Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice Announces Educational Workshop on Palliative & Hospice Care from a Catholic Perspective


Marlton, NJ – Via Lucis, the Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice ministry for Catholic patients and families, in collaboration with the Dioceses of Camden and Trenton, will present Now & At the Hour of Our Death on Friday, February 15, 2019 at St. Paul’s Parochial School (250 James Street, Burlington).

The 12th annual Catholic educational workshop, sponsored by the Diocese of Trenton and St. John of God Community Services, will focus on Addressing Pain and Suffering – exploring how hospice and palliative care can provide pain relief, as well as emotional, spiritual and social support for patients and families living with serious illnesses.

“The primary goals of Samaritan’s Now & At the Hour of Our Death workshop are to discuss various end-of-life issues and encourage healthy dialogue between Catholics and those serving the Catholic community” said Mary Ann Boccolini, president and CEO of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice. “We want to encourage open discussions between family members, clergy and healthcare providers to ensure access to patient-centered care and quality of life.”

This year’s workshop will feature a light dinner and networking, followed by an educational program highlighted by a keynote address from a respected local physician and an interdisciplinary panel discussion.

John Bertagnolli, DO, a board-certified physician, associate professor of medicine, humanitarian-mission volunteer and ordained deacon, will serve as the keynote speaker. Dr. Bertagnolli will explore the following subject matter from a Catholic perspective: what palliative care is and is not, how it compares to hospice care and how the benefits provide a better quality of life throughout the course of illness.

Photo of Dr. Bertagnolli provided.

Dr. Bertagnolli, a hospice and palliative care physician for Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, has more than 35 years of family medicine experience. At Samaritan, Dr. Bertagnolli oversees interdisciplinary teams and patient care. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. He is also very active in his community, serving as a volunteer physician for Missionaries of the Poor in Jamaica, an assistant Scout master and advisory committee chair for a local Boy Scouts troop and an ordained deacon at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Moorestown.


To complement the keynote address, an interdisciplinary panel discussion on end-of-life care will follow Dr. Bertagnolli’s presentation featuring local palliative and hospice care experts offering three unique perspectives – nursing, social work and clergy. Panelists include: Colleen Fritsch, social worker, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice; John Posenieswski, nurse liaison, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice and Chaplain Betty Warner, BCC, BCCC, CFHPC, spiritual support counselor, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice. Chaplain Marge McGinley of Virtua Hospital and national chair of Formation for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will facilitate the panel.

Admission for this workshop is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The seminar has been approved for 2.75 continuing education hours for Catholic chaplains. Two (2) nursing continuing education credits are pending. The workshop is open and appropriate for health care professionals of all disciplines, chaplains, priests, religious, deacons and lay ministers, parish volunteers, lay ministers, parishioners and family caregivers.

For more information or to register, please contact Christine Corti at 856-552-3258 or Register online here.

About Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice:

Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, independent organization locally founded in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1980. Samaritan is the regional leader for hospice care, palliative (comfort) medicine, grief support and counseling, end-of-life education, and advocacy.

Samaritan serves people in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties who are coping with the stresses of aging, serious illness or grief in their homes, assisted-living, or nursing home communities and through two inpatient hospice centers: The Samaritan Center at Mt. Holly and The Samaritan Center at Voorhees. Two thrift shops, in Westmont and Pitman, support Samaritan services and programs.

Samaritan is accredited by The Joint Commission; a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO); the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey; and is a four-star-level hospice in NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans program, created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).For more information, visit

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