Palliative Care: A Call to Action7th Annual Summit

APRIL 14-15, 2015

Palliative care is a movement and you’re a part of it.

Join with the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California and leaders in the palliative care community as we answer a call to action and explore opportunities that will shape the future of health care in California and across the nation.


The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California 7th Annual Summit is designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, nursing home administrators, chaplains, and other health providers interested in clinical research, quality, and policy as it applies to palliative care.


Participants will be able to:

  • Outline steps to communicate effectively with seriously ill patients and their families, as well as the general public, regarding palliative care and goals of treatment toward the end of life.
  • Discuss current policies under development in California to expand access to palliative care.
  • Explain how a community-based palliative care model can span both inpatient and outpatient settings and reduce healthcare resource utilization.
  • Identify opportunities to increase access to palliative care for under-served populations.

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Featured Speakers

Robert M. Arnold, MD - KEYNOTE
Robert M. Arnold, MD is a Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and in the University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law. He is the Director of the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication and the Medical Director of the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute. Dr. Arnold is clinically active in palliative care and has published on end-of-life care, hospice and palliative care, doctor-patient communication and ethics education. His current research interests are focused on educational interventions to improve communication in life-limiting illnesses and better understanding how ethical precepts are operationalized in clinical practice. Dr. Arnold is currently working with the UPMC Health System to develop system-wide, integrative palliative services throughout the health system.
Diana Dooley
Diana Dooley is Secretary of the California Department of Health and Human Services Agency. Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2010, Dooley leads 13 state departments within the Agency, chairs Covered California and serves as chair or member of numerous other boards and commissions. Previously, Dooley was President and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Association.
Kathleen Kerr
Kathleen Kerr, a healthcare consultant in Mill Valley, California, has expertise in palliative care, quality improvement and program evaluation, with particular interest in assessing financial outcomes. Her experience includes more than a decade of work as a Senior Analyst in the UCSF Department of Medicine, where she focused on quality, hospitalist financial and clinical outcomes, medical education and palliative care. Currently, Ms. Kerr’s work is focused on developing sustainable models for community-based palliative care and residential hospice care, with particular emphasis on evaluating the business case for such services. She is a member of the advisory group for CCCC’s Palliative Care Access Project (PCAP), and is co-director of the Metrics Team for the California HealthCare Foundation’s Palliative Care Action Community.
Kate Meyers, MPP
Kate Meyers, MPP is a healthcare consultant who has managed diverse initiatives aimed at improving health care quality, with a focus on improving organizations’ capacity to deliver care that is aligned with patient preferences and values. She has managed several large initiatives for the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), including the Palliative Care Action Community, a collaborative learning group focused on community-based palliative care, and the Team Up for Health initiative, aimed at improving self-management support for chronic conditions. Meyers is currently managing CHCF’s Payer/Provider Partnerships initiative, which supports collaboration between payers and providers to expand access to community-based palliative care.
Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Collaborative Caring, dedicated to enhancing excellence in delivery of culturally-congruent, person-centered and family-focused care. Ms. Otis-Green’s research focuses on quality-of-life, palliative care and creating meaningful organizational change. She has been recognized with national, regional and local awards including the Social Work Leadership Award from the Project on Death in America and the Outstanding Education and Training Award by the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. She is a Distinguished Social Work Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice and co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work.
Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH, FACP, FAAHPM
Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH, FACP, FAAHPM is the Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging at UCSF. A board certified geriatrician and palliative care physician with experience in clinical care delivery and advanced illness research, Dr. Ritchie has overseen development of a number of comprehensive clinical programs for seriously-ill older adults, most recently at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). At UAB, she oversaw the opening of two palliative care units, led the expansion of the Center’s educational, research and community outreach activities and directed the UAB’s Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC)-designated Palliative Care Leadership Center and the NIA-funded Advanced Illness and Multi-morbidity Research Program. At UCSF, Dr. Ritchie is working with colleagues to facilitate the growth of clinical programs and research that focus on quality of life and health care delivery models for those with chronic serious illness.
Cardinale B. Smith, MD, MSCR
Cardinale B. Smith, MD, MSCR is an Assistant Professor at the Tisch Cancer Institute and Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research focuses on improving the quality of care for patients with cancer with a special emphasis on minority populations. She is particularly interested characterizing barriers to optimal cancer and palliative care, and developing approaches to eliminating those barriers and is currently completing a PhD in clinical research with a focus on population health and outcomes. Dr. Smith has an early career development award from the American Cancer Society to evaluate determinants of disparities in the utilization of palliative care among patients with lung cancer.
Judy Thomas, JD
Judy Thomas, JD is the Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, and is chair of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force. Before working with CCCC, she was a lobbyist for LeadingAge of California and the California Hospital Association, where she focused on aging and long-term supports and services. Thomas has specialized in healthcare law for over 20 years.

Educational Sessions

Title Speaker(s) Session Description
Keynote | Discussing Goals of Care: Differentiating Strategies from Goals Bob Arnold, MD End-of-life conversations may result in family battles, with the same questions being asked again and again, and no decision-making in sight. Follow along with Dr. Arnold and learn how to help families move a conversation from a fight over who is right, to a conversation where families are working together to make decisions.
Achieving Best Care for Persons with Advanced Illness Using Video Advance Care Planning Tools Rae Sietz, MD, and Robert Eubanks There is a substantial misalignment between medical care people want at the end of life and medical care they actually receive. Advance Care Planning is one potential solution to this problem. This session reviews the efforts that HMSA is undertaking to improve ACP conversations using videos, and reviews how informed choices about end-of-life care results in care delivered in patient-centered and cost effective ways.
Using Data to Drive Quality Improvement:
The Next Frontier in Palliative Care
Steven Pantilat, MD, Kara Bischoff, MD, and Ashley Bragg In the past, simply having a palliative care service was a marker of quality. In the current healthcare environment, however, all clinical services are expected to demonstrate and improve quality, and palliative care is no exception. Learn how to use patient-level data collection to benchmark, identify best practices, drive quality improvement and support sustainability and growth of palliative care services.
Improving Hospitalists’ and Emergency Physicians’ Palliative Care Skills: A Palliative Care Pathway Shauna Conry, MD, Jeff Frank, MD, Sabiha Pasha, MD, and True McMahan, MD This interactive session introduces CEP’s Palliative Care Pathway and shows how it can be used in clinical settings to provide an innovative, streamlined approach to managing palliative patients, improving access to palliative therapy in the acute care setting and optimizing care.
Mindfulness Integrative Practice: A Workshop of Compassionate Self Care Betsy Chang Ha, RN, MS, MBB, RYT This session introduces Mindfulness Integrative Practices to promote self-care for professionals at risk of Compassionate Fatigue or burnout. The workshop includes a relaxing experiential session to induce parasympathetic nervous system response, using methods such as deep breathing and mindfulness practice techniques that can be practiced individually or used with patients in home or hospital settings.
The State of Palliative Care in California Judy Thomas, JD A report on the current status of palliative care in the state of California, how we compare with the rest of the country, and where we are going in the future.
Current Community-Based Palliative Care Capacity and Resources to Bridge the Gap Kathleen Kerr and Kate Meyers, MPP Based off of the popular Palliative Care Access Project (PCAP) webinar series, this session digs deep into the thought-provoking report Up Close: A Field Guide to Community-Based Palliative Care in California published by the California HealthCare Foundation. Kathleen Kerr and Kate Meyers will examine the current capacity of community-based palliative care, and reveal next steps and resources to help providers start new, or strengthen existing, palliative care programs.
Eliminating Barriers to Palliative Care for Underserved Populations Cardinale Smith, MD, MSCR Racial and ethnic disparities in health care have been well documented, but little is known about disparities in access to and use of specialty palliative care. As the number of older adults wthin our nation’s minority populations continues to grow, many will have to deal with the challenges of serious illness. Learn how we can meet this population’s needs and ensure access to high-quality palliative care.
Public Policy & Palliative Care in California Diana Dooley and Judy Thomas, JD The state of public policy and palliative care in California.
Community-Based Palliative Care: A Natural Progression Christine Ritchie, MD We believe in the benefits of community-based palliative care, but how can we prove its worth to even the biggest skeptics? Learn how a community-based palliative care model can span both inpatient and outpatient settings, and reduce the use of healthcare resources.
Communication, Dying & Dementia: Can We Talk? Shelley Garone, MD, FACP Communication is a crucial part of providing comfort for one who is dying. But what if the individual who is dying is demented? There are specific ways to communicate during each stage of dementia. Learn how to communicate more effectively and to comfort those who have dementia.
When Your Dying Patient is a Substance Abuser: Currently or Historically G. Jay Westbrook, MS, RN Dying patients who are historical substance abusers are often resistant to taking opiates, fearing they may lose their sobriety. Current abusers may lie to get more. This session offers an exploration of substance abuse and problems associated with current and historical substance abuse in hospice/palliative care patients, including veterans and incarcerated patients. Learn meaningful interventions for these problems as well as ways that palliative care teams can use their encounters with these patients to help them overcome feelings of judgment and contempt.
Four Conversation Tools to Help “See” Options and Consequences Viki Kind, MA There is a lot of hope and wishful thinking when it comes to making medical decisions. This session presents four tools to help healthcare providers visualize paths towards treatment.
Health Plan Innovations: Integrating Palliative Care into Care Management Rebecca Schupp, William Henning, MD, George Fields, MD Thanks to Senate Bill 1004, palliative care can now be offered alongside curative care in counties where the Coordinated Care Initiative is being implemented for dually-eligible Medicare and Medi-Cal consumers. For both the Inland Empire Health Plan and CareMore, palliative care is not a separate program, but an integral part of their care management. This session looks at changing the delivery system within Medi-Cal, and how palliative care fits into the continuum of the medical model.
Bringing It All Together: Integrating the Summit into Your Day-to-Day Work Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, OSW-C How to take what you learned from the Summit and integrate it back into your work.

Office Hours

Facilitator Topic
Angelo Volandes, MD, Harvard Medical School, ACP Decisions, Author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care Working with Videos
Christine Ritchie, MD, University of California, San Francisco Community-Based Palliative Care Models
Karl Steinberg, MD, Stone Mountain Medical Associates Using Decision Guides in Goals of Care Conversations
Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, ACSW , LCSW, OSW-C, Collaborative Caring Social Worker, Leadership, Education
Kathleen Kerr, healthcare consultant Measuring Value in Community-Based Palliative Care
KJ Page, RN, NHA, Chaparral House Palliative Care in Skilled Nursing
Cardinale Smith, MD, MSCR, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Working With Diverse Populations
Pat Forman, MPH, MA, The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare Schwartz Rounds
Michele Sacco, MS, The Joint Commission Joint Commission Palliative Care Certification
Jeffrey Yee, MD, and Joanne Hatchett, MSN, RN, FNP, ACHPN, Woodland Healthcare New Tools for POLST
Coalition for Compassionate Care of California Advance Care Planning: Conversation Tools and Techniques
Liz Salmi, Coalition for Compassionate Care of California Amplifying the Palliative Care Message Using Social Media

Continuing Education Information (CEUs and CMEs)

Type Details
Nursing Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider Number CEP 15403 for 12 contact hours.
Social Work This course meets the qualifications for 12 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs and LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider PCE 4576.
Nursing Home Administrators An application has been made to the California Nursing Home Administrator Program for 12 NHAP/P credits. CCCC is an approved NHAP provider.
Physicians This Live activity, “7th Annual Summit – Palliative Care: A Call to Action,” with a beginning date of 04/14/2015, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 12.00 prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Tabletop & Sponsorship Opportunities

Mailer (PDF)

CCCC15 Program

Online registration is full, and limited spaces are available.

You must contact us directly to register for the Summit. Send us a message or call (916) 489-2222.

Contact us first before sending payments via mail.

Summit Registration Rates

Pricing Deadline Member Non-Member
4/10/15 $525 $625


Limited partial scholarships are available. For information and an application contact CCCC.

ADA Needs

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact CCCC.

Hotel & Meeting Location

Sacramento Hilton Arden West
2200 Harvard Street
Sacramento, CA 95815 (Map)

Rate: $125 single/double
Special Rate Cutoff Date: March 23, 2015
Reservations: (800) 344-4321
Online Reservations:
Group Code: CCA


A $25 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation. Cancellations must be made in writing no later than five (5) business days prior to the conference, and faxed to (888) 789-9475, or e-mailed to No refunds will be made after this date. Substitutions are encouraged and can be made by calling (916) 489-2222. Cancellation of hotel reservation is the registrant’s responsibility.


Archstone Foundation

California HealthCare FoundationSupported by the California HealthCare Foundation, based in Oakland, California

CSU Institute for Palliative Care


Hospice of the Valley

The Joint Commission



Kind Ethics

Leading Age California

Light Bridge Hospice

Moss Communications

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare

Event Hashtag


Planner Contact

Keeta Scholl
(916) 489-2222

View resources and materials from the 2014 conference »