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Mountains of Courage Annual Conference

Conversations on Death and Dying
April 1, 2023 • 9 am - 4 pm
Best Western GranTree Inn
1325 N 7th St., Bozeman, MT

MOUNTAINS OF COURAGE 2023
'Grief and All It Encompasses'

Mountains of Courage is a one-day conference for anyone who wants to create a conversation around death and dying.

 

Featuring a diverse array of topics, speakers, resources, and workshops. The event provides an opportunity for meaningful and enriching conversations to take place about when someone dies.

Explore the practical issues, emotions, myths, and traditions of dying in America as we dive into Grief for 2023.

$40 early bird
$50 at the door
$25 vets/students
Listen to our interview on KGLT radio!
5.5 Credit Hours Available

"We teach people in our culture how to drive and how to cook,

but we don’t have classes on how to die."

- Mountains of Courage co-founder,

Dr. Susan Kreitzberg

KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2023

Mary-Frances O'Connor, PhD

Loss of a loved one is something everyone experiences, and for as long as humans have existed, we have struggled when someone dies. But until now, we have had little scientific perspective on this universal experience.

 

In The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss, renowned grief expert, neuroscientist and psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor shares groundbreaking discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning.

O’Connor is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, where she directs the Grief, Loss and Social Stress (GLASS) Lab, which investigates the effects of grief on the brain and the body.

O’Connor earned a doctorate from the University of Arizona in 2004 and completed a fellowship at UCLA. Following a faculty appointment at UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, she returned to the University of Arizona in 2012.

Her work has been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, and Psychological Science, and featured in Newsweek, the New York Times, and The Washington Post.

Having grown up in Dillon, Montana, Mary-Frances has happy memories of trips to the Country Bookstore and piano lessons in Bozeman and summer adventures at Bannack Days and the candy shop in Virginia City. She now lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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For more information:
maryfrancesoconnor.com

MORNING PRESENTER

Dr Marsha Goetting

Advance Directive and Estate Planning

Do you know who receives your property if you die without a will or trust?  Do you have a financial and health care power of attorney? Attend this session to learn about the legal documents all Montanans should have.

 

The property of people who do not have a will is distributed according to the "law of the intestate succession". Montanans need to understand how this law and how they title their real and personal property determines who receives it upon their death. Make sure your assets go to the right people instead of people on the intestate succession list.

Dr. Goetting is a Professor and Extension Family Economics Specialist at Montana State University. Dr. Goetting is a member of the Montana Alzheimer’s and related Dementia Workgroup. She received her PhD from Iowa State University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University.

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AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

The interactive workshops are held after lunch and are offered in presenter or panel style. There will be an opportunity to ask questions in all workshops.

 

Choose from three workshops per session - there are two sessions. You do not need to sign up or register for them.

SESSION ONE

1:00 - 2:00 pm

PALLIATIVE CARE: What It Is, How to Talk About It and What are the Benefits

DR. KATHRYN BORGENICHT

Medical Director of Eden Hospice Bozeman, MT

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There is much confusion about palliative care and hospice and their roles when families confront serious illnesses. This session will focus on what roles palliative medicine and hospice play in taking care of patients. Tools will be given to help patients and their families get what they need from the medical system.

Dr. Borgenicht is a board-certified geriatrician and palliative care doctor. She was instrumental in starting the palliative care program at Bozeman Health. She is passionate both professionally and personally about helping patients and their family navigate their medical care. She is currently the medical director at Eden Hospice.  

HEALING A GRIEVING HEART

DAERYL HOLZER

Clairvoyant and Spiritual Teacher

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Daeryl became intimately involved with grief after the death of her husband in 2014. What followed was a string of unusual occurrences, perceived as messages from the other side. By staying open to what was inexplicable, she gained profound insight and tangible methods for emotional healing.

 

She shares her experience to help others who are struggling with grief, and teaches how to use the mind to heal the broken heart.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL OPTIONS FOR LIVING AND DYING
Panel Presentation

CHRISTINE RENEE

Reiki Cafe University

Reiki Practitioner

TAWNYA HEALY

Sacred and Healing Plants

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SARAH LEHMANN

Restful Touch

Massage Therapist

DR. JENNIFER KRIEGER

Spring Integrative Health

Naturopathic Physician, Integrative Oncology

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Reiki energy work, plant medicines, yoga, and naturopathic medicine are all ways to heal the body and mind. The panel will discuss key points and take questions from the group in this open discussion about various healing modalities outside of traditional medicine.

SESSION TWO

2:00 - 3:00 pm

ERIN CLARK

Crisis Trauma and Psychotherapist

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VIOLENT AND SUDDEN DEATH: COPING WITH GRIEF AND LOSS
Panel Presentation

MEGAN DOYLE

Crisis and Trauma Therapist

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PERRIN LUNDGREN

LCPC, Bozeman Help Center

RANDY JONES

Gallatin County Sherriff's Dept. Chaplain 

Coping with the sudden or violent death of a loved one is one of the most severe life challenges anyone can experience. The impact of having someone removed from your life so unfairly can have a profound impact on your mental health and the ability to keep moving forward in a forever-changed life.

 

The panel will talk about, how a death can affect us; how to grieve and cope with the death; surviving the first year; self-care while grieving; and remembering those that have been lost.

HOW TO NAVIGATE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS

SCOTT MERENZ

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A personal case study discussing end-of-life plans, home arrangements, Medical Power of Attorney, and other tender topics with those in your care circle.

 

Join Scott as he shares his own journey of emotionally preparing for these conversations with his beloved parents and family; implementing the “how-tos” and the emotional results of these heart-to-heart discussions. A focus not only on Scott but also his parents’ reactions during this process. 

 

The majority of Scott’s professional career has been spent in various roles of senior living but he has recently changed careers and is now the Clinic Manager at Strive Medical, a medical weight loss clinic in beautiful Bozeman, MT. 

Q & A - END OF LIFE OPTIONS

DR COLETTE KIRCHHOFF

Medical Director of Eden Hospice Bozeman, MT

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Medical care at the end of life is often challenging. Critical thought and preparation are important to maintain independence and dignity during the dying process. Dr. Kirchhoff will give a short presentation on end-of-life options followed by a Q&A. Topics include hospice care, medical aid in dying, dementia provision, voluntary stopping of eating and drinking, and cessation of medical treatment. 

 

Colette Kirchhoff MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician and Hospice Palliative Physician. For 23 years she maintained an active practice in family medicine in Bozeman Montana, and for 16 years she has served as a medical director of Hospice. Dr. Kirchhoff is the Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington and the FCM Director of WWAMI Medical School in Montana.

Dr. Kirchhoff lives in Bozeman with her husband of 40 years, Steve.

FACT: 
80% of us do not put our personal affairs in order before we die. The vast majority of us want to die at home, but 75% will die in a hospital or nursing home, and about 20% of us will spend our last days in ICU, in part because we don’t talk with each other in advance.

"I attended this conference two years ago, it was amazing. I enjoyed this conference so much I tell anyone who wants to listen how fantastic it is. I walked away with a wealth of information."

- Doreen

OUR 2023 SPONSORS

Our event thrives because of your generous support.
 ----- Keynote Sponsor -----
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 ----- INDIVIDUAL DONORS -----
Dr Richard and Janet Young
Cal Harrington and Edy Harrington
Don't delay, get your tickets today. And tell a friend.

Conference Agenda

8:15 am

9:00 am

9:15 am

10:45 am

11:00 am

11:45 am

12:00 pm

1:00 pm

2:00 pm

3:00 pm

3:15 pm

4:00 pm

Registration and doors open

General session begins

Keynote Speaker, Mary-Francis O'Connor PhD

Break

Morning Presenter Dr. Marsha Goetting

Threshold Singers

Lunch

Session One Workshops (55-minutes each, with 5 for a break)

Session Two Workshops (55-minutes each, with 5 for a break)

Break

Keynote speaker afternoon presentation and Q & A

Wrap up and goodbye followed by Dr. O'Connor book signing (bring your own book or a certain amount will be given away at the conference and you can purchase one on-site)

Frequently Asked Questions

• Lunch is included in the ticket price

• You can purchase tickets at the event. We do not have a limit on sales.

• This is a handicap-accessible event

• If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please visit our Sponsorship page

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