10th Annual Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference

Lake Geneva, WI US
May 5, 2022 to May 6, 2022

Thank you for attending the 10th Annual Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference. Please complete the evaluation: 22128_10th Annual Great Lakes Palliative Care Conference Evaluation | Medical College of Wisconsin (mcw.edu). Your feedback is important to us.


The purpose of the 10th 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: 

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills that enhance serious illness conversations with patients and families: *FF #6, #11, #29, #59
  • Know how to recognize and treat specific palliative care emergencies: *FF #106-107, #229, #238, #338, #341, #403
  • Examine caregiver burden in the setting of serious-illness and end-of-life: *FF #419
  • Articulate the utility of narrative medicine interventions for palliative care clinicians: *FF #29, #371, #438
  • General overview of Advanced Heart Failure, Possible Therapies, Prognosis, and End-of-life considerations: *FF #143, #144, #205, #296, #353
  • Develop an understanding of health inequities among sexual and gender minorities (SGM), including those related to palliative and end of life care: *FF #275
  • Identify common communication breakdowns between providers and consultants: *FF #183-184, #266-267
  • Examine current evidence for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies in Palliative Care symptom management: *FF #211, #279, #364, #39

*Fast Facts and Concepts (FF) are a collection of over 400 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. Visit Fast Facts and Concepts https://www.mypcnow.org/fast-facts/ today! 

Additional information
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.
  • 2.00 NP Pharmacology
    NP Pharmacology credit.
  • 9.75 NP Contact Hours
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/05/2022 - 1:00pm CDT
Event ends: 
05/06/2022 - 5:00pm CDT

Pre-Conference Workshops

Thursday, May 5th 2022

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM 

Listening Generously: A Communications Workshop - Toby Campbell, MD, MSCI, FAAHPM, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Rhiannon Talbot, DO, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Palliative Emergencies Workshop - Sarah Nickoloff, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Katherine Recka, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Samantha Wojnowiak, APNP, Medical College of Wisconsin 

This workshop is dedicated to recognizing, responding to, and treating specific Palliative Care emergencies.

Conference Schedule

Friday, May 6th, 2022

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM:

Caregiver: A Love Story - Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH

This screening and keynote presentation delivers a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by family caregivers as they navigate the many medical, financial and personal obstacles that confront them.

9:30 AM -10:30 AM:

Implementing a Narrative Medicine Practice - Liana Eskola, DO, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michelle Wildgen, Madison Writers’ Studio

This one-hour presentation will serve as an introduction to the concept of "Narrative Medicine," including descriptions of its history, utility, and implementation in a variety of settings. Led by a palliative care clinician with leadership in her program's well-being curriculum, and an experienced professional writer-editor, participants will learn how narrative medicine principles and interventions may be applied to improve their own well-being and professional fulfillment. A short participatory exercise during the session will spark creativity, curiosity, and connection. Attendees will leave this session with a solid understanding of how to approach implementing narrative medicine interventions in their own professional setting.

Advanced Heart Failure* - Renee Kursel, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin

Discussion about end of life expectations in Advanced Heart Failure patients, including what to expect with possible interventions we have to offer and what to expect when we don’t. What end of life looks like for patients with IV inotropic therapy or mechanical therapy such as an LVAD and the team approach needed to support them.

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

At the End of the Rainbow: Inclusive and Affirming Care for Sexual and Gender Minority Individuals and Families - Caroline Dorsen, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, Associate Dean of Advanced Practice and Clinical Partnerships and Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers School of Nursing

This interactive presentation will discuss the joys and challenges of caring for sexual and gender minority (eg LGBTQ+) individuals and families. Using cases studies and best available evidence, we will explore the complex causes of health disparities in this population, including those experienced at the end of life, and discuss strategies to create an inclusive and affirming environment for all.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM:


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM:

Fellows Most Difficult Case Discussion

  • Poor Prognosis versus The Second Opinion - Nyembezi Dhliwayo, MD, Fellow, Cook County Health
  • Subanesthetic Ketamine Infusion in Reducing Symptoms of End-of-Life Depression: A Case Report - Leanne Groban, MD, Fellow, Advocate Aurora
  • Interactions between existential distress and social disadvantage at the end of life - Jason Parviz, DO, Fellow, University of Minnesota

Three current Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellows present their "Most Difficult Cases."  In reviewing these unique and challenging cases, we will hear the most medically and psychosocially complex patient care scenarios faced by these fellows in the care of seriously ill patients, with each fellow discussing salient learning points ranging from therapeutic challenges to social barriers to care.

Pain, Pain, Go Away: Pharmacological Non-Opioid Pain Management Strategies - Lara India, MD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

In this interactive, case-based session, participants will review recent literature on various non-opioid pain medications and discuss strategies for their use in palliative care and hospice.

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM:

The Pitfalls of “Goals of Care” as a Clinical Buzz Phrase - Adrienne Klement, MD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

Assistance with discussing goals of care is one of the most common reasons providers seek out palliative care consultation. In practice though, the phrase "goals of care" is often used as a clinical buzz phrase that lacks a shared understanding of its clinical relevance. In the context of a case example and brief review of the literature, a unified definition of and standardized process for “goals of care” conversations will be presented and discussed, such to minimize differences in what this phrase implies in clinical practice.  This approach may help to provide a more reliable and measurable method to promote goal-concordant care.

The Growing Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Palliative Care - Divya Patel, MD, Fellow, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Wendy Peltier, MD, Associate Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a budding practice among Americans. Despite its increasing use, many CAM therapies are often declined or under-reported in the medical setting due to lack of high-quality evidence and limited knowledge of common practices amongst non-traditionally trained health care providers. As patients with terminal illness are at risk for diminished quality of life due to the constant burden of symptoms, there is growing evidence that CAM can safely alleviate some of this burden.  The goal of the presentation is to address current challenges in incorporating CAM in palliative care and hospice settings.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM:

10 Things I've Learned from 200 Podcasts - Eric Widera, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco

Palliative care evidence base is constantly evolving as are the ways that we need to disseminate this palliative care knowledge and skills.  In this talk we will review 10 things learned through doing 200 podcasts on geriatrics and palliative care.  


Programming Notes:

*Final Title TBD 

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

***Please note: Speakers reserve the right to withhold slides from the site

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

  • You can reserve your room at a discounted rate either online   or by calling the Grand Geneva at  (262) 248-8811 
  • Mention the 10th annual Great Lakes Palliative Care conference. 
  • Please reserve by April 4th, 2022 to receive the room rate. 

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


Speakers and Bios

Plenary Speakers 

Jessica Zitter, MD is a national advocate for improving the way we die in America. Throughout her twenty-five years as an ICU physician, she has had a front-row seat to the public health crisis of over-mechanized dying. Her mission is to unveil this hidden crisis through personal narrative and the stories of real patients— and to envision a new way forward. Whether caring for patients, making films, writing, or speaking on the national stage, her message is clear: We must bring more honesty, compassion, and justice to the care of patients with serious and end-stage illness. In that way, we will achieve the best life possible for all.

Caroline Dorsen, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, is a nurse practitioner, scholar and educator whose passion is the intersection of health and social justice. She is currently the Associate Dean for Clinical Partnerships at Rutgers School of Nursing and an Associate Professor of Nursing and Public Health. For the last 20 years, she has focused on the complex causes of health disparities in the LGBTQ+ community, with a particular interest in the role of providers in perpetuating and mitigating them. In 2021, she was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her pioneering work in this area.

Eric Widera, MD is a professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California San Francisco. His main goal is to improve the care provided to elderly patients with severe chronic or terminal conditions. Eric accomplishes this through various leadership roles, including Director of the Hospice & Palliative Care Service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Associate Program Director for the Geriatrics Fellowship at UCSF. He is also on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Eric has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award, AAHPM Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leaders Under 40 award, and the AAHPM PDIA Palliative Medicine National Leadership Award. He is also a co-founder of GeriPal, a Geriatrics and Palliative Care blog and podcast, as well as ePrognosis, an online set of prognostic calculators for the elderly.

Workshop Presenters 

Toby Campbell, MD, MSCI, FAAHPM is Professor of Medicine, Chief of Palliative Care and the Ellen and Peter O. Johnson Chair in Palliative Care. He is also a thoracic medical oncologist in the division of hematology, oncology and palliative care at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Campbell completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Virginia; his internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin; and fellowships in medical oncology and palliative medicine at Northwestern University where he also received a master’s degree in clinical investigation. His research interests are in high-risk shared decision-making, communication education, empathy, and models of care for palliative care implementation. He has received numerous awards related to both his research and his compassionate care.

Rhiannon Talbot, DO is a Medical Education Fellow and Clinical Instructor with the section of Palliative Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She completed her Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at UW-Madison in 2021 after completing Family Medicine residency with certificates in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment and Integrative Medicine through Research Family Medicine Residency in Kansas City, MO.  She attended Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and graduated in 2017 with her DO and MA in Bioethics.  Professional interests include health humanities, bioethics, and teaching communication skills.

Sarah Nickoloff, MD is an associate professor in General Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is fellowship trained in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and she currently serves as the Community Living Center Medical Director and the Chief of Inpatient Medicine at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. Her interests include complex transitions of care and trainee education.

Katherine Recka, MD is an Associate Professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, specializing in hospice and palliative medicine at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. She graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2006. Dr. Recka completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics through the Medical College of Wisconsin and Affiliated Hospitals in 2010 and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Michigan in 2011. Dr. Recka is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and has an interest in bioethics and in quality improvement.

Samantha Wojnowiak, APNP is a Nurse Practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin, currently working on Froedtert Hospital’s inpatient Palliative Care team. She has worked in Palliative Care for nearly 6 years. She is particularly interested in end of life nursing education, and is an active member of the Froedtert Hospital Schwartz Rounds Committee.

Concurrent Presenters 

Nyembezi Dhliwayo, MD received her medical degree from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin; she completed Internal Medicine residency at Captain James A Lovell VA Hospital/Chicago Medical School in 06/2021 prior to joining the Palliative/Hospice medicine fellowship at Cook County Hospital/Rush University Medical Center. Prior to medical school, she undertook biomedical research in Diabetes & Regenerative medicine, and a Wellesley women’s leadership fellowship. Her clinical interest is mainly in the growing international field of palliative care in global health, as well as racial/ethnic disparities in the management of cancer related pain as a budding oncologist. Nyembezi will be joining the Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in the fall of 2022.
Outside of work, she enjoys reading biographies, travelling and fusion culinary arts; she’s a newly certified spinning/cycling instructor with a huge interest in raising awareness on holistic health/wellness.

Liana Eskola, DO is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Palliative Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care within the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is heavily involved in the education of UW’s Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellows as an Associate Program Director, director of the Narrative Medicine Program, co-director of the Well-being and Resiliency curriculum, and fellowship site director at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. Her academic interests include medical humanities, clinician well-being, simulation-based communication training, and palliative care for people with heart failure. Originally from California, she enjoys gardening, reading, and spending quiet time with her husband and cat at home in Madison.

Leanne Groban, MD is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellow at Advocate Aurora Health. She did an anesthesiology residency and cardiothoracic anesthesia fellowship at Wake Forest School of Medicine (aka Bowman Gray School of Medicine) prior to staying on as a faculty member. Besides her exemplary perioperative care of the older surgical patient, teaching and mentoring numerous medical students and residents, she’s been the primary investigator of several NIH-funded grants focusing on the underpinnings of female sex-specific diastolic dysfunction.

Lara India, MD, originally hailing from the Chicago suburbs, is an anesthesiologist and palliative care physician at the Medical College of Wisconsin. During her brief stint in Baltimore while completing her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, Dr. India realized how deeply she valued communication and shared human experiences over the technical, behind-the-scenes systems that she'd been studying. This new awareness ultimately led her to medical school, where meaningful interactions occur surrounded by science. She is passionate about bringing novel pain management techniques from the perioperative world to the palliative world.  

Adrienne Klement, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  She studied at Georgetown University School of Medicine and trained at Duke University Hospital for Internal Medicine residency and fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  Her background includes experiences in Hospital Medicine and Hospice Medical Directorship. She currently practices at the Zablocki VA Hospital in Milwaukee, staffing the Inpatient Medicine wards, Palliative Care consults, and Heroes Corner Palliative Care unit.  She is passionate about providing comprehensive care for the Veteran population, and she greatly enjoys teaching medical students, residents, and fellows

Renee Kursel, MD is a board-certified cardiologist with formal training in advanced heart failure and heart transplant cardiology. She specializes in the care and treatment of patients with multiple etiologies of heart failure and evaluation for short and long-term management of patients with advanced therapies, including ventricular assist devices and cardiac transplantation.

Jason Parviz, DO is a physician who resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He completed an Emergency Medicine residency at Western Michigan University and is currently in a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Minnesota.

Divya Patel, MD is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She attended Saba University School of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine with MedStar Health Internal Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She plans to continue a career in Hospice and Palliative Medicine on the West Coast.   

Wendy Peltier, MD received her medical training at Rush Medical College, completed Neurology residency and Neuromuscular fellowship at the University of Michigan, and has been a faculty member MCW since 1996.  As a busy neurologist, residency director and clinician-educator, she developed a passion for teaching and end-of-life care, which led to pursuit of a Faculty Vitality Award in 2011.  This award supported clinical time at Zilber Hospice and with the MCW Palliative Care Team, and led to board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  She then served as Palliative Care Section Head for eight years, working to grow palliative care services across F&MCW and also helped in launching a floating hospice service at Froedtert Hospital.  More recently, Dr. Peltier has served on the Faculty Pillar of the MCW Kern Institute, which is striving to transform medical education through focus on Caring and Character.  In her free time, Dr. Peltier enjoys yoga, family time, dog walks and eating delicious Sunday suppers cooked by her husband and son.

Michelle Wildgen is the author of four novels, a longtime literary journal and freelance editor, and the cofounder of the Madison Writers’ Studio. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review and Modern Love column, O, the Oprah Magazine, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. She has run a writing group with the UW Palliative Care fellows and other interested physicians since 2017.

Planning Committee

Co-Directors of Activity: 

Renee Foutz, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin 

Paul Stellmacher, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

NP and PA Committee:

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

Susan Stolz, PA-C, Physician Assistant, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin

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.

Program Coordinator

Amanda Szymkowski, BA, Administrative Coordinator, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine

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 9.75 contact hours of continuing education (which includes 2.0 hours of pharmacology).  Nurse Practitioners should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.

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


Please login or register to take this course.


$     300.00

Allied Health

 $     250.00


$     150.00


$     100.00


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