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Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic becomes a reality

Palliative care team 480 LP 27pt

Becky Brewer, a donor and Providence St. Peter Hospital Community Board Member, lost her husband Ron Sundberg to cancer in February 2013. “The palliative care Ron received as an inpatient allowed him to talk about his life goals, what he wanted for the final time in his life, and what he needed to be comfortable,” Becky says. 

With Ron in mind, Becky served as an advocate for the palliative care expansion, helping to raise money and sharing her family’s story. “I am thankful for the generosity of the many people who funded creation of this program,” Becky says. “It is heartwarming to know that people coping with chronic illness can live a more comfortable life with the help of outpatient palliative care."   

The Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic opened May 19 and will be available two half-days each week to better serve patients as they consider their quality of life, or begin to plan for the end of life. With palliative care now available on an outpatient basis, patients can access these services at an earlier stage, with a focus on drawing attention to quality of life and integrating medical, psychological and spiritual aspects of care. 

Palliative care is supportive medical care that focuses on relieving pain, symptoms and the stress of serious illness. Its goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to ensure the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. 

Providence Health & Services has provided superior palliative care in our community for many years. The program expansion was funded—100 percent—through donor contributions. Patients can self-refer to the clinic by calling (360) 486-6402. 

>Watch  Becky’s story 

Community Palliative Care at Providence Health & Services Southwest Washington
Community Palliative Care provides consultative services to patients with chronic and/or life-limiting illnesses. Palliative care is appropriate for patients requiring symptom management while still receiving curative or life-prolonging treatment for advanced illness.

Who benefits from palliative care?
Patients and their families benefit from:

• Improved quality of life
• Expanded disease education and informed decision making
• Assistance with advance care planning
• Psychosocial and spiritual support
• Coordination of care and community services

Institutions benefit from:
• Better patient clinical outcomes
• Greater patient/family satisfaction
• Comprehensive care coordination
• Increased efficiency and effective resource management
• Expanded programs to support attending providers

Referring providers benefit when:
• Help with pain and other debilitating symptoms are difficult to control
• Complex physical, psychosocial or spiritual suffering is present
• A need to address appropriate goals of care exists
• The patient and/or family requires extensive education