Swedish Hospice Raises Awareness During Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Swedish Hospice Raises Awareness During Hospice and Palliative Care Month

SEATTLE, Nov. 4, 2011 – November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Swedish Hospice, a service of Swedish Visiting Nurse Services (SVNS), will be hosting informational displays at Swedish's three hospital campuses in Seattle during the month to ensure people know this valuable resource is available in King County. Both Swedish Hospice and SVNS are nonprofit services certified by Medicare and Medicaid.

Coping with a serious or life-limiting illness is not easy. In fact, it might be the hardest thing people ever do. Working with doctors and hospitals, navigating the maze of care needs, figuring out insurance coverage – all in addition to taking care of your family – can be overwhelming. Swedish Hospice wants the community to know that there is help.

Hospice and palliative care providers take the time to talk with you and help you understand your illness and what care options might be available. They make your wishes a priority and make sure you get the care you want and deserve.

“We’re working hard all year round to make sure people know that support, comfort and respect are available at a time when hope seems out of reach,” said Jon Younger, M.D., medical director for Swedish Hospice. “Yet during November, we ramp up our efforts to raise awareness of the high-quality care that’s available during one of life’s most challenging times.”

Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More About Swedish Hospice

Representatives from Swedish Hospice will be available to answer questions from the public about its services on the following dates/times at Swedish’s three Seattle-area campuses:

For more information about the services Swedish Visiting Nurse Services and Swedish Hospice provide, visit www.swedish.org/homecare or call 425-778-2400 or 1-800-449-2221.

About Swedish Hospice

In 2011 Swedish Hospice has admitted 515 patients and made nearly 14,000 visits to the places these patients call home. This represents 177,000 miles of travel by its skilled and compassionate clinicians. Ever the heart of hospice, Swedish Hospice volunteers have contributed more than 1,541 hours of patient and bereavement care providing a savings of more than $31,000.

Hospice care staffers provide services in pain management, symptom control, psycho-social support and spiritual care to patients and families when a cure is not possible. All the necessary medicines and equipment needed to keep a patient comfortable can be brought right to the home, which is where most Americans would like to be at end of life if at all possible. Hospice makes this happen.

Swedish Hospice also participates in the Freedom Rock project, which acknowledges hospice patients who are veterans for their service. This is done through the presentation of a small black rock with the words, “Freedom. In gratitude for your service to our country.” This program also assists veterans with identifying resources specific to them at end of life.

Palliative Care

Palliative care brings these same skilled services earlier in the course of an illness and can be provided along with other treatments a patient may want to pursue. Many people don’t realize that hospices are the largest providers of palliative-care services in the United States.

More than 1.5 million people with a life-limiting illness get help from the nation’s hospice and palliative care providers every single year.

“It’s about quality of life. With the help of hospice and palliative care, patients and families can focus on what’s most important, living as fully as possible in spite of illness,” Dr. Younger said.

“There’s an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you’ve given up,” said J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Those of us who have worked in the field have seen first-hand how hospice and palliative care can improve the quality of life. And there’s a growing body of research showing that hospice and palliative care may prolong the lives of some people who receive care.”

About Swedish

Swedish has grown over the last 101 years to become the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 11,000 employees, more than 2,800 physicians and 1,700 volunteers. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); freestanding emergency departments and ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; Swedish Visiting Nurse Services; and Swedish Medical Group – a network of more than 70 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. Swedish opened a new emergency department and medical office building (MOB) on its Ballard campus in November 2010 and a new MOB and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands in July 2011. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter or www.twitter.com/swedish.  

In 2007, Swedish embarked upon an ambitious $100 million fundraising campaign. Campaign investments are used to support a wide-variety of initiatives throughout the health-care system, including cancer, heart and vascular, women and children, neuroscience, and orthopedics as well as programs to support underserved populations. To date, the campaign has secured gifts totaling more than $82 million. For more information or to support the campaign, visit www.campaignforswedish.org.  

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