Danbury, Connecticut – July 16, 2019 – On the eve of his book launch, Regional Hospice and Palliative Care (RHPC) hosted Dr. BJ Miller, who has dedicated his career to putting the patient focus back in end-of-life care. He has been profiled in the New York Times and interviewed by Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. His 2015 TED Talk, “What really matters at the end of life” has garnered over 9 million views, launching him onto the national platform.
His new book, A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death, co-authored by journalist Shoshana Berger, serves as a friendly reference guide to help people plan for the end of life. Miller, who aims to normalize conversations around death and dying, asserts that we all are “the dying”; some are just closer to death than others.
After touring Regional Hospice’s in-patient Center for Comfort Care and Healing, Miller spoke to an audience of 125 guests, including Regional Hospice staff and volunteers, local palliative care nurses and social workers and supporters of the agency. “It is a pleasure to be here, among friends,” he said. “I like architecture and design and I know that the environment of care matters so, so much. This Center is a special place. I know because I’ve seen most of the ones that exist in this country and this is, indeed, extremely special.”
Miller spoke about how our medical system needs to put patients (and their families) back at the center of care and how death should not be looked at as a failure, but instead as a marker of life. He also reminded the audience that almost all physicians go into the medical field to alleviate suffering, but somewhere along the way lose that perspective, instead focusing on longevity as the goal, regardless of the quality of those years. Miller applauded the audience for being advocates – simply by having discussions about end-of-life care – and he encouraged them to keep talking to normalize this experience.
“We are thrilled to host BJ Miller at our Center whose life’s work regarding changing the culture of dying aligns with our mission and values,” said Cynthia Emiry Roy, President & CEO of Regional Hospice and Palliative Care. “Our shared commitment to creating meaningful conversations about death – and living as we die – enables us to support and empower people through something that we will all one day experience.”
About Regional Hospice and Palliative Care
Regional Hospice has served Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford & Litchfield counties with nonprofit home hospice care for over 35 years. In 2015, we opened our state-of-the-art Center for Comfort Care & Healing. This family-centered hospice residence is CT’s first and only private-suite facility. Its mission is to provide exceptional end-of-life care, comfort and compassion to infants, children, adults and their families with a dedicated staff of professionals.