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Pat Hendrix, Motlow College Dean of Nursing and Allied Health and organizer of the inaugural Think Sepsis First Conference, invites the healthcare and medical community, caregivers and the general public to learn about this important healthcare topic Sept. 13 on the Moore County campus.

Motlow State will hold the inaugural Think Sepsis First Conference Sept. 13, beginning at 8:15 a.m. on the Moore County campus. The conference will focus on educating caregivers and healthcare providers concerning the seriousness and the warning signs and symptoms of sepsis, an often-fatal medical condition.

 “Motlow is excited to provide a Sepsis awareness conference for students and the community,” said Pat Hendrix, dean of nursing and allied health and the leader of the conference planning. “Sepsis is the leading cause of death of hospitalized patients. While the healthcare community is implementing practices to reduce this statistic, it is imperative that all current and future healthcare providers are educated and motivated to ‘Think Sepsis First’.”

The idea for the conference came when John J. Smith, husband of Motlow State employee Debra Smith, died unexpectedly from sepsis. It is the belief of the family that had they been aware of sepsis and the emergency it represents, John would have survived.

“I am on a mission to empower and educate everyone about the risk of sepsis, even for those who are healthy,” said Debra Smith. “It is important for family members to realize they are part of the healthcare team for their loved one and need to be proactive recognizing and responding to symptoms.”

According to Hendrix, support from the healthcare community for the conference has been strong and is an indicator of the importance of this topic.

Scheduled conference presenters are sepsis experts from healthcare facilities including Vanderbilt, Saint Thomas Health and Southern TN Regional Health System.    St. Thomas and STRHS are also sponsors of the event, as are Lincoln Health System, Tennova Healthcare-Harton, Motlow College and the family of John J. Smith.

Through the generosity of these sponsors, admission is free for all students and Motlow faculty. For all other attendees, the cost is $30. Continuing education credits will be available. 

All registered attendees will receive a T-shirt and enjoy snacks and lunch.

Online registration is now available. Registration check-in at the event will begin at 8:15 a.m. with the program starting at 9 a.m.

To register and for more information about the conference, visit