Press Releases

Cambia Health Foundation, Center to Advance Palliative Care Partner to Help Americans Understand Palliative Care

$500,000 grant supports national effort to improve access to this much needed form of medical care

New York, NY (April 18, 2013) — Palliative care is an established medical field that has been shown to greatly improve quality of care and quality of life for patients and families facing serious illness. Research conducted in 2011 by Cambia Health Foundation in conjunction with The National Journal, however, indicated that 76% of Americans are unfamiliar with the term palliative care.

Polling also indicated that when educated on palliative care, Americans are nearly unanimous (96%) in believing these treatments should be a top priority in healthcare. With support from several organizations, including a $500,000 lead grant from The Cambia Health Foundation, the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) is planning to launch a nationwide effort to help the estimated 5 million people in the U.S. who could benefit from this type of medical care, gain access to it. The grant is one of the largest in The Cambia Health Foundation’s history, reflecting its commitment to improving palliative care and supporting organizations that are transforming the way Americans experience the healthcare system.

The California HealthCare Foundation and The Y.C. Ho/Helen and Michael Chiang Foundation are also providing funding support for this nationwide effort. CAPC continues to seek additional funding partners to support its launch of the public awareness campaign.

“Palliative care is an important catalyst for honoring patient choices and understanding personal definitions of quality, rather than merely focusing on the clinical aspects of serious illness. Cambia Health Foundation is committed to investing in programs and initiatives that address the misalignment between what patients and families need as an illness progresses, and what the healthcare system provides. We are excited to support the Center to Advance Palliative Care because it’s a great opportunity to collaborate with a renowned leader to shape the national dialogue and truly transform the delivery of palliative care in America,” said Peggy Maguire, Cambia Health Foundation board chair.

The Center to Advance Palliative Care was established in late 1999 as a National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a national organization, CAPC is dedicated to providing effective, patient-centered and compassionate care for all seriously ill patients and their families.

“Approximately 90 million Americans are living with serious and life-threatening illnesses, including heart and lung disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to more than double over the next 25 years with the aging of the baby boomers. Yet, studies show that most people living with a serious illness experience inadequately treated symptoms; fragmented care; poor communication with their doctors; and enormous strains on their family caregivers,” said Diane E. Meier, MD, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

“Palliative care was developed in response to these inadequacies. Every seriously ill patient should have access to palliative care, but many do not understand it and are unsure of how to ask for it. We expect to see an enormous positive impact on both patients and their families as the result of this campaign. Palliative care restores control and choice to people and their families when it matters most."

About the Center to Advance Palliative Care

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) provides healthcare professionals with the tools, training, and technical assistance necessary to start and sustain successful palliative care programs in hospitals and other health care settings. Located at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, CAPC is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality palliative care services for people facing serious illness. www.capc.org

About the 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 grantmaking organization, the foundation partners with organizations to create a more person-focused and economically sustainable health care system. Through its Sojourns program, the foundation also works to enhance quality, improve access, advance innovation and facilitate conversations about palliative care. For more information, visit http://cambiahealthfoundation.org/ or www.twitter.com/cambiahealthfdn.

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Lesley Snyder, Center to Advance Palliative Care, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 212.201.2682 or lesley.snyder@mssm.edu.