As we prepare to close the book on 2010 and usher in 2011, we will remember this year for the opening of our new West Building, and our significant growth in clinical talent with the addition of more than 120 new physicians across many disciplines. In addition, we developed many new programs to address the growing needs of our community.
One such program, our new Palliative Care Program, was developed to address the intensifying need to focus on controlling patient pain, improve quality of life and a patient’s health care experience.
As newer drugs and treatments become available, many people with advanced life-threatening illness are living longer. Patients need a comprehensive treatment of their pain, symptoms and stress—that’s where palliative care comes in.
The program’s goal is to prevent (or ease) suffering. A recent study of cancer patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that palliative care may prolong life, and that patients report a higher quality of life. Palliative care is useful for patients of any age and at any stage of serious illness.
There are some misconceptions about what palliative care is and who can benefit from it. Palliative care is not hospice care. Hospice is for people who accept that they may be at the end of life and who don't want any further treatments or tests. Palliative care does not replace a patient’s primary care; rather, it is a complement. The palliative care team involves other members of the health care team and works in concert with the patient’s primary physician.
With the appointment of Cynthia X. Pan, M.D., attending geriatrician and director, Palliative Care, last month, we launched our Palliative Care Program. The program was projected to receive 52 referrals in its first year of operation. Instead, it received 52 referrals in just its first month.
For more information about our Palliative Care program or for a consultation with Dr. Pan, call (718) 670-2434 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy New Year!
Stephen S. Mills, F.A.C.H.E.
For the complete President’s Message, visit: http://www.nyhq.org/oth/Page.asp?pageID=OTH001411