(Photo above | Courtesy of Partners In Care)
Community-based palliative care programs are showing unprecedented growth both nationally and here in Central Oregon. Now in its third year of service, the palliative care consultations offered by Partners In Care have benefitted from grants to support this growth.
Grants received from PacificSource Health Plans, Oregon Community Foundation, and others have helped fill the gap where Medicare and other insurances fall short in covering expenses. In January, two funders renewed their commitment—the Storms Family Foundation and the Central Oregon Independent Practice Association (COIPA).
“These grants will enable Partners In Care to expand its palliative care program to at least two new clinic sites in Central Oregon—High Lakes Healthcare and Mosaic Medical—while continuing to see patients in the oncology clinic at Bend Memorial Clinic,” according to CEO Eric Alexander. “As an organization, we have invested in an interdisciplinary team of specialists led by Dr. Jennifer Blechman and have recently added three registered nurses to the team.”
While all hospice care is palliative in nature, Partners In Care’s community-based palliative care programs can benefit people at any stage of a serious illness, and ideally is started soon after diagnosis. Palliative care providers have expert training and expertise in pain management and symptom control. They specialize in helping patients and their families cope with the potential burdens of a serious illness, including side effects of a medical treatment, stress on their family, and fears about the future. They can assist with difficult medical decisions, coordinate care, and help patients navigate the often complex healthcare system.
“Partners In Care is uniquely qualified to meet the growing demand for palliative care services because we are already a trusted provider of hospice care, which uses the same patient-centered team approach in helping people,” said Dr. Blechman. “We are committed to relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for people at any stage of a serious illness. It is an extra layer of support for both the patient and their family.”
Marlene Carlson is director of development and communications at Partners In Care. For more information, call 541-382-5882 www.partnersbend.org