The word “hospice” is one of those terms to which each individual has a unique and palpable reaction. For some it brings a sense of fear or uneasiness. In others it arouses tender memories of a past experience as it relates to a family member. For a lucky handful, their faces light up when engaged in a conversation regarding end of life care in the capable and compassionate hands of hospice staff. These blessed few seem filled with peace and joy in the face of this word. As with all of life, we perceive it through our own lenses, which shape how we feel about any given situation. My personal experience and perception of hospice is filtered through many different experiences with friends, family, and from volunteering for a children’s grief program I helped create with Hospice of Asheville, North Carolina, in the early eighties. I’ve had several close friends cared for by their loving hands during end stages of life, and three of my grandparents and my mother-in-law were in hospice care before they passed out of this earthly plane with loved ones by their side. I know what it takes to be a volunteer and how impactful it was to receive comfort and care, both in facilities and in-home
For Want of a Nail: How the U-M’s Innovative Faculty Scholar Program Could Fade Away, or Continue to Thrive
In 2013, Professor Ana Baylin found herself in a professional crisis. After training as an M.D. in Spain, getting her Ph.D. in Nutrition and Epidemiology, and working at the U-M School of Public Health, she found herself wanting to do… something else. A colleague encouraged her to enroll in the Faculty Scholar Program (FSP), a year-long educational group. The faculty in the program study recent research on integrative medicine, such as meditation, yoga, and chiropractic, as applied to cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic pain, and mental health. By exposing professionals to the benefits of other disciplines outside their own, and building bridges based on science between medicine (disease treatment) and health (vitality and well-being), faculty find themselves creating new methods and solutions to patient problems. The program has been innovative and successful, and a key element in the slow but steady growth in the acceptance of integrative medicine at the University of Michigan.