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NewsPress Release

May 14, 2013

Elmhurst Hospital Center to Receive LIVESTRONG Foundation Grant to Advance Palliative Care in Queens

New York, NY ― Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) has been selected by the LIVESTRONG Foundation Community Impact Project to receive a grant to support its efforts to be the first hospital in Queens to achieve the Joint Commission's Advanced Certification for Palliative Care.

Palliative care is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of serious illness. The Palliative Care Program at EHC has been in place since 2007, when it began with a medical director and social worker. Today it has since grown to include an interdisciplinary team consisting of two physicians, a nurse practitioner, social workers, and a case worker. Palliative care is available for inpatient consultation on all medical and surgery units, including in intensive care units and the emergency room. Since its inception, EHC's palliative care program has served approximately 2,150 patients, along with their families. 

The LIVESTRONG funding will help EHC meet the stringent requirements established in 2011 by the Joint Commission to achieve its advanced certification, which recognizes hospitals that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to improve quality of life for patients facing serious illness.  The Joint Commission is the body that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations across the United States. 

"Our Palliative Care team is very proud to have received this grant. We could not have done this without the support of our hospital and surrounding community. The votes we received confirmed that our work is recognized and valued," said Dr. Tita Castor, Medical Director of Palliative Care Service at EHC.

"We're thrilled to receive this grant from the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The funds will be used to enhance our cancer care services," said Chris Constantino, Executive Director of EHC. "At Elmhurst we take pride in providing a quality level of service to all of our patients and we're pleased to have the support of the LIVESTRONG Foundation for our Palliative Care Service."

To be eligible for Advanced Certification for Palliative Care, a palliative care program must: be in a Joint Commission-accredited hospital; provide the full range of palliative care services to patients 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week; have served a minimum number of palliative care patients; and direct and coordinate the provision of palliative care, treatment and services within an organized interdisciplinary team, among other requirements.

EHC anticipates applying for advanced certification for its palliative care program later this year.  Only three hospitals in New York City currently hold the Joint Commission's advanced certification for palliative care, including two other HHC facilities:  Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, and Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan.

Organizations chosen by LIVESTRONG receive grants of up to $15,000.  The LIVESTRONG Foundation is offering $1.2 million in funding in 2013 to bring proven cancer support programs to communities across the U.S.


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