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Rochester's Palliative Care Program achieves top national certification
Date:11/28/2011

In the latest development in its decades-long leadership in the area of palliative care, the University of Rochester Medical Center's Palliative Care Program is one of the first nationwide to earn advanced certification from the Joint Commission, the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

The commission's Gold Seal of Approval for the Palliative Care Program became effective last month. The University's program is only the third in the nation and the first at an academic medical center to receive this level of recognition from the commission, which launched its advanced certification program in palliative care in September.

The decision is based on rigorous review last month by experts from the Joint Commission, who evaluated the program based on standards of care for seriously ill patients and their families, including symptom management, coordination of care, and communication about treatment decisions.

Palliative care provides symptom-relieving measures and added support during all stages of serious illness; the focus is on alleviating suffering and relieving symptoms of disease at the same time that patients receive all indicated medical treatments. Timothy Quill, M.D., an international leader in palliative care and head of the Palliative Care Division of the Department of Medicine, directs the program and has worked to increase the availability of palliative care to all seriously ill patients, not just those who are facing the end of life. He estimates that about half of patients who receive palliative care recover and are not terminally ill.

Overcoming old stereotypes of what palliative care constitutes remains a priority for Quill, who is president-elect of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

"Drawing upon palliative care does not mean the patient or family is giving up," said Quill, who notes that one study found that people with lung cancer lived lo
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Contact: Tom Rickey
tom_rickey@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-7954
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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