Welcome from the President
Dear CTEOL Member,
This year CTEOL celebrates 20 years of educating Connecticut citizens and healthcare providers, on the topic of palliative and end-of-life care.
We are providing this Newsletter to share with you our accomplishments this past year, and in effort to stay connected with our membership. Although, CTEOL is a volunteer not for profit organization, we take great pride in offering several educational opportunities and forums.
For a more detailed recap of CTEOL activities in 2018/2019, please visit our webpage:
I invite you to scroll down and take a closer look at the work of the CTEOL and my extraordinary colleagues….
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!
Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BS, CHPPN
President, Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care (CTEOL)
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 healthcare 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!
CTEOL Spring 2019 CONFERENCE
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 Health delivered the keynote entitled “Responding to Spiritual Distress: The Art of Presence.”
The conference panelists had the opportunity to explore a wide array of subject matters relating to the palliative field and issues increasingly pressing within today’s medical community. Other conference presenters included:
Lisa Caramico, MD shared her journey caring for her husband who lived with a terminal illness in her presentation, “18 Months and Beyond.”
Kevin Toolis described how communities across the globe dealt with death before the rise of the Western Death Machine in his presentation, “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 demonstrated approaches to understanding the end-of-life process.
The attendees 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?”
2019 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.
CTEOL on TV!
On March 20, 2019, CTEOL Board Members Cynthia O’Sullivan and Cynthia Lamont discussed a variety of palliative and end-of-life care topics with Bernadette Welsh, host of Community Works on New Haven Television. Please visit the interview via the following link:
Dr. Cindy O’Sullivan will be presenting the Conversation Project at the New Haven Senior Area Network on July 17, from 8am to 10am.
Stay tuned for more future educational opportunities within our state!
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!
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