Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Seminar aims to raise awareness of mortality issues

TAMPA — Tampa General Hospital nurse Barbara Turner, a 22-year veteran, said too often she has witnessed families struggle with difficult end-of-life decisions without knowing if they meet the wishes of their dying relative.

Death is certain for every person, but sometimes even the closest relatives fail to talk about dying with dignity and other issues revolving around mortality.

"If you love somebody then (mortality) is something to think about," said Turner, the assistant director of post-acute care programs in the hospital's case management department.

Turner will be part of a group promoting the message of being open and honest with family and friends to ensure death is not a regret at a mortality awareness seminar at 10 a.m. on Friday (June 23) at The Portico, 1001 N Florida Ave.

The seminar will feature a 60-minute Frontline documentary featuring Dr. Atul Gawande on "Being Mortal." It shows a variety of real life situations of death to show the one common theme in all of them: We are all mortal. LifePath Hospice representatives also will answer questions and assist with completing advanced directives.

A similar seminar enjoyed success in the Sun City Center area and organizers have brought it to Tampa to hopefully reach a wider audience. Debbie Caneen, who organized the Sun City Center seminar, was brought on to assist with the event in Tampa.

Caneen's work with the Sun Towers Retirement Community inspired her to get involved in community events that help the residents she works with every day.

"Being involved in this event has shown me that everyone should be aware of all of their options coming into their final days to improve their quality of life, even toward the end," Caneen said.

Turner stressed the importance of people expressing their wants to family and friends directly to ensure that the relatives make the correct final decisions.

She noted it's difficult to walk away from a decision made for a family member without any certainty it's what they would have wanted, according to Turner.

Attendees should come to register at 9 a.m. and RSVP by calling (813) 844-5929 or emailing Refreshments are available in the café for purchase at the event.

Turner encourages everyone in the Tampa community to come and bring a friend even without knowing much about mortality. She wants to help spread the word that being mortal is an important part of life.

"This is one of life's greatest moments," Turner said. "The anticipation of life's milestones like a wedding or a birth is nothing to be scared of. I think it's a gift to have that notice and have those conversations [before dying]."

Contact Katelyn Massarelli at

Seminar aims to raise awareness of mortality issues 06/15/17 [Last modified: Friday, June 16, 2017 3:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]
  2. Vision Zero plan to make Hillsborough roads safer to be unveiled


    TAMPA — Vision Zero, the coalition trying to make Hillsborough County safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, is set to unveil its action plan on Tuesday morning.

    Members of the Vision Zero workshop cross Hillsborough Avenue and Kelly Road during a on-street audit of Town 'N Country roads in January. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times]
  3. Pasco EDC names business incubator head in Dade City, will open second site


    Pasco County economic development officials are busy reigniting their business start-up resources following the departure earlier this year of Krista Covey, who ran the Pasco Economic Development Council's SMARTStart business incubator in Dade City.

    Andrew Romaner was promoted this summer to serve as program director of the Dade City SMARTStart Entrepreneur Center, a start-up incubator service of the Pasco Economic Development Council. He succeeds Krista Covey, who relocated to Texas for another startup position. [Courtesy of Pasco EDC]
  4. What you need to know for Tuesday, Aug. 22


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, center, attends a hearing on Monday Circuit Court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater. The hearing was requested by attorneys representing John Houde, left, who filed a motion to invalidate the sale of a $458,000 Redington Beach condo, a deal orchestrated by Skelton, who stands accused of deliberately misleading bidders in a the June 8 foreclosure auction. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  5. Sarasota GOP names Dick Cheney 'Statesman of the Year'


    Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be honored as "Statesman of Year" by the Sarasota GOP, a title that twice went to Donald Trump.

    Dick and Liz Cheney