AVON PARK, Fla. – April 1, 2019 – Creating caring connections through storytelling will be the focus of the 2019 Conference on Caring. The conference, hosted by South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Division of Health Sciences and the Office of Corporate and Continuing Education, will be held at the SFSC University Center at 600 West College Drive in Avon Park on Thursday, April 25. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the conference begins at 9 a.m.

“SFSC’s Health Sciences Division is pleased to present the third annual Conference on Caring: Stories That Create Caring Connections,” said Dr. Michele Heston, dean of health sciences at SFSC. “Our goal, by hosting this conference each year, is to inspire our students and area health care professionals to practice a life of deep caring, rooted in sound theory—caring for self, caring for patients and families, caring for each other, and caring for our communities. This year’s theme will provide a compelling, story-oriented perspective on the art and science of caring. Communicating personal stories can have a profound impact on how the power of caring connects us to each other in our collective work.”

Keynote speaker for the conference will be Marcus Engel, a certified patient experience professional and author. Engel was blinded and severely injured by a drunk driver and overcame unimaginable obstacles to reclaim his life. His story will inspire health care professionals to reignite their passion for providing excellent patient care.

Representatives of Change of Pace, an adult day care center in Sebring, will share stories from the caregiver’s perspective. Good Shepherd Hospice will explain its end-of-life program that serves to honor patients.

According to Terry Bryant, administrative director of transitional care services with AdventHealth, professionally trained transition specialists in its Creation Health 360° program “meet with patients in the emergency department, inpatient units, and home health venues to evaluate their unique post-acute needs related to medication assistance, follow-up appointments, transportation, and nutrition.” Representatives from Creation Health 360° will share “WOW stories” that illustrate the impact this program has made on the health and wellness of individuals within the community.

A panel of experts will focus on the patient perspective, and Dr. Patricia Liehr, a storytelling theorist and author from Florida Atlantic University, will present an interactive session on storytelling.

The cost of the 2019 Conference on Caring is $50. Conference participants may register early by calling 863-784-7405 and requesting CRN #20908 or register and pay the day of the conference in the Welcome Center in Building B on the SFSC Highlands Campus. Lunch will be provided for participants who email CorporateTraining@southflorida.edu or call 863-784-7032 no later than noon on Monday, April 18.

Sponsors for the 2019 Conference on Caring are South Florida State College, Chapters Health Foundation in support of Good Shepherd Hospice, and AdventHealth. Further sponsorships for the Conference on Caring are still available. To sponsor this conference, please contact Tina Gottus at 863-784-7388 or Dr. Heston at 863-784-7227.

For more information about the 2019 Conference on Caring, call 863-784-7032 or email CorporateTraining@southflorida.edu.