Comfort Care: The Role of Palliative Care in Healthcare

Palliative care is among the least understood hospital service lines by patients as well as doctors, nurses and administrators. One main reason is that palliative care is designed to address the needs of the chronically ill, not just the terminally ill. Palliative care aims to make patients comfortable through relief of pain and also help them with the acceptance of life’s natural processes. Healthcare delivery systems look to palliative care programs to help increase the quality of care provided while also driving down costs of care. As part of the continuum of care, the palliative care model incorporates a multidisciplinary team approach that includes health professionals and family members to focus on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients. Palliative care encourages a radical shift from traditional delivery of prolonged, unnecessary medical treatment to providing patients with care centered on quality of life.

This program addressed palliative care, its impact on the quality and cost issues central to healthcare reform, and also include ethical and hospice perspectives as part of the conversation.

Opening Speaker Moderator Closing Speaker
Mary Price, RN, MSN Dr. Myrick C. Shinall, Jr. Dr. Mohana Karlekar
System Director, Palliative Care Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society, Faculty Director, Vanderbilt University Palliative Care
Ascension Saint Thomas Vanderbilt University Medical Center Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Panelist Panelist Panelist Panelist
Emily Trancik, PhD Dr. Jim Meadows Dr. Kurt Merkelz Dr. Martha Presley
Director of Ethics Integration Chief Medical Officer SVP & Chief Medical Officer Medical Director, Palliative Care Services
Ascension Narus Health Compassus Alive Hospice