Providence – Almost four years after creating a multidisciplinary Palliative Care Program and
joining 10 other pioneering organizations nationally to support the Conversation
Project with a goal of promoting discussions about palliative care and end-of-life
decisions, Care New England Health System is bringing palliative care into the
In addition to an inpatient consult service at all CNE hospitals, Care New England
has offered home-based palliative care through the VNA of CNE. Care New England is
seeking to reach patients who would benefit from palliative care in all possible
settings, and hoping to help more patients engage their physicians in conversations
about what matters as they face advanced illness. This clinic is a natural
extension of the inpatient and home based Palliative care programs.
«Palliative care is a specialized medical care for people with serious illness and
focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a
serious illness, whatever the diagnosis,» says Kate M. Lally, MD, FACP, director of
the Palliative Care Program.
«The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.»
Starting this month, she and a specialized palliative care team will begin working
with women who seek care for gynecologic or breast cancers through the Program in
Women’s Oncology. This, Dr. Lally says, can include women with:
* Stage IV cancers.
* Recurrent or progressive disease.
* Unmanaged pain.
* Malignant bowel obstruction.
* Many symptoms.
* Frequent hospital admissions for symptom management.
* Uncertainty regarding the goals of care, which includes discussion of advanced
«People do not need to be dying to need help living with their symptoms,» says
Cornelius «Skip» Granai III, MD, director of the Program in Women’s Oncology. «This
is a tremendous step in helping us provide what our patients and their families
need, which is physical and psychological relief from cancer.»
The palliative care team – which includes physicians, a nurse practitioner, a
medical assistant, social workers, case managers and others as needed – will meet
with patients referred by the physicians in the Program in Women’s Oncology and its
Breast Health Center in sessions scheduled twice a month to start.
«Based on the patient’s clinical criteria and needs, we may see her once or more
than that,» Dr. Lally says. «This is an extra layer of support for them.»
The Program in Women’s Oncology and Breast Health Center physicians are accepting
new patients. For more information, call (401) 453-7520.
About Care New England
Care New England, located in Rhode Island, was founded in 1996 by Butler Hospital,
Kent Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital. Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island
joined the system as a hospital partner in 2013. Care New England is an integrated
health care system that offers a continuum of quality care. The system includes
primary care and specialty physicians; three teaching hospitals affiliated with The
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Butler, Memorial and Women &
Infants; a community hospital, Kent; a visiting nurse and home care agency, the VNA
of Care New England; and Care New England Wellness Center. For more information,