Press Releases

Center to Advance Palliative Care Expands Public Awareness Efforts to Build Stronger Bridge to Better Care for People Living with Serious Illnesses

New York, NY (September 26, 2014) — The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) is continuing to expand its educational efforts to increase the public’s understanding of palliative care as an integral part of care for people living with serious illnesses.

Palliative care is the medical specialty focused on relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a team of palliative care specialists, including doctors, nurses and social workers who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

Although its benefits are well established, palliative care is underutilized. It is estimated that six million people in the U.S. could benefit from palliative care. This number will likely grow. By 2030 it is expected that the number of older Americans will more than double to 70 million — or one in every five Americans.

“We know from research and our experiences that palliative care can lead to better healthcare outcomes.” said CAPC Director, Diane E. Meier, MD. “The palliative care team partners with the patient, family and their other doctors every step of the way. Our job is to improve quality of life while the patient’s primary physician treats the underlying disease.”

Nearly two-thirds of American hospitals have a palliative care team. People living with serious illnesses, or those caring for them, can find out about palliative care services in their state by asking their doctor, calling their local hospital or visiting CAPC’s Palliative Care Provider Directory.

As part of its expanded efforts, CAPC has launched new multimedia tools on its website GetPallliativeCare.org and its new Get Palliative Care YouTube channel. CAPC is also working with other health and medical organizations to bring awareness to people diagnosed with serious illnesses through collaborative communications.

Resources include a unique educational video animation – among the first of its kind on this subject –and a series of stories from people who have been helped by palliative care. CAPC will be highlighting these tools on its Facebook and Twitter feeds throughout the coming months.

  • Palliative Care: YOU are a BRIDGE: This video animation compares individuals to the foundation of a bridge. While illness may weaken the foundation, the palliative care team provides a stronger layer of support.
  • Get Palliative Care Story Series: Debbie is a hairdresser and business owner who was unable to work due to multiple myeloma. Debbie’s palliative care team put her back in the driver’s seat by considering her priorities and addressing the physical pain and stress she was suffering from due to her disease. Amy was diagnosed with a type of advanced breast cancer that has no cure. As the “quarterback” of her care, Amy directed her care team to help her stay well and pursue her passion for traveling. These are two of the many narratives in the series that describe personal experiences with palliative care.

Major funding for this campaign is provided by the Cambia Health Foundation.

About the Center to Advance Palliative Care

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality palliative care services for people facing serious, complex illness. CAPC is affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. To learn more visit, http://www.capc.org and http://getpalliativecare.org and follow on Twitter: @GetPalliative.

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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CONTACT: Lisa Morgan, LDM Strategies, 212.924.6182 or lmorgan@ldmstrategies.com.