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United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging will bring Dr. Ira Byock, a leading palliative care physician, author and public advocate for improving care through the end of life, to its third annual Symposium. 

Dr. Byock will present Surprising Opportunities for Well-Being Through the End of Life and What Mortality Has to Teach Us About Living during the Symposium, set for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 at Marriott Columbus University Area, 3100 Olentangy River Road, Columbus.

Dr. Byock is a fellow with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is founder and chief medical officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence St. Joseph Health, a 50-hospital health system serving communities in seven states. Dr. Byock advances efforts to measure, monitor and improve whole-person healthcare systemwide, according to his website. He is a practicing physician based in Torrance, California.

“We are thrilled to bring the expertise of Dr. Ira Byock to Ohio for this one-day conference,” said Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, executive director of the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging. “This is a unique opportunity for senior living administrators, social workers, chaplains and other professionals to hear one of the nation’s leading physicians on end-of-life care.”

An afternoon panel consisting of four faith leaders from different traditions will share the role of faith for end-of-life decisions. Panelists include David T. Ball, JD, PhD; Rabbi Wendy Ungar, MaHL, BCC, ACP; Lama Kathy Wesley; and Asma Mobin-Uddin, MD, FAAP.

“Since one’s faith journey and spiritual practices connect us to what is personally most important, it is invaluable to understand the connections between end-of-life decisions and our systems of belief,” Beth said. “We are excited to provide space for an interfaith discussion on palliative care.” 

Sponsors of the Symposium as of July 1 include Gordon Foods, Plante Moran, Merrill Lynch, Thomas & Marker, L.R. Webber Associates, Paul & Katie Grassman CE Plan Inc. and MMS Advancement.

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