News and Information

August 13, 2013

Cambia Health Foundation Grant Enables Franciscan Hospice Health System to Launch Palliative Care Academy

The $250,000 grant will create a training program for medical providers

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment. As the demand for this type of care grows, the need for health professionals trained in providing palliative care will be equally great.

This growing need is being addressed in Washington with a new Palliative Care Academy designed to provide specialized training to health care professionals from around the country. The Cambia Health Foundation has awarded a two year, $250,000 grant to Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care for the creation of a training academy to educate physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in generalist palliative care principles. The Palliative Care Academy will provide education and support for practicing clinicians, enhancing their quality care of patients.

In the United States it is estimated that there is one cardiologist for every 71 people experiencing a heart attack but only one palliative care specialist for every 1,700 people living with a serious or life threatening illness. By the year 2020 there will be approximately 74 million people over the age of sixty-five living in the U.S. Eighty percent of those people will suffer from at least one chronic disease, resulting in pain, symptom burden and increased suffering. There will not be enough palliative care specialists to care for this growing population of patients. All clinicians will need to be trained in generalist palliative principles in order to provide ongoing quality care for patients in need of palliative support.

“We are pleased to partner with Franciscan in supporting efforts to educate today’s health care professionals to meet the palliative care needs of tomorrow’s patients,” said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair of the Cambia Health Foundation. “Cambia Health Foundation is committed to the promotion of compassionate, high-quality palliative care that enables patient choice and promotes person-focused end-of-life care.”

“Through this new academy, we have a unique opportunity to build the quality and accessibility of palliative care in our region, and beyond, by sharing the expertise and resources that Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care has developed over many years of palliative care delivery,” says, Mimi Pattison, MD, Medical Director of Palliative Medicine, Franciscan Health System. “Educating more practitioners in palliative care will help us fulfill our goals to be the best place to heal and the best community resource.”

About Cambia Health Foundation
Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience the health care system. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations to create a more person-focused and economically sustainable health care system. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation also works to enhance quality, improve access, advance innovation and facilitate conversations about palliative care and end-of-life issues. For more information, visit cambiahealthfoundation.org/ or twitter.com/cambiahealthfdn.

Franciscan Health System includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners, Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas; Franciscan Hospice House, University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers, Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. Currently, CHI ranks as the nation’s third-largest faith-based health system, with annual operating revenues of $10.7 billion and approximately 78,500 employees. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.

News Media Contact:

Scott Thompson
P: (253) 382-3858
E: ScottThompson@fhshealth.org