St. Lukes Hospital supports numerous community events

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2010

As the old saying goes, only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. While I hope you all made the April 15 tax deadline without much pain, Id like to draw your attention to another delicate subject death.

Let me explain that National Healthcare Decisions Day, usually recognized the day after Tax Day, is designed to bring attention to the importance of advance planning for end of life issues. I certainly understand and recognize that few of us actually want to plan for death, but NHDD brings to focus the value of having that conversation with those you love in order to make your wishes known.

Again this year, St. Lukes Hospital, Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, Tryon Estates and Isothermal Community College – Polk Campus are hosting a panel discussion on the importance of having a conversation on end of life wishes with family now that will make decisions easier later.

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Dr. Andrew Kamell of Hospice, attorney Ed Harrelson and St. Lukes Chaplain Bob Lair will lead a discussion on the medical, legal and spiritual issues surrounding end of life decisions. Two social workers will share their personal stories of dealing with the difficult end of life decisions, and professional staff and a notary will be available to assist people to complete advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with North Carolina state laws.

On Tuesday, April 20, at 3 p.m., Tryon Estates will host Coffee and Conversation: A Discussion about End of Life Issues. The program will be held again at 6 p.m. at Isothermal Community College-Polk Campus. As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known. Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.

Also, healthcare providers and facilities like St. Lukes will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so. For more information or a reservation for Coffee and Conversation, please call 894-2408 or 894-7000.

On the other hand, the American Cancer Society, the official sponsor of Birthdays, is planning for another successful Relay for Life for Polk County. This event takes place Friday, April 30, from 5 p.m. to midnight on the Polk County High School track. Come join St. Lukes Hospital and a number of other teams to have fun and raise funds to help support cancer research and local programs. For more information, check out their website at&bsp; or just come out and celebrate life.

On behalf of Dr. Jim Holleman and staff in our surgery department, youre invited to come for breakfast tomorrow (April 21) and help us raise money for Relay. From 7 a.m.-10 a.m., Dr. Holleman will be operating, not in surgery but in Big Jims Waffle Yurt, and this will be the chance to give the doctor orders! Hes preparing Belgian waffles to order and there will be a variety of toppings, and a drink for $5. Hope youll come join us tomorrow in the St. Lukes cafeteria!

Another special event youre invited to attend is the Mothers Day Mini-Prix, an exciting hunter-jumper competition at Harmon Field on Saturday, May 8. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., well be serving a delicious picnic supper that you can enjoy while watching the horses and supporting the St. Lukes Hospital Foundation. Tickets are available at The Farm House in Landrum or the Foundation office at 56 Hospital Drive, Suite 1B.

This is a busy time of year in Polk County, and Im proud that St. Lukes Hospital is involved in a number of community events including providing first aid services at the BMW Charity Tournament, the Warrior Drive 5, and of course the upcoming Blue Ridge Barbecue and Music Festival.

As always, I appreciate your time, your interest and your support for our community hospital, where we provide exceptional care, close to home.

St. Lukes Hospital is a not for profit, acute care hospital affiliated with Carolinas Healthcare System of Charlotte, N.C., for specialized management expertise, experience with developing strong community-based clinical services, and participation in revenue and purchasing contracts. CHS is the largest healthcare system in the Carolinas and the third largest public system in the nation.