Pacific Northwest Continues as a National Leader in Palliative Care According to National Report

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Cambia Health Foundation is the lead funder of the recently released state-by-state report, supporting the advancement of palliative care quality, access and awareness.

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Approximately 90 million Americans have a serious long-term illness, and this number is expected to more than double in the next 25 years.

America’s Care of Serious Illness: 2015 State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation’s Hospitals, released recently on Capitol Hill and in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, gives top grades to the Pacific Northwest. Cambia Health Foundation is the lead funder of the State-by-State report, as part of the Foundation’s mission to make strategic investments to improve access, quality and awareness of palliative care. The report was conducted by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and National Palliative Care Research Center.

Washington and Oregon each received an “A” as they did in the previous report card. This is the first time Utah gets an “A” for palliative care since the State-by-State report first was published in 2008, and Idaho received a “B.”

Cambia Health Foundation investments have a national reach; however, initially efforts were focused on the four-state footprint of Oregon, Washington, Utah and Idaho. While the Journal of Palliative Medicine states that “palliative care is expanding rapidly in the United States,” the report’s state-by-state rankings confirm the Pacific Northwest as a leader in the palliative care arena.

Palliative care includes a cross-functional team approach that involves doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy and others in providing an extra layer of support for people with serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for the patient, family or caregiver.

The need for quality palliative care is clear:

  •     Approximately 90 million Americans have a serious long-term illness, and this number is expected to more than double in the next 25 years.
  •     Ninety percent of Americans think it’s important to have the conversation about their wishes for end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent of them have actually had these conversations.
  •     In our current health care system, patients are not being referred often enough or quickly enough to palliative care resources that could have a dramatic effect on their quality of life.

Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the health care system to be more person-focused. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2007, it has invested more than $25 million to advance access, innovation and awareness of palliative care.

Cambia Health Foundation’s role in funding the national report is one of several key recent investments to advance this area of patient-centered care, including:

  •     the Sojourns Scholars Leadership program, which promotes workforce development by supporting emerging leaders in the field throughout the country
  •     funding the new, online End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium curriculum, making the training equally available to students in rural areas in Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to help standardize palliative care nursing education
  •     funding The Conversation Project’s virtual Community Resource Center nationally, with 24/7 access to free materials and resources to help people express their wishes, values and goals for care when facing serious illness; and launching The Conversation Project website in Utah
  •     a $4 million grant to Dorenbecher Children’s Hospital in 2015 to support quality palliative care for children facing long-term, serious illness
  •     a $10 million grant to the University of Washington in 2014 that launched the Cambia Palliative Care Center for Excellence in Seattle

About Cambia Health Foundation
Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience the health care system. A 501(c)(3) grant-making organization, the Foundation invests and partners with organizations to advance palliative care quality, access and understanding; improve the behavioral health of underserved children; and transform health care to a more person-focused and economically sustainable system. Learn more at cambiahealthfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter.

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Lisa Honebrink
Cambia Health Foundation
+1 503-721-4094
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