The Center to Advance the Study of Loss [CASL] recently held their annual workshop this year on campus in PDLMA with approximately 75 participants in attendance.  Speakers included Dr. Clay Anderson, Senior Medical Director at NorthCare Hospice and Palliative Care, Pastor Dan Festa, Covenant Presbyterian Church of Marshall, Missouri, Dr. Gerry Walker, Ellen Finley Earhart Nursing Program Chair and CASL’s Executive Director, Dr. Laurel Hilliker.  The workshop covered the topic of compassion in disease dialogue and in death notification and was well received.

Compassion in Disease Dialogue and Death Notification
COMPASSION In the Delivery of the News of a Death AND In Disease Dialogue
October 10, 2014, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Park University, 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152
Park Distance Learning Conference Center

KEYNOTE: Clay M. Anderson, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, Senior Medical Director, NorthCare Hospice and Palliative Care
Reverend Dr. Daniel K. Festa, Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Marshall, Mo.
Laurel E. Hilliker, PhD, Executive Director, Center to Advance the Study of Loss, and Assistant Professor of Sociology, Park University
Gerry Walker, DHEd, MSN, RN, Ellen Finley Earhart Nursing Program Chair and Associate Professor of Nursing, Park University

OVERVIEW: Join us for an opportunity to gain knowledge of (and strategies for) using considerate truth telling throughout a person’s disease journey as well as compassion in the delivery of the news of a death. Our day together includes an opening true story of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of a young adult and the delivery of this news to his family in a hospital setting, as told by his mother, Dr. Gerry Walker of Park University. Next, Rev. Dr. Dan Festa of Marshall, MO brings his experience and recommendations for sharing the news of the death of a person in a compassionate way with others. Then, Dr. Clay Anderson, of Kansas City, the day’s keynote, will give presentations describing the disease dialogue concept and how to utilize a positive approach for communication in hospice and palliative care and various other settings. Additionally, CASL’s Director, Dr. Laurel Hilliker will facilitate the agenda and briefly discuss some current research on the days topic.




Clay M. Anderson

AndersonClay M. Anderson, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, is senior medical director for NorthCare Hospice and Palliative Care, an affiliate of North Kansas City (Mo.) Hospital.

Anderson, a native of Bridgeton, Mo., attended the University of Missouri-Columbia as an undergraduate and graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991. He has trained in, and is board certified in, internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice and palliative medicine.

After his oncology training at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Anderson spent 13 years on the faculty at University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia, practicing and teaching medical oncology, palliative care and hospice. He was also active in clinical research and served as a clinical ethicist at University Hospital.

Anderson has been with NorthCare Hospice and Palliative Care since 2010 and has remained active in health care innovation and education throughout the Midwest, working with several medical schools, institutions and regional organizations to move the field forward.

His health care passions include the art of prognostication, disease dialogue in chronic illness, interdisciplinary team/patient/family communication and patient empowerment in end-of-life care via values exploration and optimized surrogacy for decision-making.

Anderson lives in Liberty, Mo., with wife Michelle and three children, making time for reading, cooking and fishing as much as possible.

Reverend Dr. Daniel K. Festa

FestaReverend Dr. Daniel K. Festa, is presently pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Marshall, Mo.

Festa has had a rich career punctuated by teaching and educational opportunities. He taught psychology at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. He has taught courses throughout his career on care of the dying, on death and dying and in health care ethics.

Festa began his professional life as a certified medical librarian on faculty with the medical school at the University of South Carolina. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and his biomedical ethics training was done at the Kennedy Institute at Georgetown University in the District of Columbia.

He taught the first biomedical ethics course at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served on the faculty for the Clinical Pastoral Education program. Concurrently, Festa served as chaplain and coordinator of bereavement services on the Medical Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

During Festa’s career he has served as the director of counseling and wellness services at the University of Charleston (W.Va.), and as chaplain at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston. He also served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Psychiatry for West Virginia University.

Throughout the last 25 years of his career, Festa has worked with several organ procurement agencies, including LifeNet Transplant Services, The Center for Organ Recovery and Education and The Arkansas Organ Recovery Agency. He taught the death and bereavement sessions for the organ recovery coordinators at the annual meeting of the National Association of Transplant Coordinators for a number of years. He taught a course to pre-hospital providers in Vladivostok, Russia, on traumatic death and the care of families, served on the United Network for Organ Sharing Ethics Committee and has been a regular attendee and presenter at the International Death, Grief and Bereavement Conference. Festa has been keynote speaker for a number of organizations on end-of-life issues as well as death telling. He has published several research studies on varying aspects of death and dying, and he is authoring a book, Stories of Love and Loss.

Dan lives with his wife Laura in Marshall, Mo., and enjoys reading and writing when time allows.