The Washington State Department of Health made it their mission to address the lack of equitable access to palliative care in Washington State’s rural communities. While palliative care expanded in urban areas, particularly in hospitals, the specialty had not been integrated into rural health systems or community settings—only one-third of patients in these communities had access. Even fewer rural settings could work upstream to identify and screen patients for palliative care early in the disease trajectory.

The solution: the Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative (WRPCI). This initiative uses a combination of community-driven design, a peer-to-peer mentoring network, telehealth case consultation, and more to help rural health systems and communities integrate palliative care across various settings to better serve people living with a serious illness, and their families.

Read the Full Project

Project Team

Pat Justis, MA
Facilitative Leadership
Executive Director, State Office of Rural Health, Washington State Department of Health

Mandy Latchaw, MBA
Project and Contract Manager, State Office of Rural Health Program Manager, Washington State Department of Health

Gregg VandeKieft, MD
Medical Director, Washington State Department of Health Contractor

Deb Watson, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC
Nursing Coordinator, Pullman Regional Hospital

Adie Goldberg, PhD, LICSW
Consultant and Faculty, Washington State Department of Health Contractor

Amber Moody, RN
Palliative Care Nurse and Cohort Member, Providence Mount St. Carmel

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