On Tuesday April 26 the Center for Communication’s (CCM) presented a SpeakSooner community education program in Bennington, Vermont focusing on resources that can help in living with long-term illness.
Over 100 people attended “Finding Your Path Through Illness & Getting The Help You Need” at Oldcastle Theater. The panel, moderated by CCM co-founder Bernard Bandman, PhD, included: patient Lindy Lynch; SVMC hospitalist James Poole MD; SVMC patient navigator Rebecca Hewson-Steller, RN; clergy Reverend Lucy Ijams; acupuncturist Cynthia K. Reilly; and medical humanist Celia Engel Bandman. The panelists detailed the need for and breadth of options across the spectrum of medical and complementary care, noting specific resources in the community that support both patients and caregivers.
Several on the panel emphasized the benefit of patients, loved ones and medical professionals using CCM’s Difficult Conversations Toolkit to identify and communicate needs, concerns and goals of care throughout the course of illness. Lindy Lynch talked about how the Toolkit was helpful in asking the right questions and suggested it be introduced in primary care as well as at specialist’s offices. Collectively, the panel emphasized that clinical staff should trained on the use the Toolkit, which is offered through CCM.
A lively question and answer period followed the panel discussion further emphasizing the need for a better understanding of community resources. An attendee suggested a master list be compiled.
This program was the first in the 2016 series of SpeakSooner community education programs. The next event will focus on the challenges caregivers face and is scheduled for August 10th at the Manchester Community Library in Manchester, Vermont. Sign up at www.SpeakSooner.org to receive latest CCM news and view the Toolkit online.