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Sawusch to Present at Mary Free Bed DeVel Symposium

September 28, 2015

Varnum attorney Bonnie Sawusch will be a featured speaker at the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric DeVel Symposium on November 20. Her presentation will focus on legal rights and issues impacting the care of pediatric patients.

A frequent presenter to medical groups, Sawusch's unique perspective is influenced by her current work as an attorney representing severely injured people and their families as well as her previous career as a critical care nurse.

Her presentation will cover issues including:

  • Legal ramifications for medical decision-making in various types of custody arrangements.
  • Parental rights to information about their child's health information when their custodial rights have been suspended or terminated.
  • Determining who has rights to make medical decisions for a child when both biological parents and foster parents are involved.

"The medical care and treatment of pediatric patients is often complicated by family dynamics and the involvement of the legal system as to who controls decisions regarding the child's care and discharge needs," Sawusch said. "Medical providers must be aware of their legal responsibilities and requirements in caring for these patients and of resources available to remain in compliance with the law."

The Pediatric DeVel Symposium is held annually for an interdisciplinary audience of health educators, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, rehab nurses, occupational and physical therapists and other care givers. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is an accredited provider and CME credit is available to symposium participants. The symposium is named in recognition of pediatrician Dr. Leon DeVel and his wife, Marion Olds DeVel, strong supporters of the MFB fund for pediatric staff education.

In addition to Sawusch, other speakers at this year's event include Dr. Robert Wertkin; Michael Reiffer, LMSW; and Dr. Kim Bancroft. The symposium takes place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20 at Crossroad's Conference Center in Grand Rapids.

Sawusch has 20 years' experience representing people and families whose lives have been affected by catastrophic personal injury and death. She has been involved in investigating, litigating and resolving a wide variety of personal injury cases.

Sawusch's legal practice is strongly influenced by her previous 15-year career as a critical care nurse in a large acute care hospital. She holds a B.S. in Nursing and continues to maintain her license to practice as a registered nurse.

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