Annual Pediatric Palliative Care Symposium

Every fall, a team of dedicated individuals puts together a symposium for care givers, physicians, families and anyone interested to learn more about pediatric palliative care. 

9th Annual Pediatric Palliative Care Symposium

November 9, 2023 @ 9:00AM — 2:30PM Central Time (US & Canada)

Sunrise Bank Corp Headquarters: 2525 Wabash Ave St. Paul, MN 55114

Stay tuned for information on our upcoming 2024 Pediatric Palliative Care Symposium Registration to launch Aug. 7, 2024. This symposium will take place at Sunrise Bank Corporate Office on Thursday, Nov. 7th, 2024.

Joy, Creativity, Challenges, and Capabilities

Join us in-person for our 9th annual Pediatric Palliative Care Symposium. Parents, caregivers, volunteers, donors, and clinicians are all invited to attend this event on Thursday, Nov 9, from 9 am-2:30 pm. Speakers include: Ted Bowman, grief counselor Helen Bennett, Director of Care, Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Lori and Jeff Wells, Crescent Cove parents Kristy Hubbard, Crescent Cove parent Erika Wells, Crescent Cove RN Jacob Uban, music therapist, Alliance Music Therapy Maddie O'Reilly, Crescent Cove CNA and recent occupational therapist graduate

Register today for this meaningful symposium to recognize and celebrate both the joy and challenges of caring for and parenting children who require pediatric palliative or hospice care.

We are pleased to return to an in-person event. Attendees will enjoy light morning snacks and coffee, and also be provided lunch. The proceedings will be recorded and available for streaming at a later date for those who cannot attend in person.

This Year's Theme

The old adage that the direction in which you look will determine what you see is core to the best of pediatric palliative and hospice care. Openness to surprises and curiosity when working with children and adolescents is essential. If not careful, attention to a child’s condition can dominate perspectives and expectations. Strengths, capacities, attitudes of joy and living to the fullest, and creative coping can be overlooked.

For this symposium, speakers and participants will address “holding space” for both the heavy and the beautiful. Both/And, not Either/Or.

In the 2022 Crescent Cove Symposium, the phrase – Milieus of Mattering – was introduced by Betty Davies. A milieu of mattering is a setting/culture/ambience/way-of-working that affirms that all involved (children, parents, volunteers, and staff) will affirm and embrace a milieu of mattering…it matters to all involved. The 2023 Symposium will affirm and address a milieu of joy, creativity, and capabilities while living or dying with challenges!

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the differences between person-centered care and condition-centered care.
  • Evaluate the importance of considering the strengths, potentials, abilities, and challenges in patient medical assessments of children with life-threatening conditions.
  • Engage in respectful conversations about collaborative care and creating and maintaining environments that matter for all involved.
  • Compare and contrast the experiences of parents/families and those of healthcare providers in a palliative care setting.


8:45 am Arrival and registration
9:10 am Welcome and Overview of Day, Ted Bowman
9:35 am Helen Bennett, keynote speaker
10:15 am Parent Story, Lori and Jeff Wells
10:45 am Morning Break
11:00 am Example of complimentary resources (music therapy, occupational therapy)

Noon Lunch break and table conversations

12:45 pm Parent story of bereavement practices, Kristy Hubbard
1:15 pm Panel Discussion
1:50 pm Table conversations — implications of the day
2:00 pm Concluding words

Our Speakers

Helen Bennett
Helen Bennett, Director of Care, Alexander Devine Children's Hospice, U.K. Helen has worked in the field of children’s palliative care in clinical and educational practice for the past 30 years. She has worked for several children’s hospices in the UK throughout her career and at Together for Short Lives, the UK national charity for children’s palliative care. Helen worked as a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes where she set up the UK’s first children’s palliative care course. She is an Associate Trustee for Palliative Care Works who provides teaching and mentoring to resource-poor countries and has delivered education and training in Ghana and Kenya.

Helen is currently Director of Care at Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in Berkshire managing a community and inpatient service. She is Chair for the region's Managed Clinical Network and Co-lead for the national CYPACP Network.

Helen is passionate about quality care for children and families and supporting the professional development of all staff. She holds a strong interest in Advance Care Planning and has recently completed her PhD exploring parents’ experience of advance care planning.

Ted Bowman
Ted Bowman is an educator, author, and consultant who specializes in change and transition. Ted taught Family Education courses at the University of Minnesota from 1981-2014 and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas, teaching a graduate social work course on grief and loss. He has published more than 100 articles, chapters, booklets, and poems, many centered on the themes of grief, loss, and transition.

Lori and Jeff Wells
Lori and Jeff are the parents of five children. Their youngest son, Caden, was born with Down Syndrome. He sustained a brain injury at 10 months of age and has multiple complex medical needs. During their presentation they will speak to both the joys and challenges of raising a child like Caden. They will also speak to the importance of giving medically complex children creative opportunities so they can achieve their fullest capabilities, which deserve recognition and celebration.

Kristy Hubbard
Kristy is the parent and step-parent to 7 children. Her daughter, Lauren, suffered oxygen deprivation and brain damage at birth, which resulted in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and other medical conditions. Lauren required round-the-clock care and came to Crescent Cove for respite care upon our opening in 2018. She passed away unexpectedly this past summer at the age of 15. Kristy will speak to her process of bereavement on losing Lauren.

We also thank Jacob Uban, music therapist with Alliance Music Therapy, Erika Wells, Crescent Cove RN, and Maddie O'Reilly, Crescent Cove CNA and recent graduate with a doctorate in occupational therapy, for being part of this event.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Information:

Credit Designation: 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ | 4.5 Contact/Clock Hours CME credits are not available for watching the recording of the symposium.

Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) through the joint providership of Gillette Children's and Crescent Cove. Gillette Children's is accredited by the MMA to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Gillette Children’s designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses: This activity is designed to meet the Minnesota Board of Nursing (MNBON) continuing education requirements for 4.5 contact hours. It is the participant’s responsibility to ascertain if this activity meets the mandatory continuing education requirements of the licensing board under which they practice.

Others: This activity is worth a maximum of 4.5 clock hours. It is the responsibility of the individual to determine if this activity meets their professional requirements for continuing education credit.

Disclosure Statement: It is the policy of Gillette Children’s, in accordance with the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all CME activities. None of the planners or presenters of this educational activity have any relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose.

Questions: If you have any questions regarding this CME activity, please contact us at