Pre-Assembly Avila Program

Effective Palliative Care in Long-Term Care

Presented by Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc.

Download the program flyer

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Program 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Registration available at 8:00 a.m.
JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Orlando, Fla.

Registration Fee:
$215 CHA and Avila Member Registrants
$240 Other Registrants

Register for 2016 Assembly AND Effective Palliative Care in Long-term Care

Register for Effective Palliative Care in Long-term Care Program ONLY

Providing palliative care in any health care setting is a great opportunity to meet the growing demands of those we care for and their families while creating a supportive care experience. Formalizing palliative care in the long-term setting allows residents, staff and families to have a greater understanding of the principles of this care and the physical, emotional and spiritual comfort it brings to each person. This seminar will feature four sessions, providing an overview and methods to direct effective palliative care. Participants will also receive tools and insights on how to develop and sustain palliative care programs.

This workshop is for those who care for elders in all types of living situations now and in the future.

8:45 - 9:45 a.m.


Barriers to Excellent Palliative Care in the Long-Term Care Setting
Fr. Myles Sheehan SJ, MD, Assistant to the Provincial for Senior Jesuits,
USA Northeast and Maryland Provinces

In this session, Fr. Myles Sheehan SJ, MD, will present a vision of Palliative Care as the guiding model for long-term care, using a mix of presentation and discussion. This Palliative Care model emphasizes care in the social, psychological, and spiritual realms. It simultaneously aims at providing medical and nursing care that maintains and improves function as much as possible, limits interventions that could cause harm, and pays careful attention to suffering in any form. Fr. Sheehan will present barriers to such a model including confusion about palliative care, fear of change, resistance to de-medicalizing the nursing home and long-term care environment, finding staff who are committed to this model, and likely regulatory challenges.

9:50 a.m. - noon


Cultural Competency and Palliative Care: The Rites, Rituals & Beliefs of New Immigrants
Sr. Annelle Fitzpatrick, CSJ, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology
St. John’s University in New York

Relieving the pain and suffering of persons with a serious, chronic and life-threatening illness is the central goal of Palliative Care. An essential component of this unique, multi-disciplinary approach is the inclusion of spiritual support for individuals seeking such assistance. However, as healthcare providers, we must be aware that as the US becomes home to more immigrants, Catholic facilities must be prepared to also offer spiritual support to Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist patients. In this session, Sr. Annelle Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. will give an overview of the spiritual belief of patients outside the Judeo-Christian tradition (i.e. "Crossing the Sirat Bridge", "The Burning of Hell Money", "The 2 Questioning Angels" and "The Weighing of the Books", etc.,) to enlighten participants on the complexity of religious beliefs related to death and dying. Sr. Annelle will also highlight the need for Catholic institutions to develop a comprehensive and multi-religious paradigm of spiritual care designed to meet the religious needs of new immigrant populations.

1:15 - 1:45 p.m.


Advancing Excellence in Palliative Care: The Supportive Care Coalition's Mission
Tina Picchi, Executive Director,
Supportive Care Coalition 

This presentation illustrates how Palliative Care is a hallmark of Catholic health care intrinsic to our healing mission. Tina Picchi will discuss the current state of Palliative Care and gaps across the care continuum, describe the Coalition's commitment to partner with others to bridge these gaps, and identify Palliative Care practices that increase inter-professional teams' ability to attend to the whole person.

1:45 - 2:00 p.m.   Break

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.


Establishing a Formalized Palliative Care Program in Long-Term Care
Sr. M. Peter Lillian Di Maria, O.Carm., BA, LNHA,
Director, Avila Institute of 
Gerontology, Inc.

Joan Murphy, MSW, LICSW,
Director of 
Social Services, St. Patrick’s Manor

Geraldine Gracey RN, BA, CRRN,
Instructor, St. Patrick’s Manor

Establishing a formalized Palliative Care Program involves three critical pieces: providing education, using a team approach, and assessing for the five domains of pain (physical, social, familial, psychiatric, and emotional pains). The holistic approach assesses and provides care for the 5 domains of pain a person may experience when entering long-term care or are faced with life-altering illnesses. It involves caring for the whole person, not just their physical needs. In this session Sr. M. Peter Lillian, Joan Murphy and Geraldine Gracie will explore the model of care adopted by the facilities served by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. The presentation will discuss how to implement a sustainable Palliative Care program in long-term care including best practices and overcoming barriers.

Program subject to change.

Continuing Education

The Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc. is seeking continuing education for Administrators, Nurses, Dietitians, Social Workers, Recreational Therapists and Catholic Chaplains.

ATTENDANCE: All participants must complete a Record of Attendance, a signed attestation verifying the session(s) they have attended in full. Participants will only receive credit for sessions they have attended in full. Social Workers please see your Boards attendance requirements. For more information about continuing education please contact us.

Administrators (NAB)
NAB approval is pending and is not assured. Registrants should contact the Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc. for application status.

Catholic Chaplains
Registrants should contact the Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc. for application status.

The Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc. is seeking prior approval for this program.

This activity has been submitted to the New York State Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The New York State Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Social Workers
Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact us at for the status of social work CE accreditation.
New York State Social Workers Avila Institute of Gerontology SW CPE #0265 has received conditional approval from the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work to offer continuing education to licensed social workers, effective Sept. 1, 2015. The Department may subsequently notify the provider that a particular course or courses is/are acceptable. This conditional approval is in effect until the Department makes a final determination to approve or deny the provider application.

For questions, contact Linda Rutledge, Avila Institute of Gerontology at or (518) 537-5000.

Cancellation Policy

Pre-Assembly Avila Program

Cancellation and refund requests must be made in writing (mail or email). Phone cancellations will not be accepted.

Submit all requests to CHA Service Center via email at or mail to CHA-Service Center, 4455 Woodson Road, St. Louis, MO  63134. CHA regrets that refunds will not be given for no-shows; however, substitutions are gladly accepted.

Cancellations received by April 1: A refund of the full registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee, will be given for cancellations received by April 1, 2016.

Cancellations received between April 2 and May 5: A refund of 50% of the registration fee will be given for cancellations received between April 2 and May 5, 2016.

No refunds will be granted for requests made after May 5, 2016.

Register for 2016 Assembly AND Effective Palliative Care in Long-term Care

Register for Effective Palliative Care in Long-term Care Program ONLY