Palliative Care Program Awarded Grant

New Hanover Regional Medical Center has been awarded a one-year, $100,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to provide palliative care to patients and their families. The grant could extend to three years and $225,000 in funding.

The Palliative Care Consultation Services Program is a collaborative effort between the medical center and The Palliative Care Center of Lower Cape Fear Hospice. By using a team approach, it offers relief for pain and suffering across a spectrum of serious illnesses. Palliative care complements the physician's care when comfort, counseling and quality of life become increasingly more important.

The Pain Management Advisory Team at NHRMC last year identified issues that would be addressed by a comprehensive palliative care service. The partnership with Hospice gives NHRMC entry to the field of pain management and expert end-of-life care.

In January, a palliative care pilot project began at the hospital. Data so far shows a reduction in patients' length of stay and increased patient and family satisfaction in making choices about their care. Hospice has received referrals from patients enrolled in the program. With the grant, the pilot program will become permanent.

Numerous education programs have already been held addressing end-of-life issues for the community and current issues in palliative care for medical providers.

Established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is one of the nation's largest foundations. Its mission is to serve the people of North Carolina and South Carolina by supporting selected programs of higher education, health care, children's welfare and spiritual life.

In 2001, the Endowment approved grants of more than $117 million. Awards since 1924 total more than $1.7 billion.

For information or to make a referral to receive palliative care, call the palliative care team at 910-332-0279 or 888-521-4184.

Copyright © Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear 2002