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Georgia Baptist College of Nursing to Host Conference on End-of-Life Care

March 4, 2010

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing will host a research conference on end-of-life care Friday, March 26, in the Trustees Dining Room on the University’s Atlanta campus.  The conference, titled “Perspectives and Reflections from the Gloaming of Life:  Palliative Care and End-of-Life Challenges,” is open to all members of the nursing, theology, pharmacy and medical professions. In addition, nurses who attend may receive 4.5 contact hours on palliative care from the Georgia Nurses Association.

“As more of our health care is provided outside of hospitals, the care of patients with life-limiting illness is increasingly provided in the community by families and informal caregivers,” said Dr. Janet Timms, professor of nursing and one of the conference’s organizers.  “There is no right way to live or die as a result of these life-limiting diseases. Each disease presents its own set of challenges for patients and for their caregivers. The conference will provide updated knowledge about palliative care for health professionals, caregivers and individuals facing life-limiting illnesses and equip health professionals and informal caregivers to provide high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care.”

The Rev. Dr. Julie Pennington-Russell, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur and a Mercer Trustee, will be speak at the opening session. Dr. Pennington-Russell’s presentation is titled “Spiritual Dimensions/Care of Those in the Final Stages of Life.”

The conference is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and consists of five sessions in addition to Pennington-Russell’s opening presentation.  The morning sessions include: Dr. Robyn Mowery, assistant professor of family therapy in Mercer’s School of Medicine, presenting “Grieving with Hope:  Anticipatory Loss through Bereavement” and Dr. Susan S. Gunby, professor of nursing, presenting ‘“Being There’ and ‘Being Here’ During the Phases of Suffering.”

The three afternoon sessions include: Dawn Keller, staff nurse in a cardiovascular intensive care unit for Wellstar Health Systems, presenting “It's a Roller-Coaster Ride:  The Lived Experience of Critical Care Nurses Caring for Patients during the Dying Process;” Dr. Denise Massey, associate professor in the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, presenting “How Pastoral Care Giver can Contribute to Palliative Care;” and Elaine Harris, associate professor of nursing, and Ann Keeley, associate professor of nursing, co-presenting ‘“Can You Help Me Find My Bus Ticket?’ Understanding the Communications of Those Who Are Dying.”

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 108-year history, the College has graduated more than 6,600 nurses. Since its founding, the College has been dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Ph.D. in Nursing and, beginning in Fall 2010, a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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