Covenant Health hosting public event discussing end of life care

Covenant Health hosting public event discussing end of life care
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Studies show most Americans want to spend their final days at home, surrounded by those they love. Yet about 70 percent of people spend their last days in hospitals or nursing homes. This deprives patients and families of their desired outcomes and raises costs for end-of-life care.

Covenant Health will be hosting Dr. Ira Byock, of the Institute for Human Caring, who will discuss how this national crisis can be solved with enlightened programs of clinical services and supportive living that have proved that much better care is both feasible and affordable. He will keynote two events, one open to the public and one focused for health care professionals.

The public event will be from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Knipling Education and Conference Center on the sixth floor of Covenant's west parking garage at the corner of 21st Street and Louisville Avenue (enter on Louisville). Registration and dinner begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information or to pre-register, call (806) 725-3105 or by email

Dr. Byock will discuss Advance Care Planning, or end of life plans, including Advance Directives and Medical Power of Attorney. These are crucial discussions with family and friends that people have a hard time talking about and tend to delay until it is too late.

Dr. Jeremy L. Brown, executive director of Hospice of Lubbock, encourages all to attend.

"We are all going to die. In hospice and palliative medicine, we recognize there is a process that each of us will go through if we know we have a terminal illness," Dr. Brown said. "While that process will look different for each individual, there are some universal truths that can make journey easier for everyone. These are what Dr. Byock will discuss."

Dr. Byock's talk is centered around his book, "The Four Things That Matter Most." The four things are 1) Please forgive me, 2) I forgive you, 3) Thank you, and 4) I love you.

The book will be available for purchase; Dr. Byock will be available to sign them.

A conference for health care professionals and caregivers the following day, Jan. 12, is scheduled from noon to 5:30 p.m. at the same location. Sign-in and lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Continuing medical education credits are available. Register for the conference at

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