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|Oley Regional Conferences|
Oley in Vancouver: A Regional Conference
In late January, the Oley Foundation hosted a one-day conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over sixty people on home IV and tube feeding from throughout the region—primarily northwestern Canada and the US—gathered to hear nutrition support experts speak on their specialties, and to share with one another their experiences as nutrition support consumers and caregivers.
Oley regional conferences, like the more comprehensive annual conference, provide unique opportunities to learn about home parenteral and enteral nutrition (HPEN) as well as the invaluable experience of making personal connections. Oley organizes regional conferences in different areas of the country—often around another meeting, such as A.S.P.E.N.’s Clinical Nutrition Week, or near an HPEN center of experience—so that as many members as possible can attend.
At the regional conference in Vancouver, Oley President Rick Davis spoke in the morning about strategies he’s developed to make tube feeding more manageable, while Oley Regional Coordinator volunteer Laurie McBride spoke about his many years on parenteral nutrition. Following this, healthcare professionals and attendees spoke in large- and small-group settings about communicating effectively with your healthcare provider (Jarol Boan, MD); quality of life issues (Marion Winkler, PhD, RD); Omegaven (Kathleen Gura, PharmD); maximizing the value of the food you eat (Laura Matarese, PhD, RD); tube feeding issues (Mark DeLegge, MD); minimizing HPN complications (Darlene Kelly, MD); micronutrients in HPN (Lyn Howard, MD); and ethanol locks (Rex Speerhas, RPh). In addition, Oley members Terry and Ann Edwards, Rick Davis, and others joined in a roundtable discussion on tube feeding.
Kathie Douglas, who has been on parenteral nutrition since November 2010, was one of the conference attendees. Her impressions of the conference can be found below.
We’d like to thank Laurie McBride for his untiring work and enthusiasm in helping organize this conference. We also thank Calea, for its generous underwriting of this conference; the speakers who gave their time; and our corporate sponsors and individual donors for their continued support.
Since I live in Edmonton, Alberta, and my parents live about an hour outside of Vancouver, the one-day Oley conference I read about in the newsletter seemed like an exciting chance to meet people who had the same, or similar, health issues as me and spend some time with my family. I didn’t know anyone on parenteral nutrition (PN)! I also knew it would be a great opportunity to meet some of the specialists who were scheduled to talk at the event.
The information presented at the conference was incredible. The patients who’ve spent years on home tube and IV feeding spoke clearly and enthusiastically about their experiences. They had all gone through some horrific times and conquered in the end. They gave me so much to be thankful for, such a deep understanding of why this new way of life wasn’t a curse...but a gift. I was in awe of our speakers.
Then there were the roundtable discussions, where I learned more than I could possibly have imagined. I was a little confused about one of the discussions at a roundtable, because people described a procedure that differed from the one I followed. They explained it to me, and when I got home I spoke with my nurses. The next delivery from my home care company came with a note saying that due to changes in protocol, PN patients were to follow the procedure I had learned about in that discussion. What a great thing to learn! I also found the discussions lively and stimulating.
There was happiness in the meeting room and I could see lots of joyful reunions between people who had met at previous conferences. The organizers of the event were warm and welcoming. I can’t say enough about how they made me feel. There was also a small “trade show” type display, where I found many items that were intriguing. I’m investigating a few in regards to my own PN.
I want to take this time to thank the Oley Foundation for presenting all of this, including breakfast and lunch at no cost to patients and their family members. It was an unbelievable day for me. I came away excited to go to the next conference. I will go a little better prepared with ideas and questions.
I’ve made a great friend, found some tremendous information resources, and have come home with a whole new attitude towards my life with PN. As my doctor said to me the first day of PN when I was a little touchy, “It has given you back your life, now you need to put it into perspective.” It wasn’t until the Oley conference that her words clicked and my attitude changed from pitying myself to being ever so thankful at being given this “second chance” at life.
LifelineLetter, March/April 2011
Highlights from the Oley Vancouver Regional Conference