Leila Kozak, PhD,is the Director of Integrative Medicine in Palliative Care for Paliativos Sin Fronteras (Palliative Care Providers Without Borders). She is a Saybrook University graduate and an instructor in the Saybrook University College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Kozak is currently a “Clinical Champion” at the Office of Patient-Centered Care and Culture Transformation at the Veterans Administration Central Office and works locally with VA Puget Sound Health Care System in advancing patient-centered care and integrative health for Veterans. She will be delivering a keynote address and conducting a breakout session at the Palliative Care Institute Spring Conference, May 13-14, 2016 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Palliative care providers are increasingly seeking non-pharmacological supportive interventions to increase comfort and quality of life, which has led to the integration of complementary therapies within palliative care environments. A variety of complementary therapies have been shown to reduce suffering and improve quality of life in palliative care populations. This emerging field of integrative palliative care brings wonderful opportunities as well as challenges.
In her keynote, Dr. Kozak will discuss the opportunities and challenges related to the use of integrative modalities in palliative care, including acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofield therapies (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki), expressive arts therapies (art, writing, and music methods), massage, mind-body interventions, and movement approaches.
Dr. Kozak’s break out session will discuss “The Role of Touch Therapies in Enhancing the Patient Experience.” Her presentation was inspired by a video interview describing the implementation of touch therapies at VA hospitals, in which a Veteran undergoing palliative care described his experience receiving massage: “It makes you feel that you are not just a thing, you are a person.” During the 90 minute session, Dr. Kozak will introduce participants to various touch therapies, describing affordability and costs and emphasizing evidence and the role of these modalities in symptom management and quality of life. The session will also provide practical strategies that participants can use to implement touch therapies at their medical facilities.
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