What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care, as defined by the Center to Advance Palliative Care, is specialized, interdisciplinary care for people with serious illnesses with the goal of improving quality of life for both the patient and his or her family. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis. When it was first introduced in the 1970s, palliative care was closely tied to end-of-life care. Today, it has expanded to address the symptom management needs of people with many different types of diagnoses - even those receiving curative treatment in the acute setting.
Palliative Care at St. Francis
At Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, an inpatient Palliative Care program is offered at both the downtown and eastside hospitals. The clinical team consists of a physician medical director, three nurse practitioners and two registered nurses. On the non-clinical side, Sister Dorothy Brogan serves as the part-time chaplain, and the program works collaboratively with St. Francis' spiritual care, dietary, pharmacy, therapy, patient relations, and social work departments. Palliative Care is also integrated with Oncology/Survivorship Rehab. Music and massage therapy is offered to patients receiving palliative care.
"Our aim is to provide relief of suffering by addressing the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs through the course of a chronic, debilitating or serious illness while being patient and family centered," says Mary Jane Strobel, BS, CCA, with the St. Francis Palliative Care program. "We partner to assist the patient and their family by providing an extra layer of support in symptom management and by discussing goals of care and treatment options."
A Palliative Care referral is made through a patient's hospital physician. To learn more about this program, call 864-255-1304.