Palliative Care and Alternative Therapies

Merryn Jolkovsky, MD:

After practicing Nephrology for 18 years, Merryn refocused her practice to improve the care of patients facing serious illness and reaching the end of life. She designed and successfully implemented a Palliative Care program within CentraCare, with the goal of improving care for patients with serious illness. Through collaboration with the ICU to integrate Palliative Care, and with the Home Care team to create a Home Care Palliative option. Jolkovsky brought Schwartz Center Rounds to the hospital, and led the collaboration with The Convenings, an Emmy-award winning public awareness campaign for health care directives. Merryn also founded a NPO, Light the Legacy, to promote health care directives in our community and currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors. She works with groups within the state to advance and pass legislation to create a Palliative Care Advisory Council for our state government, and to collaborate with other health systems on a Serious Illness Conversation initiative. She also served on the ICSI Palliative Care Guideline workgroup to rewrite the Palliative Care Guidelines for 2019. I speak at various events throughout central Minnesota on the topics of Palliative Care, medical ethics, and Post-acute Care, and have presented our work at national forums such as CAPC and IHI.



Kathi Sowada, RN:

Kathi works for CentraCare as an Integrative Health Specialist. As a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine with previous experience as a Registered Nurse, she integrates both Eastern and Western medical philosophies into her practice. Specializing in oncology acupuncture and energy healing modalities such as Qigong and Healing Touch, Kathi works with patients of the Coborn Cancer Center to manage the physical and emotional effects of cancer treatment. Her mission is to empower people to realize their inner healing potential and to help them become active participants in their healing process.

Midwest Lung Cancer Patient Summit Presentation:

Palliative Care and Alternative Therapies – Merryn Jolkovsky, MD and Kathi Sowada, RN, Integrative Health Specialist, Centra Care

Introduce evidence-based nonpharmacological healing options for those will cancer and will discuss my experiences working with cancer survivors at the Coborn Cancer Center.