In June 2006, Lawrence Hospital Center established a Palliative Care Program to enhance the hospital's commitment to care for the whole person; body, mind and spirit. Palliative care is interdisciplinary care that aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life simultaneously with all other appropriate treatment for patients with advanced, serious or life threatening illness, and their families.
The Palliative Care Service at LHC:
- Provides medical consultation and collaboration with physicians
- Elicits symptoms not yet identified related to the medical and psychosocial aspects of a patient's disease process
- Provides advanced symptom management
- Determines medical appropriateness for hospice
- Offers practical advice related to post discharge medical care
- Provides expert control of pain and symptoms
- Facilitates communication and decisions about goals of care with patient and family
- Coordinates care and transitions across the medical system
- Offers support to the treating medical team
The Medical Director of the program is Deborah Cappell, MD. Dr. Cappell is board certified in palliative care and critical care medicine and is also a member of the hospital's Critical Care Intensivist Team. She works alongside Nurse Practitioner Sue McHugh-Salera, MA, ACHPN, CCRN. The Palliative Medicine Service collaborates with other disciplines including, but not limited to, pastoral care, social work, rehabilitation specialists and volunteers.