BILLINGS, Mont. – Compassus medical directors Katherine Dietrich, D.O., and Colette Kirchhoff, M.D., will share their palliative care expertise on two panels during the inaugural Big Sky Palliative Care Conference May 10 at the Northern Hotel in Billings.
Dr. Dietrich, associate medical director for Compassus in Billings, will present on the Medicare hospice benefit, while Dr. Kirchhoff, associate medical director for Compassus in Bozeman, will present on improving palliative care provider resiliency.
“Palliative care is not a new discipline, but confusion still exists around what it is and who may benefit from it,” said Dietrich. “From interventions to improve symptom management to handling challenging conversations about what is medically possible, providers attending this conference will learn how palliative care can help more patients in our communities.”
Palliative care helps people with a serious illness feel better – physically, emotionally and spiritually. It focuses on improving quality of life at any stage of illness. Patients under palliative care can continue curative treatments, and some patients with chronic diseases may move in and out of palliative care as the need arises.
“Research shows patients who receive palliative care tend to report better overall satisfaction with their treatment, ,” said Kirchhoff. “It is truly the model for person-centered care to support patients living with a serious illness. Compassus is extremely proud to be part of the first Big Sky Palliative Care Conference and to help lead the discussion among our peers about how we as providers can better ensure patients and their families know the benefits of palliative care.”
The conference, sponsored by St. Vincent Healthcare, will bring together physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and students dedicated to the advancement of palliative care.