11th Annual Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference

Lake Geneva, WI US
May 4, 2023 to May 5, 2023

The purpose of the 11th Annual Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference is to bring together educators and leaders in palliative care from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the national community to explore challenging topics in palliative care and to advance the practice of hospice and palliative medicine.

Target Audience

  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Allied Health Professionals (Advanced Practice Nurses, Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, Hospice Personnel, Social Workers, Chaplains)
  • Fellows
  • Residents

Learning Objectives

Participants who engage in this educational intervention will be able to: 

  • Safely initiate buprenorphine in both opioid-tolerant and opioid naïve patients, and effectively adjust buprenorphine dosing for both patients with opioid use disorder and cancer pain
  • Prognosticate brain injury and how to discuss it with patients and families to then facilitate a meaningful goals of care discussion to establish goals that support and honor patient wishes.
  • Up to date recommendations for managing uncommon (orphan) symptoms that they can incorporate into their practice to alleviate suffering in patients with serious illness and at end of life.
Additional information


Amanda Szymkowski
Phone Number: 
+1 (414) 955-0584
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
    AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 9.75 Hours of Participation
    Hours of Participation credit.
  • 4.50 NP Pharmacology
    NP Pharmacology credit.
  • 6.00 NP Contact Hours
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/04/2023 - 1:00pm CDT
Event ends: 
05/05/2023 - 5:00pm CDT

Pre-Conference - Thursday, May 4th 2023 - 1pm-4pm 

Workshop A:

Ruth Drazewski, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, APNP, ACHPN; Whitney Gilbert, MSW, LCSW; Will Lyon, MD; Maria Olex, PhyD; Christine Restive-Pritzl, APNP to present "Complexities of Surrogate Decision Making." The complexities of surrogate decision making are vast, ranging from the pragmatic aspects of the legal document to the emotional nuances of the surrogate decision maker and everything in between. The Complexities of Surrogate Decision Making workshop will present information on legal documents that can appoint surrogate decision makers for healthcare and what the role of the surrogate decision maker encompasses. After the framework for surrogate decision making is presented, the majority of the time with this workshop will be dedicated to an in depth discourse on complex case examples in a multidisciplinary approach. With the hope for the workshop to be as interactive as possible, please come ready to apply your experiences in conjunction with the information presented!

Workshop B:

Drew Rosielle, MD, FAAHPM, to present "Buprenorphine for Patients with Serious Illness." There is surging interest in using buprenorphine as an analgesic as well as treatment for opioid use disorder in patients with serious illness. After completing this interactive, case-based workshop, participants will be better able to identify patients for whom buprenorphine is indicated, safely initiate buprenorphine in both opioid-tolerant and opioid naïve patients, and effectively adjust buprenorphine dosing for both patients with opioid use disorder and cancer pain. The workshop will discuss buprenorphine’s use across the full spectrum of patients with serious illness who may benefit from it including patients with substance use disorders, other patients at higher risk of harm from opioids, and as a promising alternative to more commonly used opioid analgesics for patients with cancer pain. 

Conference Day - Friday, May 5th 2023 - 8am-5pm 

8:00am - 9:15am

Rana Awdish, MS, MD, FACP, FCCP to present "Healing with Intention." Dr. Awdish, a best-selling author and critical care physician, shares her firsthand account of a transformative near-death experience, and how she came to learn to approach the practice medicine in a different way.  The lessons she learned were a catalyst to finding a path towards practicing with greater intention and purpose. With a focus on healing health care, the presenter will discuss how to initiate change by giving primacy to patient and provider narratives, building resilience in teams and systems, and investing in our community.           

9:30am – 10:30am

Greg Rozansky, MD to present "Prognostication in Traumatic Brain Injury." This presentation will (1) review current practices of prognostication based on classification, mechanism and type of brain injury, (2) address Neuro-prognostication in goals-of-care discussions, and (3) introduce current studies on potential future methods of Neuro-prognostication.  

Alex Bear, MD; Melissa Atwood, DO, MA; Suzanne Berg, BS, CCLS; Katy Van Schyndle, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, ACHPN to present "Palliative Care for the Adolescent Young Adult Population." In this interdisciplinary presentation, we will discuss unique palliative care considerations and provider challenges relating to the adolescent young adult population.

10:45am – 12:00pm

Holly Prigerson, PhD to present "Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD): Diagnosis, Risks, Resources & Interventions"

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Fellowship Most Difficult Case Conference

  • Laura Kahn, MD, University of Chicago to present "Case Report: Effects of Morbid Obesity in Serious Illness"
  • Lisa Peterson, DO, Advocate Aurora to present "Pain, Pain Everywhere and Not a Consultant to Treat"
  • Thomas Soukup, DO, University of Minnesota to present "DNR Policies and Ethical Dilemmas"

Lyndsey Runaas, MD to present "Heme Malignancies and the Palliative Care Provider – What is the Goal of Care?" In her talk, Dr. Runaas hopes to review some of the newer treatments for hematologist malignancies, their unique side effects and some of the nuances regarding their intent. 

2:15pm – 3:15pm

Jennifer Turpen, DO, Jordan Bauman, MD, Laura Johns, MD to present "Atypical Symptoms." The purpose of our presentation is to address the exploration of and interventions for some of the oft-seen, but seldom-discussed symptoms that often detract from the quality of life of our palliative patients.

Jessica Molinaro, MD to present "Psychiatric Aspects of Palliative and End-of-Life-Care: Expanding the Interface between Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care." In this talk, we will review psychiatric conditions that are often seen in the palliative care setting; discuss approaches to the maintenance, modification, and initiation of psychotropic medications in this setting; examine the special considerations for palliative therapies that may be associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as certain psychiatric medications that could be helpful in this context; and explore the synergy between psycho-oncology and palliative care.

3:30pm – 4:45pm

Darrell Owens, DNP, MSHA, MSN, ACHPN, FAAN to present "Covid-19 and Palliative Care: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." The Covid-19 Pandemic brought out the best and the worst in people and healthcare institutions. Palliative care services across the U.S. were not exempt from these best and worst scenarios. Many palliative care services quickly adapted, changing their scope of work and services to better serve patients, families, and colleagues, while others remained silent on the side-lines, citing understaffing, prognostic uncertainty, and other reasons for remaining disengaged. As we remain in the waning months of the COVID pandemic, with the shortcomings of the healthcare system shining brightly, palliative care programs must re-evaluate their role in the healthcare system. In this talk, Dr. Owens will share his experiences as the only palliative care provider at the University of Washington Medical Center, Northwest Campus in 2020 when Seattle became the first COVID epicenter in the U.S. He will discuss the creation of an ED/palliative care collaboration, the transition from a palliative care consulting-only to consulting/admitting service, and the personal toll of experiencing disenfranchised grief after providing 24/7 coverage for over 2 months. Finally, Dr. Owens will explore palliative care in a post-Covid world.


Planning Committee

Co-Directors of Activity: 

Renee Foutz, MD, Assistant Professor, GLPCC Co-Director, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin 

Paul Stellmacher, MD, Assistant Professor, GLPCC Co-Director Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

NP and PA Committee:

Katy Van Schyndle, AGPCNP-BC, APNP, ACHPN, Nurse Practitioner, GLPCC Nurse Practitioner Planner, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

Mary Elizabeth Holden, PA-C, Physician Assistant, GLPCC Physician Assistant Planner, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Program Coordinator

Amanda Szymkowski, BA, Administrative Coordinator, Course Coordinator, GLPCC, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

Grand Geneva Resort & Conference Center
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
United States

  • You can reserve your room at a discounted rate here: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
  • Mention the 11th annual Great Lakes Palliative Care conference. 
  • Please reserve by Monday, April 3rd, 2023 to receive the room rate. 

Please note: The temperature of the conference rooms may fluctuate, so please dress in layers. 


In accordance with the ACCME® Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, Standard 3, all in control of content must disclose any relevant financial relationships. The following in control of content had no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Speakers and Bios

Plenary Speakers 

Dr. Rana Awdish is the author of In Shock, a critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir based on her own critical illness. She is a sought-after public speaker, delivering inspirational keynote addresses to groups ranging from professional medical societies, to members of Congress, to organizations combatting homelessness. A pulmonary and critical care physician, she serves as the current Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Henry Ford Hospital. She also serves as Medical Director of Care Experience for the System, where she has integrated compassionate communication strategies and Narrative Medicine practice into the curriculum. Dr. Awdish received the Schwartz Center’s National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award in 2017. She was named Physician of the Year by Press Ganey in 2017 for her work on improving communication and received the Critical Care Teaching Award in 2016. She has been inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Her narrative non-fiction essays have been published in The Examined Life Journal, Intima, CHEST and The New England Journal of Medicine. She has written editorials for The Harvard Business Review, Annals of Internal Medicine, The Washington Post and The Detroit Free Press. Her essay The Shape of the Shore was awarded a Sydney by the New York Times and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Prior to coming to Henry Ford, Dr. Awdish completed her training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan. She attended Wayne State University Medical School and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Holly G. Prigerson, PhD is the Irving Sherwood Wright Professor of Geriatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), and Co-Director, Cornell Center for Research on End-of-Life Care. She has served as PI on numerous NIH investigations, including studies that justified the inclusion of Prolonged Grief Disorder in ICD-11 and DSM-5-TR and which have examined psychosocial influences on and outcomes of end-of-life care. She conducts studies of racial/ethnic disparities in end-of-life care, studies of religiousness and spirituality and examined online tools to detect risk of suicidal ideation in caregivers of patients with end-stage disease or in bereavement. She has been approved for tenure at Harvard, Yale, and Cornell medical schools and received the Harvard Medical School’s Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, the 2012 NHPCO’s Distinguished Researcher Award, the NCI’s R35 7-year Outstanding Investigator Award which was renewed for another 7 years in 2022, and the 2018 AAHPM award for excellence in scientific research. 

Darrell Owens, DNP, FAAN, BSN, MS is an international expert in palliative care and a certified grief educator who has been with UW Medicine for 19 years. Dr. Owens studied under David Kessler, author, and international grief expert, to obtain his grief educator certification. In 2015, the UAB Alumni Association honored him with the Joanne Barnett Award for Compassionate Care. Over the past 19 years with UW Medicine, he founded the Inpatient and Outpatient Palliative Care Services at Harborview Medical Center and Northwest Hospital in Seattle, WA. In 2011 Dr. Owens was selected as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner’s Nurse Practitioner of the Year for the State of Washington, and in 2012 was the first nurse practitioner to receive the Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourn Award for Excellence in Clinical Leadership in Palliative Care. In 2019 he was honored with the University of Washington Distinguished Staff Award for outstanding dedication to the University of Washington Community. In 2020 Dr. Owens was inducted into the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame. In 2021 he was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing, an honor awarded to fewer than 1% of nurses worldwide. In 2022, he was selected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Grief Counseling.

Workshop Presenters 

Drew A Rosielle, MD, FAAPHM is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School.  He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, completed an internal medicine residency program at the University of Colorado, and palliative care fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He directed the University of Minnesota Medical School Hospice & Palliative Medicine fellowship from 2010-2018. Currently he practices ambulatory palliative medicine at the M Health Fairview Masonic Cancer Center in Minneapolis, MN. Dr Rosielle helps edits Fast Facts and Concepts, and blogs about palliative care at Pallimed.org. He is the winner of a 2013 Hastings Center and Cuniff-Dixon Foundation early career award and the University of Minnesota Medical Center Staff Award for Clinical Education in 2017.

Ruth Drazewski MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, APNP, ACHPN is an advanced practice nurse in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in Palliative Care.  She currently works within the Community Hospital Division Palliative Care Program.  She completed nursing school with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1987.  She received her Master’s Degree in Nursing from Marquette University in 1992.  She is a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health and is board certified as an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse.  Ruth has over 29 years of nursing experience with 13 years spent as an advanced practice nurse in palliative care.

Whitney Gilbert MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who majored in social work and received a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College in 2009 and in 2010 received a Master’s in Social Work from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She has worked in a variety of social work roles and settings including: Hospital and ER based care management, primary care, acute mental health, psychotherapy, and managed care. She is currently working as an LCSW within the Froedtert Community Hospital Division Palliative Care Program.

Will Lyon, MD is currently completing his fellowship in geriatric medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He received his MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His professional interests include inpatient consultative geriatrics, post-acute and long-term care, and geriatric primary care. His academic interests include medical ethics and philosophy of medicine. 

Maria Olex, PsyD completed her undergraduate degree at University of Iowa and her Master’s and Doctorate of Psychology at Adler University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Olex went on to complete her health service internship at the Medical College of Wisconsin and health psychology post-doctoral fellowship at Henry Ford Health System with a specialization in psych-oncology and otolaryngology. She was the Clinical Psychologist at Columbia St. Mary’s before joining the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2021.

Christine Restivo-Pritzl, APNP is a family nurse practitioner with the Medical College of Wisconsin Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine’s palliative care team in the Community Hospital Division of Froedtert Health.  Her previous nurse practitioner experience included psycho-oncology and family practice. Christine began her nursing career as a bedside RN in medical and surgical neurologic care where she worked for 12 years prior to earning her master’s degree in nursing in 2009.  She is certified as an Advanced Care Hospice and Palliative Nurse.


Concurrent Presenters 

Melissa Atwood, DO, MA completed her residency in Pediatrics at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL.  She then came to Children’s Wisconsin for a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care.  She became interested in Palliative Care and completed a fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine through MCW.  She practiced both Critical Care and Palliative Care for several years before transitioning to full-time Palliative Care in 2020.  She is co-chair of the Ethics committee at CW and serves on the IRB.

Jordan Bauman, MD is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow at MCW. He completed his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Subsequently he completed internal medicine training at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Bauman holds particular interest in the intersection of palliative medicine and malignant hematology in management of high symptom burden while holding hope for cure. 

Alex Bear, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine. She joined the faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2017. She completed her undergraduate education at Wellesley College, where she studied chemistry and nanoscience. She completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at MCW, where she subsequently has remained on the faculty for the past 6 years. Her academic interests include empathy and experiential learning models, and she is now the medical director of the inpatient palliative care service at Froedtert Hospital.

Sue Berg, BS, CCLS has been a certified child life specialist for more than 35 years. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Edgewood College in Madison, WI, and completed her masters in Thanatology from Marian University, Fon du Lac, WI. She has been working at Froedtert Hospital for 11 years. As a certified child life specialist, Sue provides psychosocial care to critically and chronically ill patients and their families as well as assisting young adults in their transition to medical care from the pediatric setting to the adult hospital.

Laura Johns, MD is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine physician.  She completed her emergency training at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona and her Palliative medicine fellowship at Northwestern University.  She currently practices at Medical College of Wisconsin, splitting her time between the emergency department, inpatient palliative care service and medical education endeavors. 

Laura Kahn, MD completed her medical training and Master's of Public Health at University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Family Medicine residency at Northwestern McGaw/Erie Family Health Centers in Chicago. She is currently a Palliative Fellow at University of Chicago. Her clinical interests include primary palliative care, perinatal palliative care, and strength training for older adults.

Jessica Molinaro, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her medical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed both her general psychiatry residency training and a fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry also at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is board certified in both Psychiatry and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. Dr. Molinaro specializes in working with patients with a cancer diagnosis and addressing the variety of psychological, behavioral, emotional, and social issues that arise for these patients and their loved ones. Her clinical research focus is on distress in cancer survivorship.

Greg Rozansky, MD came to the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2014 from Montreal, Canada to complete a residency in Neurology. After completing his fellowship training in Neurocritical care, he joined the faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology as a Neurointensivist. His research interests include monitoring for vasospasm in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Lyndsey Runaas, MD is an Assistant Professor in the division of hematology and oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  She completed her medical education, residency and chief residency at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health before completing fellowship in Hematology & Oncology at the University of Michigan.  She was recruited to MCW in 2017 where her clinical focuses are on myeloid malignancies and allogeneic stem cell transplant.  Her interests include patient-physician communication and shared decision making and medical education.  She is proud to serve as the program director for MCW’s Heme-Onc fellowship. 

Tom Soukup, DO is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow at the University of Minnesota. He completed his medical degree at Des Moines University in central Iowa. Tom subsequently completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at SUNY-Buffalo, New York. Post-residency he has worked as a community physician splitting time between Emergency Medicine and Hospice Medical Director. 

Jen Turpen, DO, MA is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow at MCW. She completed her medical degree at AT Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine where she completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in medical education. Afterwards she completed family medicine training at Deaconess Hospital in her hometown of Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Turpen's ideal future career is in academic medicine where she can combine her love to palliate and empower the next generation of physicians. 

Katy Van Schyndle, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, ACHPN completed nursing and graduate nursing school at Marquette University in Milwaukee.  She has worked as a nurse practitioner on the palliative care team at MCW for 9 years; primarily working in the outpatient setting. 


The following persons in control of content disclosed the following financial relationships which were reviewed via the MCW conflict of interest mitigation process and addressed.










ACCME Accreditation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
AMA Credit Designation Statement:

The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this live activity for a maximum of 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Hours of Participation for Allied Health Care Professionals: 

The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this activity for up to 9.75 hours of participation for continuing education for allied health professionals. 


Nurse Practitioner:

Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc. is approved as a provider of nurse practitioner continuing education by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: AANP Provider Number 150930.  This program has been approved for up to 6 contact hours of continuing education (which includes 4.5 hours of pharmacology).  Nurse Practitioners should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.


Our program is a Category I continuing medical education program, accredited by the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA), which will count toward Social Work CE hours. 

Available Credit

  • 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
    AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 9.75 Hours of Participation
    Hours of Participation credit.
  • 4.50 NP Pharmacology
    NP Pharmacology credit.
  • 6.00 NP Contact Hours


Please login or register to take this course.


$     300.00

Allied Health

 $     250.00


$     150.00


$     100.00


Register at ocpe.mcw.edu/medicine. If you don’t have an account, click “Create New Visitor Account” in the lower right corner. Once your account is created, select Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference under “Featured Courses,” register, and follow the prompts. If you only plan on attending the Thursday Workshops, please click no thank you under Course Registration and the following categories.

All registrations will be assessed 10.00 non-refundable processing fee.

There are no refunds.

PLEASE NOTE! The billing address entered upon checkout must match the billing address on the credit card you will be using to pay for this course. MCW accepts MasterCard, VISA and Discover card.

For a more user-friendly registration and payment experience, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are the recommended web browsers.

Registration scams:

Registration for courses managed by MCW Office of Continuing Professional Development can only be completed through our portal at https://ocpe.mcw.edu/. Course registrations made through other sites cannot be honored. MCW Office of Continuing Professional Development is not able to refund fees paid through unaffiliated registration sites, such as eMedEvents.com, MedConfWorld.com, EventEgg.com, and 10times.com.


Please report any unauthorized websites or solicitations for registrations to cme@mcw