BOISE – The Idaho End-of-Life Coalition today received $50,000 from the Regence Foundation for its leadership in advancing palliative care throughout Idaho.
Palliative care is an approach to care that brings holistic relief and comfort to seriously ill patients and their families. The award is part of The Regence Foundation’s Sojourns grantmaking program to promote hospital- and community-based palliative care services. Through Sojourns, The Foundation aims to help people with life-threatening and incurable illness to access high-quality palliative care in their own community.
“The Idaho End-of-Life Coalition has successfully promoted the use of hospice and palliative care across the state, exemplifying the kind of leadership The Regence Foundation seeks to recognize with this award,” said Michael Alexander, Regence Foundation board chair.
The coalition works to increase public understanding and access to palliative care for people of all ages; facilitate earlier palliative care referrals; expand palliative care research and knowledge and educate physicians to help them identify patients who would benefit from palliative care end-of-life care. Through education and awareness the coalition increased the use of hospice services from 17 percent of dying people in 1999 to more than 50 percent in 2009.
“As a result of their effort and effectiveness, I have witnessed remarkable improvement in the number and sophistication of palliative care providers throughout Idaho in a few short years,” said Kevin Clifford, M.D., palliative care medical director at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.
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.