Floyd Medical Center will host a major ethics conference Friday, March 8 to address "Healthcare and the Art of Difficult Discussions." The event will be held at Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rome from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Two years ago Floyd held its first ever ethics conference related to mental health.

“We could never have imagined the overwhelming response," said Chaplain Jack Foley.

More than 125 people from across the region participated, including representatives from eight hospitals several nursing facilities and hospices, counselors, physicians, and many others.

Foley said the 2019 topic is near and dear to his heart because he meets daily with a variety of disciplines to help address the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of patients and families.

"The bottom line is that it is sometimes simply not easy to talk to folks," Foley said.

Many people, not just healthcare professionals, struggle in knowing what to say and what not to say to patients. Nurses, therapists and providers also have barriers in communicating with each other.

"We can all learn to do better, to communicate more openly and more effectively. That’s what this conference is all about," said Foley. "We just need the right person to lead us! Dr. Kathleen Benton is gifted, highly sought after speaker who has worked and been a leader in the fields of Palliative Care, Ethics, and Hospice. I heard her at a conference last year, and knew we had to have her."

Benton will share personal stories, lecture, video, case studies and a panel discussion to get the message across.

The fee is $125 for physicians and healthcare providers, $75 for other professionals and $25 for students. Space is limited, however, continuing education credits are available.

Registration can be completed online at www.floyd.org/ethics by March 4.

YMCA gets grant for water safety skills

The YMCA of Rome and Floyd County has launched a Safety Around Water program to aid parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more youngsters access to water safety lessons.

In Rome and Floyd County the program will focus on reaching African American and Hispanic communities where the risk of drowning among children is highest.

Adults will be encouraged to help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills. The eight-day course will educate youngsters as to how to respond if they find themselves in challenging  water situations,  from how to get to surface if they go under to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water.

“In many underserved communities, staying safe around water means keeping kids away from water, but water safety and swimming are important life skills in the growth and development of all children, particularly in our community with our three rivers and many streams, creeks and lakes,” said Kristin Heath-Strickland, Aquatics Director of the YMCA in Rome. “All children deserve access to water safety resources that not only could save their lives, but enrich them with an outlet for fun, healthy activity.”

This summer the Y will award 100 scholarships for free swim lessons to children in high-risk communities in our community

Families interested in learning more about Safety Around Water and how to enroll their child in local Y swimming and water safety classes should visit www.ymcarome.org or email Kristin Strickland, Aquatics Director at kstrickland@ymcarome.org or call 706-232-2468.