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The Regence Foundation Announces Debut of Sojourns Award for Innovation and Leadership in Palliative Care

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Regence Foundation has announced a new award that recognizes leadership in palliative care, a specialized field of health care that relieves suffering and improves quality of life for patients with advanced illness. The Foundation created the Sojourns Award, which includes a $50,000 cash grant, to honor inspirational organizations and leaders in the field, promote their innovations, and stimulate public dialogue about the important role that palliative care plays in the health care system.

"Americans value choice in health care, but when confronted with a serious illness, too often they lack information and access to care that addresses their full range of needs," said Michael Alexander, Regence Foundation board chair. "Recipients of the Sojourns Award will understand the importance of helping patients navigate different courses of treatment, and particularly when cure is no longer possible, transition to care focused on comfort and quality of life," he added.

Experts in the palliative care industry praise the Award's objectives: "The Regence Foundation has brought together palliative care and end-of-life experts to create an award program that will expand understanding about the care that can ease suffering and improve the quality of life of people facing the end of life," said Steve Pantilat, MD, director of the Palliative Care Service and Palliative Care Leadership Center at UC San Francisco. "The Sojourns Award will undoubtedly help drive improvements in care for patients and families at their most vulnerable time."

The call for nominations for the inaugural 2010 Sojourns Award entails that both individuals and nonprofit organizations located in Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are eligible to be nominated. The deadline for nominations is December 4, 2009.

To make a nomination or for more information about an upcoming Webinar about the Sojourns award, visit

From there, a panel of independent evaluators will review the nominations and make recommendations to the Foundation board. The board will select four $50,000 award recipients in March 2010 -- one in each state (Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington). The winners will be announced in April 2010. Sojourns Award recipients that are nonprofit organizations will receive the cash grant directly. Individuals must designate an eligible nonprofit to receive the grant.

About The Regence Foundation

The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain region and a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation also supports organizations advancing quality palliative and end-of-life care. For more information visit or

SOURCE The Regence Foundation

SOURCE The Regence Foundation
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