Conference Program

This year's program has been put together by the HPNA Education Department to provide a quality framework to help you and your organization become great.

Full Program Listing  


Thursday Preconferences - 7:30am - 4:00pm

Supporting Informal Caregivers in Medication Management (morning) - Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE - Informal (unpaid) caregivers, usually family members, are asked to perform discerning tasks when caring for a patient with a life-limiting illness. These caregivers are often unsure of how to access pain and other symptoms, when to give medications, what dose to give, and when to reach out to the hospice. Informal caregivers are often left with unresolved guilt secondary to poorly managed pain and symptoms in their loved one. This half-day session will equip professional hospice professionals with specific strategies to support informal caregivers in the tasks of medication management. 
Inspire Clinical Advancement: Educate Less, Facilitate More (morning) - Marianne Johnstone-Petty, MSN, FNP-C, and Matt Dingo, MEd - Palliative care leaders are often responsible for engaging teams, peers, and/or colleagues to advance both clinical practice at the bedside and support professional development of future palliative care leaders. Knowledge of adult learning principles help to refocus professional development from "educating the team" to "facilitating clinical advancement," creating more effective, active, and engaging learning. This session will review relevant adult learning principles including: Defining practice gaps; Writing measurable outcomes; Assessment of current level of knowledge, potential barriers, and hopeful facilitators; Evaluation of instructional methods to facilitate knowledge, activate skill development, and assessing participant learning.    
Difficult to Control Pain (afternoon) - Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE - Opioids are frequently used to treat moderate to severe pain in advanced illness. Occasionally, an opioid regimen does not give the therapeutic benefit we would expect. This half-day session will help hospice and palliative care professionals develop skills to discern between opioid poorly-responsive pain, opioid tolerance, opioid-induced hyperalgesia, or other scenarios. Strategies to deal with the situation will be addressed and applied in a case-based active learning situation.
Practical Considerations: Palliative Wound Care Strategies (afternoon) - Carolyn Cuttino, BSN, RN, CWCN, CWS, and Myra Varnado, BSN, RN, CWON, CFCN - This continuing education program provides clinical staff with a strong, evidence-based foundation regarding the care of palliative and hospice patients who have a variety of skin, wound, and soft tissue conditions. Emphasis is placed on identifying key strategies for prevention when possible, and management of conditions including pressure injury, SCALE (Skin Changes at Life's End), skin tears, MASD, and lower extremity edema. Following the didactic portion of this program, a hands-on opportunity is provided to investigate examples of valuable mobility-related assistive devices, drain and tube stabilization devices, and a variety of dressing materials. 
ACHPN Certification Review Course
 (full day) - Bronwyn Long Borne, MSN, ANP-BC, GNP, ACHPN, FPCN, and Jennifer Gentry, DNP, MBA, ACNS-BC, AOCNS, ACHPN - This one-day provider-directed, provider-paced live intensive course is designed to assist with preparation for the ACHPN exam through didactic course presentation with active learner engagement, case study examinations, practice exam questions, and self-check/reflection to highlight self-identifying topics that require further preparation and study.  This course provides a review of the content areas based on the HPCC detailed test content outline. The educational content may also be used to increase the hospice and palliative advanced registered nurse's knowledge of palliative nursing. 

Opening Reception - Sponsored by Hospi Corporation

For registration details on our Thursday preconference sessions, see Registration  
Click the link for a paper registration form.  

Friday - 7:45am - 4:45pm

Health Disparities, Diversity, and Inclusion: Where Do We Go from Here? - Nadine Barrett, PhD, MA, MS
Navigating the Road of Care Delivery Regulations - Joyce Bulman, MBA, BS, RN, CHPCA - Steering through healthcare regulations can often be difficult, confusing, and even overwhelming Clinical staff may feel as if they are focusing more on their patients' needs. In this session, we will explore the impact of regulations on clinical staff, along with best practices in meeting regulatory requirements while maintaining quality end of life care.
Hospice Triage: Complex Management from the Bedside - Quinten Robertson, DNP, FNP-BC, CHPN - After hours triage in hospice organizations is generally provided by nurses who are proficient in hospice care, providing thorough assessments and optimal interventions to effectively manage their patients. Therefore, the intent of this session is to identify and discuss barriers and best practices to empower hospice triage nurses.
Round Table Discussions (Focus Groups) - TBA
Concurrent Sessions: Palliative Care/Hospice/Administration
  • Safe and Effective Methadone Use in Hospice Patients - Nathaniel Hedrick, PharmD - Methadone is a unique opioid and its use in end-of-life care presents specific challenges and benefits. This interprofessional education session combines pharmacy and nursing perspectives to describe the clinically significant issues in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, patient selection, and patient/family education when using methadone.
  • Ethical and Practical Considerations for Resolving Clinician-Surrogate Disagreement for End-of-Life Care - Michael Deem, PhD - How should clinician respond to requests for treatments or interventions that they regard as inappropriate? This presentation provides an overview of the conceptual and ethical issues surrounding such requests. The differences among a related set of concepts, such as 'futile actions,' 'inappropriate treatment,' 'nonbeneficial treatment,' and 'contraindicated treatment' will be discussed along with their practical implications in clinical care. We then explore two related ethical questions: When generally is it permissible for a clinical team to override patient and /or surrogate preferences for aggressive treatment and interventions that the team deems to be inappropriate, and how should clinical teams respond to such requests?
  • Current Trends in Pediatric Palliative CareVanessa Battista, RN, CPNP - Uncertainty is a major psychological burden, both for the child and family who are experiencing serious illness. They are limited in their capacity to obtain information that could potentially reassure them towards a goal of maintaining optimal functioning and quality of life within the limits of the disease process. This session is designed to facilitate knowledge and practice application of pediatric palliative care principles within this specialized population.  
  • What Telemedicine Can Do for Your Program - Drew Mihalyo, PharmD, and Tom Riley - Cutting edge technology is now available that can allow hospice and palliative clinicals to become innovative with their care delivery processes. This session focuses on the power of telemedicine within the hospice and palliative care setting.
  • The Impact of Opioid Addiction and the Bereaved - Kristopher Halsey, D.Div, PhD - With opioid addiction on the rise throughout the U.S., many times loved ones who live and are in relationships with individuals who are addicted to opioids are grieving. This presentation is designed to educate the community and healthcare professionals about loss, grief, and bereavement as it relates to individuals who have been affected by loved ones with an opioid addiction. It will bring insight about a type of grief known as Ambiguous Loss. It will also list risk factors, symptoms and interventions that will be useful in understanding this type of grief.
  • The Nurse with the Purple Hair - Michelle Lasota, BSN, RN, CHPN - This film is a warm and inspiring documentary about end-of-life care, featuring HPNA member and HPCC certificant Michelle Lasota, BSN, RN, CHPN, and directed by world-renowned filmmaker Sean Cunningham. This film honors hospice workers and the mind-body-spirit services they provide and shows what hospice care is and what it can be. This film can be a catalyst to start a quiet revolution through increased awareness, education, and conversation. It presents a simple message: Be brave enough to have an end-of-life conversation that matters.  

Reception with Exhibitors - Sponsored by DeltaCare RX and HPNA
Poster Reception

Saturday - 7:30am - 12:45pm

Micro Learning Sessions: Pearls of Wisdom (Regulatory, Triage, Palliative Care, Grief, Diversity, Ethics, Advance Care Planning) - TBA
Comprehensive Nursing Assessments: Why all the Detail - Michelle Webb, MSN, RN - The comprehensive assessment is foundational to the process of planning and delivering care to patients and families. The quality of that assessment and the level of detail it provides is critical to developing an individualized, comprehensive plan of care that focuses on patient and family needs. Patient and family problems, strengths, goals and interventions cannot be effectively identified without ensuring that this assessment is comprehensive and provides the information needed to ensure the delivery of high-quality patient and family-centered care. This session will address the importance of detailed, interdisciplinary and comprehensive assessments and the need to perform them throughout the process of care.
National Consensus Project (NCP) Guidelines - Gwynn Sullivan, MSN, RN - The National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care is developing the national practice guidelines that formalize and delineate evidence-based processes and practices for the provision of safe and reliable high-quality palliative care for adults, children, and families with serious illness in all care settings. This session will provide an overview of how the National Consensus Project Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition, were developed, the specific domains of the NCP Guidelines, and how to implement the NCP Guidelines in community-based palliative care provider settings.
Pain Management in the Opioid Crisis: Impact from the Bedside - Mary Mihaylo, PharmD - Hospice and palliative care patients have generally been excluded from newly published pain management guidelines as well as state mandated restrictions imposed to reduce the quantities of controlled substances dispensed per prescription. Nevertheless, the opioid crisis has dramatically impacted the management of chronic pain as well as outcomes achieved in end-of-life care. This session will review the impact and provide recommendations for consideration by clinicians as they attempt to care for patients while balancing the many ramifications of the opioid crisis. 
Continuing the Path of Advancing Expert Care - Bob Parker, DNP, RN, CENP, CHPN, CHP

Networking Opportunities

Reception - Thursday 
Sponsored by the Hospi Corporation

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Marriott City Center, Second Floor

Lunch With Exhibitors - Friday

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Marriott City Center, Second Floor

Poster Session Reception - Friday
Sponsored by Delta Care RX and HPNA 

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Marriott City Center, Second Floor

Breakfast With Exhibitors - Saturday 

7:30 am to 9:00 am
Marriott City Center, Second Floor

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Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors



Bronze and Reception Sponsor


Nursing School Collaborator