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New service provides specialized care, support during serious illness
Editor: High-resolution head shots available of all caregivers mentioned in the article.
CHICO, Calif., Aug. 27, 2012 – Enloe Medical Center launched a new service for patients hospitalized with a significant or chronic illness. Enloe’s Supportive and Palliative Care Service began providing consultations, specialized medical care and support to help these patients live a better quality of life.
With a physician referral, a member of the Supportive and Palliative Care team can be called in for a consultation, which involves spending time and listening with the patient and inviting patients and family members to actively participate in identifying needs and setting priorities. The team can also help patients better understand their illness and assist with advance care planning and decision-making for complex medical illness.
“Often people living with serious illnesses must cope with symptoms ranging from pain, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, constipation and emotional distress,” said Gail Cunha, RN, Nurse Manager for the service. “All of these can make daily living a challenge.” The Supportive and Palliative Care Service can provide coping strategies for daily life.
Additionally, members of the team can explain how patients and their families can access health care resources during illness, transition or loss; and assist patients in defining what quality of life means to them and help patients achieve those goals.
Recognizing that the family unit is a part of the healing and supportive process, the service can also help family members provide support to their loved one and to each other.
Enloe's Supportive and Palliative Care Service is led by medical director Samuel Brown, MD, (photographed above) who is board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine as well as Psychiatry; and family nurse practitioner Lori Philips, RN, MSN, FNP, (photographed above). Local family physician Marcia Nelson, MD, Enloe’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, developed the service and oversees it administratively.
The services can be provided for a person of any age and during any stage of the illness, and can be offered together with curative treatment, such as chemotherapy or antibiotics. Enloe’s care providers work closely with the patient’s current doctors.
Palliative care is a growing part of inpatient medical care nationally, and is a natural expression of the medical center's mission to improve the quality of your life through patient-centered care.
For more about Enloe’s Supportive and Palliative Care services, physicians or community members can call 530.332.5440 or visit www.enloe.org/palliative.
##Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif., 95926.