CASL is the result of a partnership that started three years ago when Tulsa, Okla., based Crossroads Hospice, one of the nation’s leading providers of hospice care, provided a $10,000 grant for a new program to pair Park students from a wide variety of disciplines — including nursing, psychology, social work and journalism — with Crossroads Hospice patients to document patients’ life stories by creating personalized memory books. This year, Crossroads Hospice awarded Park a $100,000 grant to launch Park’s Center to Advance the Study of Loss.
With Dr. Laurel Hilliker as the executive director, CASL will provide multidimensional services to include:
- Continuing education workshops, conferences and publications to support nurses, physicians, social workers, hospice administrators and volunteers, clergy, police officers, emergency medical technicians, counselors and other professionals dealing with end-of-life issues in their respective fields.
- Public education and awareness programs with the aim to dispel misconceptions surrounding death and bereavement.
- Expanded interdisciplinary opportunities for Park students, including a bereavement studies curriculum, and graduate and undergraduate degrees in hospice and palliative studies.
As part of its five-year strategic plan, CASL is consulting with architects to establish a physical location on the Parkville Campus. Park’s extensive online and distance course expertise will enable CASL to offer training and collaboration on a national and international scale.