Dr. Thomas J SmithI was so delighted by the interest and conversations generated by Dr. Thomas Smith, Director of Palliative Care at Johns Hopkins, our guest speaker during our 7th annual lecture.  His message to both physicians and individuals diagnosed with a life-limiting illness is to have the conversation about end-of-life plans long before end-of-life circumstances occur! With his wit and sense of humor, Dr. Smith encouraged the spread of HIV (!)  –  “Hospice Information Visits” – to help individuals and their loved ones learn more about how hospice can help improve quality of end-of-life and even prolong life through decreasing pain and other symptoms.  These visits also help patients to meet the hospice staff who will be there when the time comes. As he shared, “All of us have a fatal disease called life.”

Our warm thanks to our series sponsors and to Dr. Smith for sharing his experiences as an oncologist and demystifying hospice and palliative care.  Watch his community lecture here (39 minutes). I also recommend this informative article from The Washington Post entitled, “When should I start thinking about hospice care, for myself or a loved one?” As always, I welcome your questions or feedback and thank you for helping in spreading the important message that Hospice Savannah is always available to “help”.