Friday, December 13, 2013

Leffert lecture explores palliative care options

The MGH Division of Palliative Care hosted the third annual Robert Leffert, MD, Palliative Care Memorial Lecture Nov. 19. The keynote speaker was Timothy Quill, MD, professor of Medicine and director of the Palliative Care Division at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. The lecture, “Palliative Care Options of Last Resort: Potential Responses to Intractable Suffering,” explored the complicated decision-making process that patients, families and providers undergo in the face of a serious illness. A panel – featuring Katrina Armstrong, MD, chief of the Department of Medicine, Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, FAAN, senior vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nurse, Jonathan Rosand, MD, director of the Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology, and Taylor Thompson, MD, director of Critical Care Translational Research – led a forum exploring the vital role palliative care serves in helping providers and patients navigate these complex decisions.

The lecture is held annually in memory of Leffert, who served as chief of the MGH Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and the MGH Surgical Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Unit. It was created through a generous donation from Leffert’s daughter, Lisa Leffert, MD, chief of Obstetric Anesthesia Division, and her husband, Lee Schwamm, MD, vice chair of Neurology.

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