St. Anthony's Hospital Faith Community Nursing Annual Conference Shines Light on Palliative Care

September 27, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (Sept. 27, 2017) -- Enhancing the quality of life for patients and their families will be the subject of the 2017 St. Anthony’s Hospital Faith Community Nursing conference on Palliative Care, Friday, Oct. 20.  Presentations at the daylong conference will focus on such topics as palliative care, pain management and advance care planning. 

The free conference, which is in its seventh year and focuses on a different topic each year, will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Pasadena Community Church, 227 70th St. S, St. Petersburg. The first 250 people who attend will receive free flu shots.

“Palliative care is the umbrella of services that deals with the quality life of a person from the time they are diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness,” said Sr. Mary McNally, St. Anthony’s vice president of mission. “Through palliative care, we treat the whole person – physical, spiritual, and emotional – to focus on the relief of pain, suffering and stress associated with advanced and chronic illness and to help with medical decision making.”

The keynote speaker will be Donald Simmler II, MD, a specialist in internal medicine who is board certified in palliative care. Other speakers include:

  • Fr. John Mullet, St. Anthony’s pastoral care director, who will speak on Advance Care Planning
  • Diane Morris, an advanced registered nurse practioner, at St. Anthony’s, Palliative Care Planning
  • Peter Downes, a St. Anthony’s licensed counselor, Case Management
  • Devin Steiner, PharmD, a clinical pharmacist, Pain Management
  • Shirley Spears-Begley, executive director of Integrated Health Care Systems,  Alternative Treatment Options
  • Donna Lawrence, BayCare HomeCare, Palliative Care in the Home

Participants also will be able to ask questions during an afternoon panel discussion. Free diabetes and cholesterol screenings will be offered. Participants will not need to fast for any of the screenings. More than a dozen community wellness vendors will provide information to participants. 

Conference organizers have applied for continuing education credits (CEUs) for health care professionals. 

A continental breakfast and lunch will be served and there also will be prize drawings. For information or to register, call (727) 825-1709.

About St. Anthony’s Hospital
St. Anthony’s Hospital is a 393-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. St. Anthony’s has a rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, innovative and compassionate care. For more information on St. Anthony’s, call (727) 953-6993 or go to

About BayCare
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care.  For more information visit