Regence Foundation awards $238,000 to Rogue Valley Medical Center to launch palliative care program

Asante Health Systems facility to offer palliative care to patients with life-threatening illness

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Regence Foundation recently awarded $238,000 to Rogue Valley Medical Center to implement a hospital-based palliative care program. Palliative care is a medical specialty geared toward helping seriously ill patients find relief from the symptoms of their disease.

“When patients with serious illness talk about the kind of care and support they want, they often describe palliative care,” said Kieren Porter, Regence Foundation board chair. “The Regence Foundation seeks to increase awareness of the benefits of palliative care among patients and their families, as well as the medical community. Hospitals are a key component in making this type of care available to patients at any stage of diagnosis.”

The grant will fund the hospital’s implementation of the plan it developed in 2010 with the help of a Regence Foundation grant that included training through the Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC), a national training and mentoring initiative to help hospitals start and expand high-quality palliative care programs.

“Our program aims to help more than 500 patients over the next two years who have life-threatening illnesses, regardless of diagnosis,” said Sue Kilbourne of Rogue Valley Medical Center. “Services will include managing complex pain and other symptoms, assisting physicians, patients and families with goals of care, counseling and managing crises associated with new diagnoses and critical transitions such as admission to hospice.”

The grant is part of The Regence Foundation’s Sojourns grantmaking program to promote palliative care services in hospitals and in the community. Through Sojourns, The Foundation aims to foster best practices, leadership and collaboration that help people with life-threatening and incurable illness to access quality palliative care in their own community.

About The Regence Foundation
The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain region and a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation also supports organizations advancing quality palliative and end-of-life care. For more information visit www.RegenceFoundation.org or www.twitter.com/RegenceGives.

About Rogue Valley Medical Center
Rogue Valley Medical Center is a regional referral center serving nine counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California. RVMC benefits the community through developing needed healthcare services, sponsorships and activities that promote health and wellness, and millions of dollars in charity care each year. RVMC is part of Asante Health System, a locally owned and operated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing superb medical care with genuine human compassion. For more information, visit www.rvmc.org.