Press Releases

Palliative Care Leadership Centers on the Road to Success

New York, NY (October 7, 2003) — Since the Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) initiative was announced in August 2003, interest has grown steadily – there are currently almost 200 institutions on a waiting list to participate. The $4.5 million grant program is funded by The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The aim is to increase the availability of palliative care in hospitals throughout the nation by bringing like institutions to learn from exemplary palliative care programs.

The grants will fund six institutions over a three-year period. Each will provide a site-visitor program for professionals from other healthcare institutions intending to start palliative care programs. PCLCs will offer hands-on intensive training focused on the financial and operational aspects of building a program.

"The PCLC initiative will help millions of patients and families who suffer unnecessarily from the pain and debilitating symptoms of serious, chronic illness. Even though palliative care is a rapidly growing trend, a huge disparity still exists between the number of U.S. hospitals (5,000) and the number of palliative care programs (800)," says Dr. Diane E. Meier, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

RWJF and CAPC solicited proposals from palliative care programs throughout the country. After a rigorous year-long selection process six centers were chosen based upon clinical and program excellence and educational experience. They represent diverse healthcare settings, including academic medical centers, a cancer center, health systems, and a community-based organization.

The Palliative Care Leadership Centers are:

  • Fairview Health Services-- Minneapolis, MN
  • Massey Cancer Center of Virginia Commonwealth University Health System-- Richmond, VA
  • Medical College of Wisconsin-- Milwaukee, WI
  • Mount Carmel Health System-- Columbus, OH
  • Palliative Care Center of the Bluegrass-- Lexington, KY
  • University of California, San Francisco-San Francisco, CA

Principal investigators from each leadership center are available for comment about the site visit program and palliative care in general.

The Palliative Care Leadership Center initiative is funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with technical assistance provided by the Center to Advance Palliative Care. Based in Princeton, NJ, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and healthcare in the United States.

The Center to Advance Palliative Care, located at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (NY), is a national initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, providing hospitals and other healthcare settings with tools and technical assistance to develop hospital-based palliative care programs.

CONTACT: Lisa Morgan, LDM Strategies, 212-924-6182 or

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