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Free Film and Community Discussion Centers Around End-of-Life Issues

Filmmaker Carolyn Jones will present her film Defining Hope and discuss the themes addressed in the movie at a free event on Thursday, February 20, 2020, at the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford. The event, which is open to health care providers as well as the general public, will begin with an information fair and a light meal starting at 5 p.m. for those who register for the event. The hour-long film will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a discussion of end-of-life issues.

Defining Hope is a story about people weighing what matters most at the most fragile junctures in life, and the nurses who guide them. It’s a documentary that follows patients with life-threatening illness as they make choices about how they want to live, how much medical technology they can accept, what they hope for and how that hope evolves when life is threatened. According to the film maker, it is optimistic and reminds us that we have choices in how we die.

The event is put on by Project SILO (Significantly Impacting Life Outcomes), a community group that came together last year to organize a similar event to bring attention to important issues surrounding end-of-life decisions and care. Mercyhealth, OSF HealthCare, Transform Rockford, SwedishAmerican and the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford are the event sponsors.

“Engaging in discussions about end-of-life care is so important because it is something everyone will face at some point, whether it is for a loved one or eventually ourselves,” says Brittany Blomberg, DO, a physician in the University of Illinois College of Medicine’s Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship Program and one of the Project SILO members organizing the event. “Learning about advance directives and options for how we want to face those complicated end-of-life decisions now before a serious illness or injury is helpful and we want to help get those discussions started.”

Register at if you want to order a free meal. Medical professionals who would like continuing education credits can register by calling 888-39-MERCY.