CANCELED 9th Annual Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference

Lake Geneva, WI US
May 7, 2020 to May 8, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our conference planning committee has decided to cancel the 2020 Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference, scheduled for May 7-8, 2020. This is in response to many factors, first and foremost preventing the spread of illness. Many of our speakers and attendees are under travel restriction, the Medical College of Wisconsin has restricted MCW-sponsored events, and the CDC recommends that events consisting of 50 people or more are canceled.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding during this chaotic time.


Program Changes
The planning committee reserves the right to substitute faculty or cancel sessions due to unforeseen circumstances.

Preconference Workshop Fees:
$100 All participants ($125 after February 24)

Full-day Conference Fees:
$250 MD/DO/PHD ($275 after February 24)
$200 Allied Health Professionals ($225 after February 24)
$100 Resident/Fellow ($125 after February 24)

Registration options: Thursday & Friday combined ~ or ~ Friday Only
Thursday only registration not available.

Full-day conference registration includes continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments, course materials and continuing education credits. Certificates are awarded upon completion of online evaluation. 

Please note: a non-refundable $10.00 processing fee is assessed on all registrations.

First time Attendees:  Click  "Create Account" in the upper right corner of your screen and follow the screen prompts.  Once you have created your account, click the "Registration" tab to choose your registration options for this conference.  **The billing address entered at check out must match the address associated with the credit card used or your credit card will be declined.

Attention Returning Attendees: Log in using your original username and password; Do Not create another account.

*All sales are final.  No refunds will be applied.

**Please dress in layers as the temperature of the conference rooms may fluctuate.

Target Audience

Intermediate/Advanced Palliative Care Practitioners: Physicians, Psychologists, Allied Health Professionals (Advanced Practice Nurses, Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, Hospice Personnel, Social Workers, Chaplains), Fellows and Residents.

Learning Objectives

  1. Given a simulated patient with a complaint of pain, recommend an appropriate starting dose of methadone including both opioid-naïve and opioid-tolerant patients  - FF 36, 75, 86, 132, 180, 358
  2. Practice reflecting in the moment about what you are feeling and what the emotions are in the room ("learn to read the room") - FF 29, 169
  3. Describe 3 innovative pain or symptom management treatment strategies - FF 334 
  4. Analyze ways the health care team can support a patient's "right death" - FF 65
  5. Identify ways that palliative providers can use comics to share and process powerful experiences in care - FF 169
  6. Review the evidence and use of non-opioid medications to manage pain in patients with advanced cancer or serious illness - FF 49, 148, 187, 249, 255, 288, 340
  7. Describe provider challenges relating to end-of-life and palliative care for the adolescent and young adult population - FF 138, 346
  8. Identify common palliative needs of patients with Parkinson's disease and interventions that can be provided by a palliative care specialist. - FF 201, 217, 361, 362
  9. Review 2019 literature outlining new recommendations for pain and symptom management 
  10. Identify commons symptoms in end stage liver disease and their management with a goal of palliation - FF 188, 189, 260
  11. Discuss how to navigate challenges inherent to the assessment of decision-making capacity - FF 55

Fast Facts and Concepts (FF) are a collection of over 300 one-paged, evidence-based, and peer reviewed clinical educational tools designed to answer a targeted clinical issue in hospice and palliative medicine.  They capitalize on teachable moments.

Additional information

CME Coordinator Contact Information

Dan Bullock
Phone Number: 
+1 (414) 805-4617
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.
  • 5.00 NP Pharmacology
    NP Pharmacology credit.
  • 9.75 NP Contact Hours
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/07/2020 - 8:00am
Event ends: 
05/08/2020 - 4:50pm

Thursday, May 7, 2020
Preconference Workshops

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Arrival and Sign-in

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

PC-1: Learn to Read and Respond to Emotion Using Improv Theater- Toby Campbell, MD and Ethan Silverman, MD
Through the use of medical improv theater games, participants will grow in self-awareness, ability to read emotions, and respond, and learn to reflect in action to provide the most effective response to unique situations.
PC-2: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going! Complex Pain Management in Serious Illness - Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE
The majority of physical discomfort associated with serious illness can be well controlled using tried and true principles of pain management. Occasionally, however, things get a bit more complicated and require a great skill set including opioid conversion calculations, methadone dosing, and use of medications not routinely used such as ketamine and IV lidocaine. This presentation will arm practitioners with skills to take on these tough cases. Buckle your seat belt - not for the faint-hearted!

4:30-6:00 pm Networking Cafe
Opportunity to network with speakers as well as other conference attendees.  Cash bar available.

Friday, May 3, 2019
Full-day Conference   8:00 am - 4:50 pm

7:00-7:55 a.m.    Arrival & Sign-in/Continental Breakfast

7:55-8:00 a.m.    Introduction

8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.   Plenary Session One

The Right Death: Moving Beyond the Idea of a "Good Death", Sallie Tisdale, RN
We often assume agreement about the meaning of a good death. But as soon as we begin to explore the definition of "good death," conflict arises. How do we balance the needs of patients and families when they differ? How do we manage disagreement between patients and their providers? Are there good deaths that don't look anything like our expectations? What other ways can we discuss this?

9:15-9:25 a.m.    BREAK

9:25-10:25 a.m.   Concurrent Session One

When Decision Making Capacity is a Hard Decision to Maked, Heather Smith, PhD, ABPP-CG
Determining decision-making capacity is not always straightforward. This session will discuss challenging cases and how to navigate them.
Palliative Care in Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders, Jessica M. Baker, MD
The presentation will highlight a palliative care approach to the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative movement disorders, reviewing symptom management, prognosis and communication challenges.

10:25-10:35 a.m.   BREAK

10:35-11:35 a.m.   Concurrent Session Two

Neither Pediatric nor Adult: Unique Care Considerations in the Adolescent & Young AdultMelissa Atwood, DO, MA, Alexandria Bear, MD, Suzanne Berg, BS, CCLS, and Catherine Van Schyndle, APNP
This presentation will define the AYA population and outline both unique palliative care considerations and proposed care models for this patient population utilizing exemplative real-life cases. Distinctive provider challenges relating to care for this patient population will also be discussed.

Non-Opioid Pain Management in Patients with Serious IllnessLara India, MD and Adrienne Klement, MD
The focus of this presentation is review and discussion of non-opioid medications and other strategies for managing pain in patients with serious illness.

11:35 a.m. -12:50 p.m.   LUNCH (provided)

12:50–2:05 pm  Plenary Session Two

Speed Dating with a Palliative Care Pharmacist -
 Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE
Medications are frequently used to reduce pain and non-pain symptoms in serious illness. This fast-paced session will provide a plethora of medication-related pearls and pitfalls that aim to maximize pain and symptom management. Tips and tricks culled from recent research, and suggestions for making medication management in this fragile population will be addressed.

2:05–2:15 p.m.    BREAK

2:15–3:15 p.m.   Concurrent Session Three

Palliative Care in 2019: A Reflection on this Year's Research, Ryan Jozwiak, MD and Mary Rhodes, MD, MS
A reflection of the high impact research in palliative care and hospice medicine from 2019 with brief takeaways for everyday practice.
Role of Palliation Care for End-Stage Liver Disease and Its Challenges, Aiman Ghufran, MD
Patients with end-stage liver disease develop chronic symptoms , the management of which can become quite challenging. Frequently, the available therapies place patients at risk for side effects and complications that further severely impact the quality of life in these patients. Having a combined palliative approach to overall management of this patient population can help alleviate the symptoms better with an improved quality of life. The goal of this presentation is to discuss this co-management.

3:15-3:25 p.m. BREAK

3:25–4:40 p.m.   Plenary Session Three

Speaking in Pictures: How the Visual Storytelling of Comics Can Inform Palliative CareNathan A. Gray, MD
Graphic narratives, sometimes referred to as "comics," are increasingly recognized as a powerful and unique platform for both patients and providers to share experiences that often defy words. Many palliative clinicians may be unfamiliar with the literature that exists on comics in healthcare, unaware of graphic resources available to patients, and uncertain how to utilize graphic narrative in the care of themselves and those they treat. In this conference session, we will open the pages of "graphic medicine" to participants with case examples and visual representations of outstanding health comics that highlight their potential uses in Palliative Care. Providers will develop a toolkit of techniques for using graphic narrative to care for themselves and their patients, and the session will close with an opportunity for participants to create their own brief comic narrative.

Grand Geneva Resort & Conference Center
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
United States
+1 (800) 558-3417

Reservations: call (877)741-9598




Nathan A. Gray, MD, Duke University School of Medicine
Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy 
Sallie Tisdale, Author, End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum Trainer, Adjunct Faculty, Portland State University


Jessica Baker, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
Toby Campbell, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
Ethan Silverman, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI


Melissa Atwood, DO, MA, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Alexandria Bear, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care Program
Suzanne Berg, BS, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist Coordinator
Aiman Ghufran, MBBS, Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology
Lara India, MD, Fellow, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care Program
Ryan Jozwiak, MD, Fellow, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care Program
Adrienne Klement, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care Program
Mary Rhodes, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care Program
Heather Smith, PhD, ABPP-CG, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
Catherine Van Schyndle, APNP, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Palliative Care Program

Program Co-directors
Renee Foutz, MD
Paul Stellmacher, MD
Education Program Coordinator
Dan Bullock

Susan Stoltz, PA-C
Catherine Van Schyndle, APNP

All persons in control of content have NO relevant financial relationships to disclose with the exception of the following persons:

Sallie TisdaleSquintmetricsConsultant

In accordance with the ACCME® standards for Commercial Support Number 6, all in control of content disclosed any relevant financial relationships. These relationships were reviewed via the MCW conflict of interest resolution process and resolved.

Guest Speaker Bios

Melissa Atwood, MD is an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in the Critical Care Division of Pediatrics and the Palliative Care Program. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Hope Children's Hospital in Illinois and then a fellowship in pediatric critical care at MCW. She then became interested in palliative care and went on to complete a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at MCW in 2014. She currently serves as a member of the pediatric critical care and palliative care faculty at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW). She has also completed her masters degree in bioethics and serves as the co-chair for the CHW Ethics Advisory Committee and sits on the CHW IRB. 

Jessica Baker, MD, Dr. Baker is a movement disordersneurologist and palliative care physicianat the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She trained in the Partners Neurology residency program and completed a palliative care fellowship at UW. She sees patients in the outpatient neurology clinic and attends on the inpatient palliative care services. Her research interests include communication issues unique to neurology.

Toby Campbell, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH). He is a thoracic medical oncologist. Chief of Palliative Care and the Ellen and Peter O. Johnson Chair in Palliative Care at the University of Wisconsin. He was the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program Director from 2010-2017. He completed a residency in internal medicine at UWSMPH and fellowship programs in medical oncology and hospice and palliative medicine at Northwestern University. His research interests are in communication education, empathy, high-risk shared decision-making, and models of care for palliative care implementation. Dr. Campbell's work on communication crosses a variety of disciplines, and he has published in multiple major medical journals on that and other topics.

Nathan A. Gray, MD, is a palliative care physician and assistant professor at Duke University School of Medicine. His academic interests explore the intersection of visual storytelling and healthcare. Dr. Gray's graphic work has been featured in the L.A. Times, the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, the Annals of Internal Medicine, Topic Magazine, and the American Medical Association's Journal of Ethics. After medical training in the wide-open spaces of Texas, he now lives amidst the greenery of Durham, North Carolina with his wife Bethany, his two energetic foster kids and one rambunctious standard poodle.

Mary Lynn McPherson, Pharm.D., MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, is Professor and Executive Director, Advanced Post-Graduate Education in Palliative Care in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. Dr. McPherson has a master's degree in Instructional Systems Development and a Masters in Distance Education and e-Learning. Dr. McPherson has maintained a practice in both hospice (local and national) and ambulatory care her entire career. She is the Executive Program Director of the Online Master of Science and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. McPherson is particularly interested in the safe and effective use of medications in patients with a life-limiting illness, ranging from drug selection, deprescribing, risk mitigation with controlled substances and medication disposal.  

Sallie Tisdale, RN, is the author of nine books, most recently Advice for Future Corpses. Her essays have appeared in many publications. She has been a registered nurse for many years, and currently works in palliative care. She is trained as an End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum trainer. Tisdale is also a teacher in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition. 

Froedtert and MCW Speaker Bios

Alexandria Bear, MD, Dr. Bear is an assistant professor in the department of medicine - palliative care section at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2016 and her fellowship in Hospice and palliative medicine in 2017 after which time she joined the faculty.  

Suzanne Berg, BS, CCLS, Suzanne has a bachelor's degree in Child Life and is a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Presenting in the past at the National Association of Child Life Professionals Conference and at the Annual Assembly of Hopsice and Palliative Care Conference. Her profession as a child life specialist finds her supporting young adult patients going through cancer treatment in the outpatient, inpatient, and ICU setting. She has worked as a CCLS for more than 35 years focusing on supporting not only the Adolescent Young Adult Patient (AYA) but their families as well.

Aiman Ghufran, MD, Dr. Ghufran finished medical school at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. Completed Internal Medicine Residency, GI Fellowship, and Transplant Hepatology Fellowship at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. She joined the Medical College of Wisconsin in August 2017 following completion of training. Recently appointed Associate Program Director for GI and Hepatology Fellowship.

Lara India, MD, Dr. India is an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, who is currently completing a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She completed her residency in anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2019, serving as Chief Resident during her final year. Her clinical interests include utilization of regional and neuraxial anesthetic techniques for pain management in the terminally ill.

Ryan Jozwiak, MD , Ryan is the current Hospice and Palliative Care fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Trained in Family Medicine, he will be continuing (and finishing) his training in Geriatrics in the coming year and is hoping to return to Wisconsin with his wife and Mini Schnauzer.

Adrienne Klement, MD, Dr. Klement obtained her BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh, her MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Duke University Affiliated Hospitals. She became a Medical Instructor at the Durham VA Medical Center and went on to serve as a Medical Hospice Director at the University of Pennsylvania Hospice. She is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She practices Internal Medicine and Palliative Care at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. She is boarded in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Her clinical interests include improving confidence and competence of internal medicine interns in communicating and treating pain in veteran patients with serious illness.

Catherine Van Schyndle, APNP , Katy has worked as a nurse practitioner in palliative care at the Medical College of Wisconsin for six years. She primarily works in the outpatient environment.

Ethan Silverman, MD , Dr. Silverman is a Clinician Educator at University of Wisconsin in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care. While completing his residency at University of Chicago he completed a fellowship in Biomedical Ethics at MacLean Center. He completed his clinical fellowship in Palliative and Hospice care last year and currently is pursuing advanced training in medical education. Dr. Silverman's clinical and education interests include communication, bioethics and palliative care.

Heather M. Smith, PhD, ABPP, Dr. Smith is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Lead Psychologist at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. Board certified in Clinical Geropsychology, Dr. Smith provides psychological services to geriatric and palliative care patient populations in addition to engaging in teaching, clinical supervision and research activities.











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 up to 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Hours of Participation for Allied Health professionals: (RN, Social Workers, Chaplains, etc.)
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 9.75 contact hours of continuing education (which includes 5.0 hours of pharmacology).  Nurse Practitioners should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.

Program Changes
The planning committee reserves the right to substitute faculty or cancel sessions due to unforeseen circumstances.

Workshops: 3 credits per workshop (up to 3) 
Full-day Conference: 6.75 credits

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.
  • 5.00 NP Pharmacology
    NP Pharmacology credit.
  • 9.75 NP Contact Hours


Please login or register to take this course.



TimeRegistration OptionsFee
1 - 4 pmOptional Pre-Conference Workshops* - May 7, 2020+$125.00
7 am - 4:40 pmPalliative Care Conference - May 8, 2020 
 Allied Health Care Professionals$225.00
 Concurrent Sessions** - May 8, 2020 
9:25-10:25 amConcurrent Sessions OneComplementary
10:35-11:35 amConcurrent Sessions TwoComplementary
2:15-3;15 pmConcurrent Sessions ThreeComplementary

*The cost for the Pre-Conference Workshops are an additional $125.00 with your paid conference fee.

**Concurrent Sessions are complementary with your paid conference fee however pre-enrollment is required.

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. All registrations will be assessed a $10 non-refundable processing fee.

Registration fee includes course materials, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and continuing education credits.