Connecticut-based Stamford Health has relaunched an enhanced version of its shuttered palliative care program.
The health system’s revamped service line will be available to all patients seen at its Carl & Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center. While in its original incarnation the palliative care program was offered only to inpatients, the center will now provide that care to outpatients as well.
“Our expert palliative care providers create a layer of support to improve quality of life and help patients manage all facets of living with a serious illness,” Dr. Sherry Ng, medical director of palliative care at Stamford Health, said in a statement. “Palliative care is such an important part of the patient experience. Our new program ensures our patients receive comprehensive care across the inpatient and outpatient setting.”
Health systems provide close to half of the palliative care delivered in the United States, according to 2019 research by the Center to Advance Palliative Care. Hospices provide most of the remaining 50%.
The Stamford program was funded in part by philanthropic donations from the Kanarek Family Foundation and Robin Bennett Kanarek, who authored the book “Living Well with a Serious Illness: A Guide to Palliative Care for Mind, Body and Spirit.”
The Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center also provided some guidance on the program’s design.
The Stamford Health Palliative Care Program is interdisciplinary and offers symptom relief, advanced care planning, psychosocial and spiritual care, as well as in-depth communication about care goals.
“Spiritual care is unique for each individual,” Rev. ReBecca Sala, Stamford Health’s manager of spiritual care, said in a statement. “Everyone deserves peace, healing, and support as they go through treatment. Our team of chaplains supports all our patients, with a special focus on palliative care patients. Our team hopes to improve their mental, physical and spiritual health.”