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For release: March 24, 2014

Jim Armstrong 330.344.6083,

Special Event Promotes Community Engagement About End-of-Life-Wishes
“Ellen Goodman and the Conversation Project” Comes to Akron

Ellen Goodman, a Pulitzer Price winning columnist, will be speaking at an event at

7:30 pm on April 8, 2014 at the E. J. Thomas Hall at The University of Akron.  Ms. Goodman has spent most of her life chronicling social change and its impact on American life.  In 2010, she co-founded the Conversation Project, a grassroots public campaign, when a group of colleagues and concerned media, clergy, and medical professionals gathered to share stories of “good deaths” and “bad deaths” within their own circle of loved ones. 

The program is presented by Respecting Options of Care (ROC) and the Palette of Faith (POF).  ROC is a collaborative whose mission is to educate community members about healthcare choices at the end of life and to empower them to communicate their wishes.  POF is a coalition of healthcare and faith community leaders dedicated to meeting the holistic needs of patients and families facing end-of-life issues. Their interfaith call to action is to ensure that all people will remain connected with their faith community throughout all the important seasons of life, especially illness, end-of-life, care giving and grief.

The goal is that individuals clearly express their informed personal choices, so that they are honored by providers across all healthcare settings.  These conversations reduce the burdens on family members and loved ones, especially during times of crisis.  This is a process that requires time for reflection, questions, expression of emotions and for seeking spiritual and medical guidance. 

Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for University of Akron faculty and staff with ID, and seniors. $6 for University of Akron students with a valid ZipCard.  Tickets are available at the Thomas Hall Ticket Office, 330-972-7570, all Ticketmaster locations or  Visit for more information.

The event is sponsored by Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Health System, Area Agency on Aging, 10B, Inc., Northeast Ohio Medical University-Office of Palliative Care and Office of Geriatrics, Summa Health System, Summa Health System-Seniors Institute, Summit County Health District, Summit 2020 Quality of Life Project, Summit County Probate Court, The University of Akron College of Health Professions, Akron-Region Interprofessional (ARI) AHEC, Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology, E.J. Thomas Hall and The University of Akron.


About Akron General Health System
Akron General Health System, an affiliate of Cleveland Clinic, is a not-for-profit health care organization that has been improving the health and lives of the people and communities it serves since 1914. Akron General Health System includes: Akron General Medical Center, a 532-bed teaching and research medical center, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, the area’s largest provider of rehabilitation services; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group, the Akron General Health & Wellness Centers, Lodi Community Hospital, Community Health Centers and other companies; Akron General Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates; and Akron General Foundation. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked Akron General Medical Center as the fifth best hospital in Ohio. In 2013, the American Nurses Association bestowed the prestigious “Magnet” status on the more than 1,000 nurses from Akron General Medical Center, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute and the Health System’s Health & Wellness Centers. For more information about Akron General Health System, visit

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