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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 21, 2003

Hospitals To Host Annual Bereavement Teleconference April 30

On Wednesday, April 30, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa City Hospice, Mercy Iowa City, and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center will serve as local hosts for the Hospice Foundation of America's 10th annual bereavement teleconference, "Living With Grief: Coping With Public Tragedy," beginning at 12:30 p.m. The live-via-satellite televised broadcast will examine factors that define a public tragedy and look at ways health care and other professionals can appropriately respond and offer support.

Reaching an estimated live audience of 125,000 people nationwide, the teleconference will benefit a wide range of professionals as they support their communities and help people cope with losses that often accompany public tragedies. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts will moderate the event.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for caring organizations across the country to present a program that will resonate strongly with diverse communities because the theme is so universal," commented Jack D. Gordon, chairman of Hospice Foundation of America. "Of particular interest will be police, firefighters, rescue and emergency service personnel, hospital ER staffs, schools, and others who will benefit from a better understanding of the ways public tragedies can affect those they serve."

It has been several months since the nation marked the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, yet the lessons to be learned from that tragedy continue. The effects of other events such as Hurricane Andrew, Oklahoma City and Columbine will also be discussed.

"By looking back at these tragic events, we will be able to focus in on some of the responses that enabled people across the nation to survive - and continue to cope," remarked Gordon.

Roberts will lead a panel of noted authorities to include: Kenneth J. Doka, consultant to HFA and professor of gerontology at the College of New Rochelle; Marcia Lattanzi-Licht, consultant and noted authority regarding loss; LaVone Hazell, a funeral director from New York, N.Y.; Nadine Reimer Penner, a hospice social worker from Wichita, Kan.; and Marlene A. Young, executive director of the National Organization for Victim Assistance.

The Hospice Foundation of America sponsors the teleconference. HFA is a non-profit organization working to educate health care professionals and the families they serve in issues relating to illness, loss and grief. A grant from Last Acts and the Foundation for End of Life Care, in cooperation with the Adventist Communication Network, Association for Death Education and Counseling, Project on Death in America and the Compassionate Friends also contributes financial support to the program.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

NOTE: News media are encouraged to attend. For more information, and to register, call Mercy On Call (319) 358-2767 or toll free (800) 358-2767.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,