Fulfilling the Promise of Living - and Dying - Well
Leaders at Dartmouth-Hitchcock believe that the experience of living with serious illness and the care individuals receive through the end of life must—and can—change dramatically, both regionally and nationally. Inspired by this vision, an anonymous donor pledged $10 million to help launch a new Center for Palliative and Hospice Care, to be located at or near Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.
"This incredibly generous gift is really a contribution to our community and region," says Dr. James Weinstein, CEO and President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. "It provides us an opportunity to dramatically improve care for those living with incurable illnesses, and their families, while advancing research and education for scientists and care providers from throughout Northern New England and beyond. It's the hope of our benefactor that others will join in raising the rest of the funds needed to build a world-class palliative and hospice care center."
The new 12-bed center will be an advanced clinical facility, providing interdisciplinary, person- and family-centered care for patients with life-threatening illness and complex medical needs. Caregivers in the facility will attend to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families in a comfortable, home-like setting.
A Regional—and National—Opportunity
The benefits of the new Center for Palliative and Hospice Care are multiple. The center will fill a growing regional need for inpatient hospice beds, accepting patients from D-H and other healthcare and hospice providers in the region. It will offer unprecedented educational opportunities for doctors, nurses, and other clinicians, regionally and nationally. The center will conduct research aimed at developing innovative approaches to supporting seriously ill people and their families and will investigate the impact of best practices on quality and costs. Most importantly, it will allow for the right care to be delivered in the right place, better aligning the care that seriously ill people receive with what they want.
"Opening an inpatient palliative care and hospice center is the right thing to do for our region and a critical step on the path to creating a sustainable health system that improves the lives of the people and communities we serve," says Weinstein. "By carefully matching the care patients receive with their values, preferences, and priorities, we can give people the care they want and need through the end of life."