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Pioneer in Integrating Spirituality and Medicine to Headline Anne L. Hunter Memorial Thresholds Conference

Hospice of Southern Maine announces Christine Puchalski, MD as conference keynote speaker; Inaugural poet Richard Blanco to lead afternoon creative session


PORTLAND, Maine (July 22, 2014)—Hospice of Southern Maine, the region’s leading provider of end-of-life and palliative care services, announced that Christine Puchalski, MD, FACP will be the featured speaker at the Anne L. Hunter Memorial Thresholds Conference on Thursday, November 6 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland. Dr. Puchalski will also present a pre-conference lecture, followed by a reception, on Wednesday, November 5 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM at Maine Medical Center’s Dana Education Center.

Dr. Puchalski is Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health and professor at George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. She is a pioneer and internationally recognized leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in both the clinical setting and in medical education. A widely published author, educator and board-certified clinician, she will share her insights on integrating patients’ spiritual beliefs into their care and supporting healthcare professionals in providing compassionate care.
The unique format of the Thresholds conference includes two dynamic sessions with the featured speaker, as well as opportunities for attendees to interact with each other through guided creative activities. This year, celebrated poet Richard Blanco will lead the afternoon creative segment of the conference, guiding attendees through the writing of their own stories and poetry. In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, becoming the youngest, first Latino, immigrant and openly gay writer to hold the honor. His poems have appeared in countless literary journals and anthologies, including Best American Prose Poems and Ploughshares.
Hospice of Southern Maine’s Thresholds Conference, now in its fifth year, brings together healthcare providers, clergy, and faith leaders, caregivers, students and community members for education and conversation around end of life. This year, the conference was renamed the Anne L. Hunter Memorial Thresholds Conference to pay tribute to Rev. Anne L. Hunter, MD (1943-2013), a medical and spiritual pioneer and founder of Hospice of Southern Maine. Through her estate, Rev. Hunter funded an endowment to support Hospice of Southern Maine’s educational offerings on the spiritual aspects of healthcare and end of life.
To register for one or both events or for more information, visit or call 207-289-3550.