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Sarah Lawrence College Webinar Focuses On End-Of-Life Issues

Rebecca O. Johnson, health advocate and graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Advocacy Program, was part of the college's webinar on end-of-life issues.
Rebecca O. Johnson, health advocate and graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Advocacy Program, was part of the college's webinar on end-of-life issues. Photo Credit: LinkedIn

YONKERS, N.Y. — In an effort to inform health-care professionals and the public of the importance of having Medicare pay for discussions about end-of-life issues, Sarah Lawrence College’s End of Life Care program led a national seminar on the issue.

Nearly 100 health-care professionals, academics and social workers from across the United States joined in for the free online discussion, or webinar, about a proposal to have the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 and older cover advance-care planning and end-of-life discussions with patients.

The topic, which has caused some controversy and misunderstandings with the Affordable Care Act legislation in recent years when opponents characterized the concept as so-called “death panels,” is again timely as the period for public comment recently ended and a decision could be made as early as November.

The workshop presenters were Joshua Lapps, government relations manager at the Society of Hospital Medicine and graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Advocacy Program; Deborah Jones, a health advocate and graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Advocacy Program; and Rebecca O. Johnson, associate program director of Graduate and Professional Studies for the End of Life Care Program at Sarah Lawrence College.

The webinar was the first in a series of online offerings through Sarah Lawrence College’s End of Life Care program.

“With an aging population and advances in medical care, this is an important health care discussion to have. We all have a stake in these essential quality-of-life issues,” said Johnson. “The ramifications are important to patients and families, doctors and health care providers and the health care industry as a whole, and Sarah Lawrence College’s End of Life program is committed to be at the forefront of the conversation.”

The aim of Sarah Lawrence’s webinar was to inform health care professionals of the proposals and encourage them to take part in the public comment period. If adopted, the legislation would go into effect on Jan. 1

For more information, go to www.sarahlawrence.edu .

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