Barnabas Health Hospice and Rutgers School of Nursing to Co-Host End-of-Life Education Conference

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Barnabas Health Hospice and Rutgers School of Nursing to Co-Host End-of-Life Education Conference

Conference Features Nationally-Recognized Physician Leaders in End-of-Life Care



West Orange, NJ – In March 2018, Barnabas Health Hospice/VNA of Central Jersey Hospice and the Rutgers University School of Nursing will co-host an educational end-of-life conference, “Hope and Resilience at the End-of-Life.” The program will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, March 7 and 8, at the Hyatt Regency, located at 2 Albany Street in New Brunswick.


The conference will feature presentations from nationally recognized physicians and other health care leaders including keynote speakers BJ Miller, MD, and Jessica Zitter, MD, author of Extreme Measures. Both will address the conference theme of instilling hope for terminally-ill patients to have a positive life experience until the very end.


Health care professionals and students, religious leaders, volunteers, and community members are invited to attend.  In recognition of National Hospice and Palliative care month in November, early registration discounts are available through November 30. Approximately 14 continuing education contact hours will be offered. To register, visit


“Through this conference RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University further integrate the academic strength of Rutgers and the clinical strength and expertise of RWJBarnabas Health and VNA’s Hospice,” said Megan Knight, Director of Development & Community Outreach of Barnabas Health Hospice & VNA of Central Jersey Hospice. “The event is the first of many anticipated joint efforts to create a united front in New Jersey for delivering the highest-quality, home-based health care and advanced care services.” 


“Terminal illness affects all of us at one point or another—whether as health care professionals, through experiences with a family member, or in addressing our own mortality,” notes Jeannine Manchester, DNP, RN, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Professional Development at Rutgers School of Nursing. “This conference, which is open to all, will illuminate current best practices and point where we need to move forward in end-of-life care.”


“A portion of this meaningful conference is made possible by the generous support of the Schwimmer Family in memory of their mother, Judith Schwimmer,” added Steven Landers, MD, MPH, President and CEO of VNA Health Group. “Mrs. Schwimmer dedicated her lifelong career to improving lives through education and it is our goal to help further this legacy through this collaborative end-of-life conference.” 


Click Here to Register


About the Keynote Speakers


BJ Miller, MD, is one of the preeminent speakers on patient-centered care, palliative and end-of-life care. Drawing on his ability as a physician, former executive director of Zen Hospice Project, and as a patient, he is an advocate for a health care system that maximizes quality of life and that minimizes unnecessary suffering. His TED Talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,” about encouraging empathic end-of-life care, with some discussion on keeping the patient at the center of care, has garnered over 5 and one-half million views and ranked among the most viewed talks. The New York Times article, “One Man's Quest to Change the Way We Die,” featured his story, and he was recently a guest on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday talk show.


Jessica Zitter, MD, practices ICU and palliative care at the county hospital in Oakland, California. She is the author of Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life. Her essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, the Huffington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and other publications. An Oscar and Emmy-nominated short documentary, Extremis, now streaming on Netflix, features her work. She regularly lectures and speaks on the radio on the topic of dying in America.


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