Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Receives Grant to Enhance Palliative Care
July 14, 2009
Care for people suffering from a chronic disease or terminal illness will be improved at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) through a grant from the California HealthCare Foundation.
The $231,412 grant will support CCRMC to develop a palliative care program over a two-year period. Palliative care focuses on quality of life for patients with serious or terminal illness and draws on the expertise of many disciplines to provide physical comfort, as well as social support.
"This grant will help residents and physicians develop the skills needed to meet patients' emotional needs during times of crisis and to relieve some of the suffering of chronic and terminal illness," said Dr. Julie Freedman, an internist at CCRMC who will lead the Palliative Care Service.
The grant-supported Palliative Care Service at CCRMC will focus on management of physical pain and distress, communication, social and psychosocial aspects, legal and ethical issues, hospice, grief and bereavement.
The grant will also be used to provide interpreter services so that everyone can have equal access to palliative care. Dr. Freedman said in addition to enhancing interpretation services, the hospital will expand the doctor-family relationship to include key personnel from the divisions of Social Work, Nursing, Pharmacy, Psychiatry, and the Reducing Health Disparities unit.
The Palliative Care Service will start in the inpatient setting and expand to the Emergency Department in its second year, with an expansion to the outpatient setting planned for the future.
"Palliative care requires active, deliberate, thoughtful care," she said. "It is work we already do, and in a lot of ways we do well. This funding will help us reach patients earlier, with more comprehensive care, as well as to further educate our resident physicians."
# # #