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Regence Foundation Awards More Than $300,000 in Grants to Promote Hospital-Based Palliative Care

Thursday, February 25, 2010 General News J E 4
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Foundation encourages access to palliative care before patients' final months or days

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Regence Foundation recently awarded $302,200 to 10 hospitals in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington to support hospital-based palliative care programs.  Hospitals will use the funds to either plan a new program or expand an existing program.

The grants are part of The Regence Foundation's Sojourns grantmaking program to promote hospital- and community-based palliative care services.  Through Sojourns, The Foundation aims to foster best practices, leadership and collaboration that help people with life-threatening and incurable illness to access quality palliative care in their own community.

"Most people associate palliative care with hospice, but palliative care extends well beyond hospice to anyone who needs help managing the pain and symptoms of a serious disease," said Michael Alexander, Regence Foundation board chair. "Hospitals are a critical resource for patients who need help with symptom management, and ensuring palliative care is available to patients earlier in the disease process is a priority for The Regence Foundation."

Implementation grant recipients

  • Sacred Heart Medical Center (Springfield, OR): $98,400 to expand access to palliative care services in the community.  The hospital already offers inpatient care at its hospitals in Eugene and Springfield and will use the grant to hire a palliative care coordinator to provide palliative care seminars for area primary care providers and clinicians and connect patients to area palliative care providers.  The coordinator will also help launch a community volunteer program to support palliative care patients and their families.
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital (Olympia, WA): $63,000 to increase awareness about the benefits of palliative care among providers and promote community collaboration.  The hospital will use The Regence Foundation grant to develop palliative care seminars and educational materials for area health care providers.  Likely topics will include the differences between palliative and hospice care, clarification about payer-reimbursement, and guidelines on effective prescribing for pain management.  

Planning grant recipients

The Foundation's Sojourns planning grants are to help hospitals plan and develop palliative care programs.  In addition, staff from each hospital receiving a planning grant will attend a Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) training in Portland, Oregon.  PCLC is a national training and mentoring initiative to help hospitals start and expand high-quality palliative care programs.

  • Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George, UT$17,200  
  • Overlake Hospital, Bellevue, WA$11,800
  • Providence Centralia Hospital, Centralia, WA$20,700
  • Providence Medford Memorial Center, Medford, OR$20,600
  • Rogue Valley Medical Center, Medford, OR$23,300
  • Salem Hospital, Salem, OR$17,600
  • St. Charles Medical Center, Bend, OR$12,500
  • St. John Medical Center, Longview, WA$17,100

The Regence Foundation also awarded $49,800 to Central District Health Department in Boise to increase childhood vaccination rates in.  Currently, Idaho ranks 49th in the nation for immunizing children against preventable diseases.  

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 www.RegenceFoundation.org or www.twitter.com/RegenceGives.

SOURCE The Regence Foundation

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