Taking the Palliative Care Approach

Des Moines, IA US
March 6, 2018


There is no cost to attend.

Two attendance options:

  • Des Moines University - No registration necessary.
  • Online - click here


Information regarding the other presentations can be found below. 

Target Audience

Healthcare professionals and the general public.


The healthcare industry in America is so focused on pathology, surgery and pharmacology -- on what doctors "do" to patients -- that it often overlooks the values of the human beings it's supposed to care for. Palliative care physician Timothy Ihrig explains the benefits of a different approach, one that fosters a patient's overall quality of life and navigates serious illness from diagnosis to death with dignity and compassion.

Palliative medicine is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness -- whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
A paradigm of care for this population, grounded in what they value. Patient-centric care based on their values that helps this population live better and longer. It's a care model that tells the truth and engages one-on-one and meets people where they're at.
Palliative Medicine: A different voice in healthcare so patients can find their own.™ 

The Embrace Aging series provide practical information on how to handle the various life issues associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. This program is brought to you by Calvin Community Foundation and Des Moines University with special thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association, Arbor Springs, Broadlawns Geriatric and Memory Center, The Hale Group, Syverson Strege & Company, and Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.

    Learning Objectives

    • Discuss the tenets of true palliative care, hospice, and their relationship to increased quality of life and length of life.
    • Converse regarding goals of care with seriously ill patients.
    • Describe why success is predicated on as much a philosophical approach and understanding of what is possible through palliative care as high level clinical acumen. 


    Version 2Dr. Timothy G. Ihrig is the Chief Medical Officer of Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care and Clarus Healthcare Systems.  He also acts as a private consultant through his role as Chief Executive Officer of Ihrig MD & Associates. 

    Dr. Ihrig is internationally recognized for combining clinical and administrative experience to system design around population health management, care coordination and care delivery for the most vulnerable population.  He is an expert in understanding risk as applied to healthcare contractual entities, micro- and macro- healthcare economics, population health, regulatory compliance from a system perspective and the interaction of all three.  He combines a visionary approach to care delivery through a unique philosophical perspective modeled into methodology which can be strategically implemented into any healthcare system to meet the needs of patients, systems and payers. This has led to unparalleled success in across-the-continuum population health and community based palliative care and hospice program development and innovation.


    • Created, de novo, one of the most successful population health care models in the country and executed clinically and operationally in this healthcare space across all settings.
    • Successfully reproduced care model with similar results across variable settings and systems.
    • Near 94% zero hospital admissions for live outpatient palliative care patients.
    • 40% reduction in 30-day readmissions.
    • 70% per-capita reduction in expenditures estimated on pre- and post- palliative care involvement over comparative 12 month periods.
    • Decrease in acute hospitalization days from above 4 to 1.79 with Palliative Care involvement; and persistent coordination of care through our Cancer Center, Emergency Department and EMS services.
    • An inpatient Palliative Care consultation rate of nearly 28%, greater than three times the national average.
    • Consistently rated at the top of “patient satisfaction” and “likely to recommend to others” via Press Ganey throughout the Unity Point Health System – 2013 overall patient satisfaction mean score of 95 compared to 85 for overall system.
    • Decreased symptom burden, per patient subjective response.
    • Ubiquitous discussion and near similar attainment of advanced care planning and/or completion of Iowa Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment [IPOLST].

    Prior to joining Crossroads & Clarus, he served as the  medical director for Palliative Medicine at the Trinity Regional Medical Center (TRMC) within the Unity Point Health System.  He also served on the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Development Board of Mangers of Unity Point Health.  His efforts were seminal in Unity Point Heath being granted the 2013 Circle of Life Award by the American Hospital Association.

    Dr. Ihrig has given a TED talk which has over 1.2 million views globally, and National Public Radio’s, “All Things Considered” featured him in a story on the development and transformative nature of his philosophy of care. He has lectured all over the country and is endorsed by the Center to Advance of Palliative Care (CAPC).  In addition, he has co-authored, Palliative Care: Symptom Management.

    Current appointments include, content expert to the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC), consultant to CAPC, and ongoing healthcare research activities with Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science and the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy.

    He served as an Expert Source for Palliative Care Development in an Accountable Care Organization in a Rural Community for the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., and was the sole practicing physician assisting the Iowa General Assembly in raising minimum standard requirements for Iowa physicians with respect to end-of-life care and oversight of use of prescriptive narcotics.  He also acted as an expert clinician in support of Iowa Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment bill.  He is a prior Clinical Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver School of Medicine and acted as Palliative Care clinical instructor.  He served on the board of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa for six years and is the former chair of the Advocacy Committee and the Palliative Care Advisory Committee.

    Dr. Ihrig attained a degree in medicine from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and a Masters degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa, Des Moines and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

    Other interests of Dr. Ihrig include sexuality at the end of life and Global Health.  He is the former Medical Chair of the Health Services Committee for Empower Tanzania Incorporated whose mission is the development of sustainable healthcare solutions in sub-Saharan Africa for individuals suffering with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-limited illnesses.  

    Relevant to the content of this CME activity, Dr. Ihrig indicated he has no financial relationships to disclose.

      Course summary
      Available credit: 
      • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
      • 1.00 AOA Category 2­A
      • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
      • 1.00 CPME
      • 1.00 IBON
      Course opens: 
      Course expires: 
      Event starts: 
      03/06/2018 - 7:00pm CST
      Event ends: 
      03/06/2018 - 8:00pm CST
      Des Moines University
      3200 Grand Avenue
      Student Education Center Auditorium
      Des Moines, IA 50312
      United States
      +1 (515) 271-1596

      Des Moines University is located on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. Just west of downtown on Grand Avenue, the University is located in one of Des Moines’ most prestigious neighborhoods. The campus is in a historic neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes and businesses. Its central location makes it easy to access the rest of the city and outlying communities. The campus is close to the Des Moines International Airport, located on the bus line and just blocks from local shopping and downtown Des Moines.


      Continuing Education Credit

      • DPM: Des Moines University (DMU) is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. DMU has approved this activity for a maximum of 1.0 continuing education contact hour(s).
      • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this program for a maximum of 1.0 AOA Category 2-A credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
      • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this live activity for 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
      • Nurse: Des Moines University is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This live activity has been reviewed and approved for 1.0 continuing education contact hour(s). No partial credit awarded.
      • Other healthcare providers: This live activity is designated for 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

      Everyone in a position to control the content of this educational activity will disclose to the CME provider and to attendees all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. They will also disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. Firms providing financial support did not have input in these areas. The information provided at this CME activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

      Educational Grants

      No commercial interest provided financial support for this continuing education activity. 

      Available Credit

      • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
      • 1.00 AOA Category 2­A
      • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
      • 1.00 CPME
      • 1.00 IBON


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