Duke U: Poetry, Our Patients, Our Communities, Our Selves

Life Lines: Poetry for Our Patients, Our Communities, Our Selves, May 21-23, 2010, hosted by Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

What are the challenges and benefits of offering poetry to patients? Can the sharing of poetry expand the vision of practitioners and students in healthcare professions? What is the role of poetry in community treatment programs? In shelters? In prisons? What can caregivers gain from writing and reading poetry?

This conference is designed for those who have an interest in examining the place of poetry in caregiving. Three panels of poets and health practitioners will present perspectives on the ways poetry can play a part in caring for our patients, our communities and our selves. Through discussion sessions, participants will have an opportunity to share experiences, to dialogue, to develop techniques, and to gain a deeper appreciation for poetry in the art of healing. Highlights of the conference include Friday and Saturday evening talks by poets David Whyte and Jane Hirshfield. Ms. Hirshfield will also offer a master class in poetry writing on Sunday morning. Join us as we hear from physicians, therapists, and poets and discuss the practicalities and possibilities of poetry in health care.



CFP: Making Sense of Suicide

1st Global Conference Making Sense Of: Suicide, Friday 5th November – Sunday 7th November 2010, Prague, Czech Republic

The conference seeks to examine and explore why it is people choose, quite deliberately, to end their own lives – or why it is that people value death more than they value life. Biological, mental, medical, social, economic, religious and other factors will be considered along with an assessment of the contexts within which acts of suicide take place. The ‘meaning’ of suicide will assessed, particularly in relation to narrative, cultural, and existential influences.

Papers, workshops and presentations are invited on any of the following themes:

1. What is Suicide?

  • ~ Naming, defining, and understanding the nature of suicide
  • ~ Is any act of self-destruction suicidal?
  • ~ Assisted suicide and euthanasia
  • ~ suicide as murder; as act of aggression; as political attack
  • ~ suicide as despair; suicide and self-harm
  • ~ Is suicide ever a rational choice?
  • ~ Whose death is it, anyway? Legal and judicial concerns

2. Why? The Value(s) of Suicide or What is it Good For?

  • ~ Critical explorations: what positive value may the concept and act of suicide hold?
  • ~ When suicide becomes a lifestyle choice: justification and rationalisation
  • ~ Profound attraction and desire; the lure of the abyss
  • ~ The romantic fantasy of control; suicide pacts
  • ~ The suicide bomber: going beyond the headlines
  • ~ suicide and honour
  • ~ suicide and protest

3. Resistance and Rehabilitation

  • ~ Prevention and cure: treating the suicidal patient
  • ~ Best practices; non-traditional treatment modalities
  • ~ Cultural competence in understanding suicidal ideation
  • ~ Gender and suicide: commonalities and differences in etiology, frequency, and treatment
  • ~ Religion, religious practices and suicide

4. Suicide and Meaning

  • ~ Representations, explanations and the critique of suicide from the humanities and the arts
  • ~ Suicide in popular media (music, film, literature); the treatment of the subject; judgement and stereotype
  • ~ “Cry for help” or “last word”: exploring the suicide note in fact and fiction
  • ~ Suicide as an act of love

The Steering Group also welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 28th May 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 24th September 2010. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Nancy Billias, Project Leader, Director of Publications, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, USA, E-mail: nb@inter-disciplinary.net

Rob Fisher, Network Founder and Leader, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, Freeland, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, E-mail: sui@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Making Sense Of: programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).

For further details about the project please visit: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/probing-the-boundaries/making-sense-of/suicide/

For further details about the conference please visit: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/probing-the-boundaries/making-sense-of/suicide/call-for-papers/

CFP: Skin Disease History Conference

Second Call For Papers: “Scratching the Surface: the history of skin, its diseases and their treatment.” The University of Birmingham (UK), 29 – 30 October 2010

An international conference hosted by the History of Medicine Unit, University of Birmingham, and sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and the Society for the Social History of Medicine.

Skin and skin disease is a central focus of many sub-fields in the history of medicine, including the history of venereal disease, cancer, leprosy, TB and industrial medicine. This conference seeks to address the subject of skin, its diseases and their treatment broadly since 1700. In the process, it aims to bring together individuals working in very different sub-fields in medical and cultural history over the past three centuries. It further aims to promote discussion of the subject in the context of the history of specialisation more generally, as well as the history of senses, sight, smell and touch being central to understandings of skin disease and the way in which such diseases are experienced by practitioners, patients and the public historically. The history of skin ailments invites exploration of the historical relationship between professional medicine and wider cultural endeavours such as aesthetics, probing realms where health and beauty converge. The conference might similarly offer an opportunity to examine how medical understandings of the skin may have influenced or been influenced by the politics of race.

The organisers wish to invite proposals for 20-30 minute papers on any aspect of the history of skin and its diseases since 1700. Abstracts should be between 200-300 words in length and will be received until 30 April. A programme, featuring a keynote address by Professor Philip Wilson (Penn State, USA), will be advertised in June 2010.

Jonathan Reinarz, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK, B15 2TT, Phone: 0121 415 8122

Kevin Siena, Department of History, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA, K9J 7B8, (705) 748-1011 x7139

Email: j.reinarz@bham.ac.uk  or ksiena@trentu.ca

Visit the website at http://www.haps.bham.ac.uk/Events/skin-conference.shtml

NNMC: Ethics of Care in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

On May 4th, the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, Maryland will hold its Annual Ethics Symposium. The event is free and open to all who may be interested.

The topic this year will center upon the Ethics of Care in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. This is most timely given the service and leadership Navy Medicine just provided via the USNS Comfort in Haiti. US Navy Medicine has an outstanding tradition of leading and inspiring all women and men to be a “Global Force for the Good.” This event will highlight that tradition, and will inspire all of us to do what we can anywhere and everywhere to serve the needs of others.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who may be interested. Please note: For non-Department of Defense attendees, registration is required so that their names can be given to the NNMC front gate for access to the property. Again, the flyer has the registration POC info.

For registration and other information contact LCDR Jason Higginson (NNMC Healthcare Ethics Committee Chair) at Jason.Higginson@med.navy.mil  or via 301 319 4594.

NLN’s FREE Preparing GrantsWorkshop

Attend the NLN’s FREE Technical Assistance Workshop for Preparing Grants

Designed for both novice and experienced grant seekers, this workshop provides an update on the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a special grant program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and programs administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Nursing.

Techniques for writing successful proposals will be discussed and participants will gain a better understanding of grant-funded opportunities to support faculty development, strengthen program capacity, and enhance new technologies.

Trinitas School of Nursing, NLN Center of Excellence, 2008-2011, Elizabeth, New Jersey

April 26, 2010, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (Funding provided by Laerdal Medical Corporation)


  • Identify funding opportunities through the Division of Nursing.
  • Understand the grant writing process.
  • Describe guidelines for preparing federal grants.
  • Apply grant writing techniques to develop a grant.


  • E. Michele Richardson, MS, BSN, RN, Director, US Department of Health and Human Services, HRSA, Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Nursing
  • Aisha Mix, MPH, MSN, RN, CCM, Lieutenant Commander, US Public Health Services, Lead Consultant, Nursing Workforce Diversity Program, HRSA
  • Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, APRN, BC
  • Carol Kuser Loser Dean and Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science, the College of New Jersey Program

This workshop is limited to 40 participants.

For more information and to register: http://www.nln.org/facultydevelopment/Workshops/grantwriting/index.htm  

The NLN offers continuing education credits for all its faculty development programs through IACET.

Sweet 16 (Thousand)

Yesterday, NursingWriting welcomed its 16,000th visitor since its inauguration in summer 2008.

Supported by the Center for Nursing Scholarship at the University of Connecticut’s School of Nursing, NursingWriting provides a clearinghouse of information for nurse writers, including calls for submissions to journals or other publications, calls for proposals for conferences, tips on writing, and news.

Thanks to all the editors and conference organizers who send us their invitations, and to the nurse writers who are helping to shape the future of human health.

A Personal Note: Passage of Health Reform

Fifty years ago, I sat with parents in the gallery of the United States Senate the night that the first Medicare legislation was voted on. We sat in the front row of the center gallery, directly above John F. Kennedy, the junior senator from Massachusetts, and directly across the chamber from Richard Nixon, vice president of the United States, both of whom were running against each other in the presidential election of 1960.

At the time, both of my mother’s parents were aging, her mother with a catastrophic medical history (she had suffered a massive stroke that left her unable to move, to talk or to eat solid food). Both of them really needed Medicare.

They didn’t get Medicare that night; the bill went down to defeat, not to be passed until 1965, too late for my grandparents, who had died.

So I watched the vote last night in the House of Representatives with a friend who had worked for many years in the Nation’s Capital for an organization lobbying for home health care. Although I know that the politics of the issue are still not settled, I was gratified to see this reform occur in my lifetime (and in my parents’ lifetime)