Integrating faith focus of Diocesan Health Care Conference Oct. 19

Health care workers are invited to consider “Personal Integration of Faith in Clinical Practice: Offering Hope and Perspective” at this year’s annual Diocesan Health Care Conference, which is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 19.
It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 N.E. Madison Ave., Peoria.

“We wanted to focus on the spiritual care of healing,” said Msgr. Mark Merdian, chairman of the Diocesan Health Care Committee and episcopal vicar for health care for the Diocese of Peoria. “In particular, our focus is on physicians and nurses. We wanted to incorporate the wonderful assistance and care nurses provide in caring for the ill.”

Leading the discussion will be Dr. William Toffler and Dr. Dianne Dunniway.
Dr. Toffler is professor and director of the Education Section of the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. He is the co-founder and national director of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes compassionate care for severely ill patients without sanctioning or assisting in their suicide.

The foundation has more than 1,800 members in 40 states. The guiding principle is that all human life has value and that the physician’s roles are to heal illness, alleviate suffering, and provide comfort for the sick and dying.

Dr. Dunniway has been a women’s health advanced practice nurse with a Peoria obstetrician and gynecologist since 2002, and a clinical instructor for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Peoria Regional Program, since 2004. Not only does she promote natural family planning exclusively with the patients in her practice, but she is also a practitioner and medical consultant for the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.

What both speakers share, according to Msgr. Merdian, are conversion stories about how their work has changed to reflect church teaching.
While the focus is on doctors and nurses, the day is open to everyone, he said.

The registration fee, which includes materials and lunch, is $25 until Oct. 18. The cost to register at the door is $30.

Registration forms may be downloaded from the Web site of the Diocese of Peoria at For more information, contact the diocesan Office of Family Life at (309) 671-1550.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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