MD FAAHPM; Shanthi Sivendran MD MSCR MBA; Thomas Leblanc, MD, MA MHS FAAHPM; Joshua A. Jones, MD MA FAAHPM
Care of adult patients with hematologic or oncologic malignancies is increasingly complex. Hospice and palliative care (HPC) clinicians are now asked to care for them early in the course of care, based on evidence that early palliative care improves survival, symptoms, mood, cost, and patient & caregiver satisfaction. To ensure success of upstream involvement, HPC clinicians must be equipped to competently care for these patients and “speak the language” of the hematologist/oncologist and radiation oncologist, particularly in the outpatient setting.
This session will provide HPC clinicians the essentials needed to approach the care of these patients, including; terminology, systemic treatment options (chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, CAR-T cell therapy), prognostic uncertainty, radiotherapy, expected side effects of treatments, and the unique characteristics of hematologic malignancies.
The session will target attendees’ specific needs and questions, with real-time adjustment of the curriculum to fulfill their goals and provide appropriate resources. This session is informed by six years of workshops with improvements based on participant feedback. Upon completion of this session, HPC clinicians will have the tools necessary to develop an approach to the care of patients with hematologic or oncologic malignancies along the continuum of cancer care.
Recognizing and Leveraging Our Privilege Towards Allyship in Action (P05)
Arshia Madni MD FAAP; Corey Tapper MD MS; Aziz Ansari, DO SFHM FAAHPM FACP; Ruth Thomson, DO MBA HMDC FACOI FAAHPM; Sonia Malhotra, MD MS FAAP FAAHPM; Niharika Ganta MD MPH FAAHPM; L. Emily Cotter MD MPH; Elizabeth Chuang MD, MPH FAAHPM
As we learn more about the impacts of implicit bias and discrimination and its role in health inequities, we as clinicians must make concerted efforts to educate ourselves on how to overcome these deficiencies.
Active bystander and advocacy education is demonstrated to improve knowledge and confidence in interpreting and responding to both implicit bias and explicit discrimination in the clinical setting.
In addition, training in trauma-informed care can help clinicians better recognize and respond to trauma while actively resisting re-traumatization.
Through combining didactics and skills-based practice, participants of this pre-conference will transform from a bystander to an upstander and incorporate trauma-informed care. In this process, participants can be empowered to address the behaviors of others and be more sensitive to their own, often unconscious, biased behavior. The tools imparted in this workshop will allow participants to educate their colleagues and trainees at their individual healthcare settings.
Unleash the Therapist Within: Applying Psychotherapy Skills to Elevate Palliative Care Practice (P06)
Keri O. Brenner, MD MPA; Danielle Chammas, MD; Daniel Shalev, MD; Leah Rosenberg, MD; Amanda Moment, LICSW
This interactive workshop introduces practitioners to several high-yield psychological concepts that can be incorporated into daily palliative care practice. Participants will develop working knowledge in creating a formulation of a patient’s and family’s unique psychological composition, which guides interactions more effectively with patients and referring clinicians.
This interprofessional session will employ diverse clinical vignettes to raise our self-awareness of countertransference (i.e. emotions and reactions toward our patients) to enhance inclusivity and sustainability of practice. Finally, participants will acquire several clinical techniques of therapeutic presence and using one’s own self as a therapeutic tool.
8 - 11am
Lessons in Leadership Using the Art of Poker (P07)
Ginger Marshall, MSN ACNP-BC ACHPN FPCN; Holli Martinez, MSN FNP-BC ACHPN FPCN
Back by popular demand. This interactive session will provide guidance for developing both leadership and poker skills. The first portion of the session will involve the use of didactic presentations, polls, group discussions to provide education on leadership, reading people, both at the poker table and in your work setting, using poker skills to mentor and lead your teams, and knowing which hands and initiatives to go all in on and which ones to fold. The last portion of the session will include actual poker instruction geared toward the novice poker player.
*Note: This is not a cash game and is for instructional purposes only.
12 - 1:30pm
Psychedelic Assisted Therapies in Palliative and Hospice Care Are Here: Let’s Discuss! (P08)
Caitanya Min, NP-C ACHPN; Ira Byock, MD FAAHPM; Michael Fratkin, MD FAAHPM
Explore the transformative use of psychedelic-assisted therapies in the realm of palliative care and hospice during this enlightening and engaging 90-minute pre-conference session while you enjoy lunch. Attendees will benefit from a short presentation focused on the history of psychedelic therapies, legal issues, and recent research.
This presentation will be followed by a robust interactive discussion in a safe space where all questions and concerns will be addressed. Join us to navigate the considerations, clinical applications, and promising integration of these therapies within the holistic framework of palliative and hospice care.
*Note: Lunch is included.
1 - 5pm
Management of Challenging Symptoms in Hospice and Palliative Care Patients (P09)
Justin Kullgren, PharmD FAAHPM; Brian Dalm, MD; Whitney Luke, MD MBOE FAAPMR
AAHPM and SPPCP Collaborative Workshop
This half-day workshop is designed for intermittent to advanced palliative and hospice providers looking to develop individualized treatment plans for difficult to manage symptoms within hospice and palliative care. Interdisciplinary faculty will present both non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to common and uncommon symptoms.
The expert panel will prepare five patient cases to discuss with the audience. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, pain, nausea, dyspnea, delirium, cough, hiccoughs, secretions, anxiety, and depression. A pre-conference survey will be sent to “crowd-source” the audience to guide development of focused cases and discussion that are of most interest. Each symptom will be discussed in the context of prognosis, differentiating treatment for patients with months to years remaining versus days to weeks.
A key point of emphasis is to provide participants with ample opportunity to actively engage with the expert panel and each other. Participants will be broken down into smaller groups to facilitate active discussion. A case will be presented, groups will think-pair-share, and then the conference faculty will provide concluding thoughts including available evidence/data. After these five cases have concluded, the audience will be given an opportunity to bring cases to discuss following a similar format described above albeit a shorter timeframe to maximize participant cases. Faculty will have additional cases prepared as for continued discussion as needed.
Assessment Essentials for HPM Faculty (P10)
Laura Dingfield, MD MSEd FAAHPM; Stephen Bernes, MD FAAHPM
Assessing trainees on hospice and palliative medicine skills is important to the growth of our field and the impact on our patients. This preconference workshop will concentrate on shared mental models around observational tools, use videos to train others around observational skills, mitigating bias in assessment, understanding, and creating competency-based assessments, and sharing new assessment tools from other fields and the ACGME.
Participants will be able to practice these skills and bring them back home to their institutions. This session is for all those that work with trainees in Hospice and Palliative Care, particularly for fellows.
Voices of Loss and Grief (P11)
Esther Ammon; Diane Shader Smith, BA; Mike Spector; Ana T. Stafford; Charisse Lee; Chris Onderdock, LCSW, APHSW-C; Susan Linzey, MS BSN RN CHPN; Matthew Gonzales, MD FAAHPM
AAHPM and SWHPN Collaborative Workshop
This pre-conference interdisciplinary workshop is designed to engage learners with grief experiences from diverse types of loss through the lens of 3 different panel discussions:
- Diane Shader Smith, the mother of Mallory who died of CF and whose memoir has been shared in the book "Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life" and the film of the same title, reviewed by the NYT.
- The second panel consists of three bereaved family members with different losses through the lifecycle: an older adult with spousal loss to dementia speaking of prolonged grief, anticipatory and ambiguous loss; a Latinx mother who lost her 12-year-old daughter to DM and now works in the field of bereavement; and a young adult spousal loss.
- The third panel is comprised of professionals in hospice and palliative care discussing loss and grief from the perspective of the professional, represented by a social worker, nurse, and physician in palliative care to reflect on the impact of numerous and continuous loss of patients offering an opportunity for self-reflection and conversations about vicarious loss and self-care.
Afternoon at the Museum: Finding Connection and Meaning (P12)
Laura Morrison, MD FAAHPM FACP; Gordon Wood, MD MSCI FAAHPM; Barbara Reville, DNP ANP-BC ACHPN; Jane deLima Thomas, MD FAAHPM; Ali John Zarrabi, MD; Josh Hauser, MD FAAHPM; Paul Desandre, DO FACEP FAAHPM;Liz Gunderson, MD FHM FAAHPM; Corinne Zimmerman, MA MEd
Within the often hectic and demanding clinical practice of palliative care, clinicians are called to closely observe and process care encounters for deeper meaning and the benefit of all involved. Time to nurture these skills and to reflect is critical for optimal clinical practice and sustainability over time.
The Art Museum space can provide opportunities for educators and interprofessional clinicians to focus on more intentional observation in connecting to a piece of art. It can also allow for learning and exploration to be focused on themes like wellness, diversity, implicit bias, interprofessional work, joy, death, and resilience as a strategy for renewal within self and team care.
This engaging and intimate pre-conference workshop invites participants to experience art museum teaching, refining observation skills, and connecting to meaning while considering how to learn and apply these teaching strategies in their practice settings.
Advanced Opioid Pharmacotherapy: Investigating all the Nooks and Crannies! (P13)
Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD MA MDE BCPS CPE FAAHPM; Mellar Davis, MD FAAHPM; Akhila Reddy, MD; Amy Allen Case, MD FAAHPM
This fast-paced session is not for the faint of heart! This seminar delivers a solid half-day of opioid pharmacotherapy covers three primary themes. The first is results from an international consensus-building process on best practices in opioid conversion calculations, and dosing of “unique” opioids (such as levorphanol, and strategies for dosing methadone and buprenorphine). This segment will also include a discussion on advanced in managing opioid adverse effects and drug interactions. The second section addresses the complex situation of opioid selection during an era of opioid misuse and abuse, and specific selection of an opioid for a patient with a past or current history of misuse of controlled or illicit substances. The final act of the afternoon will be the appropriate selection and use of co-analgesics along with opioid therapy including duloxetine gabapentinoids, ketamine and cannabis. There’s no WAY anyone practicing in hospice or palliative care should miss this seminar. Buckle your seatbelts – this is going to be a FAST ride!
1:30 - 5pm
Tackling Tough Conversations (P15)
Robert M. Arnold, MD FAAHPM; Patricia H. Berry, PhD APRN CNP FPCN FAAN; Margaret L. Campbell, PhD RN FPCN; Anna Deforest, MD MFA
Part 1: How To Deal With Family Requests For Treatment You Think Are Unreasonable
Dealing with families who request treatments that the medical team thinks is unreasonable often leads to moral distress, and ruptured relationships. The goal of this talk is to give clinicians both a mental model and the communication skills needed to handle these difficult conversations.
Part 2: Words Matter: How Words and Phrases Shape Thoughts and Actions (and sometimes make us cringe!)
This preconference builds upon the session Words Matter: Words and Phrases That Make Us Cringe, presented at the Annual Assembly in 2023. Using the theories of psychological schema and linguistic relativism as springboards for discussion, we will discuss how preconceived ideas, often unconscious, can impact our use – and misuse – of language and determine what we pay attention to and act on. This can result in unintended and harmful assumptions and actions about, for example, symptom management, family relationships, goals of care, and prognosis. Literacy level, culture and native language, and written language will also be explored. Careful and mindful use of language is especially important in hospice and palliative care as we often only have one chance to “get it right.”
Collaboration and Engagement Opportunities
AAHPM First-Timer Reception
Will this be your first Annual Assembly? Are you a new member of AAHPM? Then please join us at a reception Wednesday, March 20 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm, prior to the Opening Reception to meet other new members and leaders. It's a great way to make contacts in a smaller, intimate setting. Rooms will be listed in the 2024 conference app.
The Exhibit Hall gives the Annual Assembly attendees an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in medical supplies and equipment, career opportunities, software, facilities, pharmaceuticals, and medical publishing.
Attend this year's Job Fair located in the Exhibit Hall Thursday night, from 3:30 - 6:30 pm. The Job Fair is the prime venue to learn about opportunities in the hospice and palliative care field and network with potential employers for these positions.
View the latest scientific research and case-based, peer-reviewed posters in the exhibit hall and rotunda Friday morning. Invited posters will be displayed adjacent to the exhibit area or on the virtual platform.