BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Partners In Care has announced a $50,000 award from the PacificSource Community Health Excellence grant program. The CHE grant will fund the expansion of its Palliative Care program over the course of one year.
The Palliative Care team at Partners In Care is led by Dr. Jennifer Blechman, a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM).
“A palliative care consultation helps match treatment options to a person’s own goals and provides an extra layer of support,” said Blechman. “We are grateful to the PacificSource Foundation for this award that recognizes our ongoing work in this relatively new field.”
Palliative care is specialized team-based support for people with serious illnesses such as cancer, dementia, congestive heart failure, kidney or liver disease, neurodegenerative disorders (like ALS or Parkinson’s), or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Unlike hospice care, palliative care consultations should be provided at the same time as curative treatments. Patients receiving this care benefit from having a greater understanding of their illness, expert symptom management, and collaboration with their other healthcare providers.
Studies consistently demonstrate that, without a palliative care consultation, seriously ill patients will likely experience uncontrolled symptoms such as pain; lengthy hospitalizations involving unwanted, low-yield, and costly medical treatments; and overall low patient and family satisfaction.
With palliative care involvement, patients have improved quality of life with decreased hospitalizations and emergency room visits, resulting in overall cost savings. When patients receive palliative care early in the trajectory of their disease process, there is a decrease in unnecessary and unwanted interventions along with a better treatment plan aligning with their care goals.
In addition to living better, studies have shown that patients live longer with palliative care support.
Though many of Partners In Care’s current palliative care patients are living at home, this funding will allow expansion of the program to better serve patients staying in skilled nursing facilities or who reside in long-term care facilities.
Research tells us that 25 percent of patients living in skilled nursing facilities would benefit from palliative care, yet, not even 1 percent of patients at these facilities in Central Oregon are receiving it. Funding from this generous PacificSource grant will increase the program’s capacity to reach a greater number of patients residing in these facilities.
About Partners In Care
Partners In Care is a local, independent, nonprofit organization serving the residents of Central Oregon since 1979. Its mission is to provide patient-centered care that honors the dignity and needs of those it serves, and to enrich the lives of its patients, families, team, and community.
Partners In Care provides a number of services including hospice care delivered in patients’ homes and at Hospice House in Bend, Home Health Care, Transitions, Palliative Care, and Grief Support for both children and adults.