Connecticut Coalition to Improve End of Life Care Summer 2019 News

Welcome from the President

Dear CTEOL Member,

This year our CTEOL Board is piloting innovative ways to communicate with our membership about the Coalition’s current initiatives. We also want to promote events that are being offered by colleagues throughout our state. At CTEOL, we believe that the more we unify our collaborative efforts, the greater our impact will be to improve palliative and end-of-life care for citizens of CT. For a more detailed recap of CTEOL activities in 2018, please visit our page:

Also, we invite you to write us an email to let us know what you think of our newsletter, and perhaps consider being featured under the “spotlight” section!


Warm regards,



President, Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care (CTEOL)

Member Spotlight

Bernadette DiGiulian, Elder Caring LLC, Geriatric Care Manager

The Connecticut Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care is pleased to spotlight Bernadette DiGiulian, MDIV, a professional geriatric care manager with 30 years of experience working in the elderly health care field. Bernadette is the founder of Shoreline Eldercare Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of ethical professionals whose mission is to guide and educate the community about healthy aging and senior life services. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at The Towers in New Haven and The Mary Wade Home and is a Fellow at Saybrook College, Yale University.

Bernadette graduated from the State University of New York at Cortland and was a public-school teacher before attending Yale Divinity School, where she received a Master of Divinity degree, with a focus in medical ethics and pastoral counseling. She has vast training and work experience in this field from Yale New Haven Hospital, Masonic Health Care, the Hospital of St. Raphael, and Branford Hills Health Care Center. She has worked for Church Homes, Inc. at Miller Memorial Community in Meriden, and as the Director of Community Life where she was responsible for social services, volunteers, therapeutic recreation and spiritual care for residents of all faiths. Then, as Director of Residential Services/Assisted Living Services, the Assisted Living Services Agency received a 98% rating from JCAHO.

Bernadette was the Director of Resident Services at Evergreen Woods in North Branford, Connecticut and worked for Home Instead Senior Care where she trained home caregivers. She owned a geriatric care management practice for 15 years providing expert assessment, consultation, counseling, education, care planning and management for clients to assist them with transitions across the continuum of health care. Bernadette says she “connects the dots” by coordinating the many professional interventions needed by seniors, including those at the end of life. We are very fortunate to have such a talented, experienced and devoted member in our coalition!


The CT Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care (CTEOL) in collaboration with the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education at The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health sponsored an informative all-day conference entitled “Spiritual and Cultural Dimensions of Palliative and End-of-Life Care”. The conference was a resounding success with more than 100 participants in attendance representing a diversity of perspectives on end of life care.

The topic for this conference was developed in response to two previously conducted Connecticut Healthcare Provider surveys, which identified spiritual and cultural knowledge gaps within the realm of palliative and end-of-life care. Keynote speaker Dr. Christina Puchalski, from The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Heath delivered the keynote entitled “Responding to Spiritual Distress: The Art of Presence.” The conference panelists had the opportunity to explore wide array of subject matters relating to the palliative field and will touch upon issues increasingly pressing within today’s medical community. Other conference presenters included:

Lisa Caramico, MD who shared her journey caring for her husband who lived with a terminal illness in her panel, “18 Months and Beyond.”

Mark Lazenby, PhD, APRN, FAAN explored how nursing practice addresses some of life’s biggest questions in “The Existential Plight of Cancer: Its Spiritual Dimensions.”

Kevin Toolis described how communities across the globe dealt with death before the rise of the Western Death Machine in his panel, “My Father’s Wake: How the Irish teach us to Live, Love & Die."

Actress Judith Gantly performed a one-woman play entitled, “Waltzing the Reaper," which tries to communicate approaches to understanding the end-of-life process.

The attendees reported thoroughly enjoyed participating in the conference. As one attendee stated, Thank you for a thoughtful, carefully crafted program. This was excellent. Full of useful information and strong presentations” and another echoed, “This was excellent – well-rounded and holistic. How do we continue the conversation?”

Annual Meeting Highlight

The key note speaker was Christine Denhup, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor from Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Denhup's presentation, entitled the: " Journey Towards Healing"described her research with bereaved parents of pediatric patients. She shared information about health care provider behaviors and care processes that minimize suffering along bereaved parents' journey. She also offered guidance to support bereaved parents along their lifelong journey. The implications of her work applies to not only pediatric providers who care for children during illness prior to death, but also to adult providers who care for patients who happen to be a bereaved parent.

2019 annual Award RECIPIENTS

Excellence in Achievement for Public Service in End of Life Care

Cathy Ludlum, BA

Safe Passage for Outstanding Clinical Care

Aspire Healthcare

Safe Passage for Outstanding Clinical Care

West Haven Medical Group

On October 1st, 2017 the State of Connecticut adopted Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST).

The MOLST online training has been made available to individuals as well as large organizations and is available at:

The training program is a self- study program that should take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. A certificate is issued upon successful completion.

Draft MOLST regulations have been completed and will be vetted through CT.s regulatory process until they are approved by the CT legislature’s Regulations Review Committee

Ask one of our board members about MOLST!

Help spread our mission and build our membership! We are always looking for new members to improve the quality of care at end of life!

Keep an eye out for exciting things happening!


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