Palliative Care Leadership Centers Launch Site Visits, Mentoring for Healthcare Organizations

New York, NY (February 2, 2004)

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) today launched its Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) Initiative to address growing demand from healthcare organizations for assistance in starting palliative care programs to effectively manage advanced, chronic illness.

Under the initiative, healthcare teams are invited to visit one of six premier palliative care programs to receive hands-on training and technical assistance to fast-track their own programs. In an early sign that the three-year initiative is addressing the growing demand for this type of training, more than 100 healthcare institutions have already registered to visit the PCLCs starting next week.

The number of hospital-based palliative care programs has doubled in recent years to more than 950 in response to the critical need to provide high quality care to seriously ill patients living with advanced, chronic illness.

Palliative care is medical care focused on the relief of suffering and support for the best possible quality of life for the growing number of patients facing advanced, chronic illness, and their families. It is offered at any stage of illness, simultaneous with all other appropriate medical treatment. Palliative care has been shown to systematically improve pain and symptom management, improve patient outcomes and increase patient and family satisfaction, as well as facilitate compliance with pain management and quality accreditation standards. Programs also improve continuity of care and reduce fragmentation of care delivery, contributing to efficient and effective use of healthcare resources.

The six PCLCs are:

  • Fairview Health Services – Minneapolis, MN
  • Massey Cancer Center of Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center 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

The PCLCs, located at academic medical centers, cancer centers, health systems, and community-based organizations, will provide visiting healthcare teams with expertise on the financial and operational dimensions of establishing a palliative care program, including:

  • Hospital needs assessment
  • Financing and business planning
  • How to choose organizational and service models
  • Staffing
  • Measuring clinical and financial impact
  • Strategies for ensuring and managing growth
  • Hospice-hospital collaborations
  • Marketing palliative care to clinicians and patients

The large number of healthcare organizations already participating in this initiative signals the increasing recognition that palliative care effectively addresses top healthcare concerns: quality improvement, the aging boom and the need to manage patients with advanced, chronic illness well, says Dr. Diane E. Meier, Director of CAPC.

The nationwide initiative is funded by a $4.5 million grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Technical assistance is 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.

To register for a site visit or obtain more information about the program, healthcare professionals can visit or email

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