UM Shore Regional Health Launches Outpatient Palliative Care Program
University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Palliative Care Program provides support to individuals living with chronic, life-limiting illnesses by helping them to manage complex pain and other symptoms, maintain their functional status for as long as possible and enhance their quality of life. Offered since 2014 to patients in University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, Palliative Care now also is provided on an outpatient basis for patients throughout the region.
“We are now seeing patients two days a week in our new office space in the UM CMG – Primary Care suite in UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton,” says Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, MD, medical director, Shore Regional Palliative Care Program. “Anyone who has questions about what it means to live with a serious health condition can benefit from a palliative care consult.
Outpatient coverage is anticipated to increase to three days a week in December and to five days a week in early 2019.
Palliative care is “whole person care” provided by physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers chaplains and others. Together, they work as a coordinated team to address patients’ physical, emotional and social concerns that can arise with serious advanced illness. As a growing medical specialty nationwide, palliative care has been shown to improve the ability of patients with serious health conditions and their families to better understand and plan for their health care needs while enhancing quality of life.
Health conditions for which a palliative care consult can be beneficial include heart failure, chronic lung disease, COPD, cancer, chronic kidney disease, stroke and dementia. Most private insurance plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative medicine services in outpatient settings as well as in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
Shore Regional’s Palliative Care team, led by Dr. Vaidyanathan, includes nurse practitioners Sharon Stagg and Michael Kingan, pharmacist Don D’Aquila, nurse coordinator Madeline Steffens, social workers Kim Fogle and Monick Conway, and office lead Sue Conley.
For more information about Palliative Care or to make an appointment, contact Conley, 410-820-4434, or firstname.lastname@example.org.