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Coping with grief is teleconference topic

(ran SP, NP editions)

Helping families to cope with the loss of a loved one after prolonged illness will be the focus of a live interactive teleconference April 16 at two locations: Pinellas County Schools Administration, 301 Fourth St. SW, Largo, and St. Petersburg Junior College's Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S, St. Petersburg. The teleconference will be from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Titled "Living with Grief: When Illness is Prolonged," the program will broadcast from Washington, D.C., and feature a panel of experts who will discuss bereavement issues surrounding grief during and after long-term illnesses such as cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer's. The moderator will be ABC news correspondent Cokie Roberts.

The satellite teleconference is being co-sponsored by the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, Moss Feaster Funeral Homes, Serenity Gardens and the National Cremation Society, and is being produced by the Hospice Foundation of America.

"This professional development program is especially designed for nurses, doctors, clergy, hospice workers, psychologists, social workers, teachers, students and volunteers in health and social work, as well as caregivers interested in grief and bereavement issues," said Liz Bradley, director of aftercare at Moss Feaster Funeral Homes.

A panel of bereavement experts will take comments and questions by telephone from viewers during the teleconference. Panelists include: Dr. Betty Davis, professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and an author of many books on grief and bereavement; Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., professor of gerontology at the College of New Rochelle; Dr. William Lamers Jr., a founding father of the American hospice movement; and Dr. Therese Rando, clinical psychologist and executive director of the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Loss.

Professional continuing education credits will be available from the Hospice Foundation of America.

For more information or a reservation, call Liz Bradley at 446-2375, or the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast at 586-4432, ext. 2729.