The Cambia Health Foundation has invested $1.5 million in a University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) program to support education and innovation in palliative care.
Cambia Health Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Portland, Ore.-based Cambia Health Solutions, an enterprise that includes more than 20 companies with the mission to improve the economic sustainability of the health care system.
The first project Cambia will finance is a clinician training program focused on expanding access and delivery of serious illness care services via telemedicine. UCSF will develop a series of educational modules through which trainees will learn to use telemedicine effectively, including how best to orient patients to the technology, maintain confidentiality and privacy, among other skills.
“We are honored to partner with UCSF’s Division of Palliative Medicine to transform the health care experience of seriously ill patients and their families,” said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair, Cambia Health Foundation. “COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of palliative care and expanded opportunities for virtual engagement. Our goal in supporting this innovative project is to ensure that palliative care professionals have the skills and resources necessary to provide quality palliative care like telehealth, so that ALL people impacted by COVID-19 and other illnesses receive personalized care that is aligned to their wishes.”
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended a number of flexibilities for telehealth on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 national emergency. The White House recently issued an executive order instructing the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to review those actions to see which could be made permanent. These moves by CMS coupled with the need to maintain social distancing has caused demand for telehealth to skyrocket.
“We appreciate the deep commitment of the Cambia Health Foundation to improve care for people with serious illness,” said Steve Pantilat MD, Chief, UCSF Division of Palliative Medicine. “Their generous gift to establish this endowment in the UCSF Division of Palliative Medicine will support innovations in care that will help us develop, implement and test models to increase access, address inequities, improve the quality of care, and develop the leaders who will make this happen.”