August 1, 2018

Ask your senators to support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

The House of Representatives recently passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act and the bill is now with the Senate for consideration.

Please contact your senators today to urge them to support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 693).

This bipartisan bill would provide new resources for palliative care research, professional training, and education and outreach to help expand the availability of palliative care for all patients and families facing serious or life-threatening illness. As a health care system with a faith-based mission, we have a particular interest in this legislation.

Palliative care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis—with the goal of improving quality of life for both the patient and the family. It is provided by a team of palliative-care trained specialists, including a physician and/or nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker, chaplain and other care specialists, who work with a patient's physician to provide an extra layer of support and care coordination. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and complements curative treatment.

As our country and the health care industry look for ways to improve health care quality while reducing costs, expanding access to high quality palliative care is one way to help us reach these goals. Studies show that early access to palliative care for seriously ill patients improves their quality of life and in some cases even prolongs it. 

It’s easy to send your senators an email asking them to support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. With it, the availability of palliative care can be expanded through the establishment of a new workforce training initiative; education and outreach promotion about palliative care services and their benefits; and expansion of research to ensure the quality of palliative care. 

It’s important our voice is heard so that all patients facing serious illnesses have access to high quality palliative care.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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