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Palliative Care: Providing a Better Life for Our Patients

Nov 24 2020

November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month.

Ginny Miller, one of our supportive care nurse practitioner, is excited to expand palliative care services in Paducah, KY. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience, including 15 years as a family nurse practitioner in hematology/oncology, nephrology and primary care.

“I meet patients where they are at with their illness both literally and figurately,” Ginny says. “I visit with patients and families in their homes, assess their understanding of their illness, explore their goals and values, address symptoms and give support as needed. I’m honored to provide this type of care to our community.”

What exactly is palliative care?

Palliative care, or supportive care as it is often referred to, is offered to individuals who are living with a serious, chronic illness. This patient/family-centered care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of an illness.

Why is palliative care important?

Palliative care adds an extra layer of support for patients by focusing on symptom management, goals of care and improving overall quality of life.

Wederson Marcos Claudino, MD, an oncologist at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital, expresses why this care is so important to the patients he serves.

“The recent availability of an outpatient supportive care service for my patients has been of crucial importance. It is a great addition to the care team and patient’s management,” he says. “It provides an extra layer of support that goes along with standard cancer care to help patients cope with their disease, reduce symptoms from disease and thus optimizing their quality of life. I’m extremely grateful for these services and have received very positive feedback from both patients and their families.”

Supportive care services don’t stop at the walls of our facilities. We are very proud to partner with many local skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities within the Paducah community.

Andrew Long, MHA, LNHA, Administrator of Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation, is one of our many community partners who are very excited to see us expand our palliative care program.

“Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation is honored to be chosen as a skilled nursing partner with the Mercy Health Palliative Care Program,” Andrew shares. “Mercy Health is a leading provider of acute and home care in Western Kentucky and has been a vital partner in the success of skilled nursing patients. The palliative care program will assist the center’s interdisciplinary team with improving upon the quality of life for our patients and families. The program will also work hand in hand with our attending physicians and staff to collaborate individualized treatment plans for patients who are facing challenges associated with life-threatening illness; whether physical, spiritual, psychological or social. Stonecreek’s top priority is to provide our patients with the best quality of life, in a comfortable environment.”

Learn more about the other health care services we provide at Mercy Health and find a provider near you.  

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