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The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care

The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care

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Imagine a place where the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of patients with life-limiting illness shape every aspect of care and where such support extends into patients' homes and communities.

Through its Palliative Care Program, Dartmouth-Hitchcock has already shown that such care is feasible and what patients and families want. Now, D-H is preparing to expand that model through a state-of-the-art facility, scheduled to open in 2017, which will support a variety of programs and services.

Patients at the Jack Byrne Center will benefit from close collaboration between D-H and regional home hospice agencies. By working together, D-H and its hospice collaborators aim to transform the end-of-life experience—and expectations—of patients and their families regionally and nationally.

See more artistic renderings of the building.

Support for Caregivers: Together, With You

The Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care is designed architecturally and programmatically to support patients and families. While the Center will include inpatient beds for those whose medical needs are too complex to return home, it will also provide a variety of programs and services to support families who are caring for loved ones at home. Those offerings include the following:

  • Skills training for lay caregivers
  • Consults with palliative and hospice care professionals as needed
  • Care coordination
  • Respite care
  • Therapeutic offerings, such as music and art for patients and lay caregivers
  • Support groups for managing stress, grief, and bereavement

The Building: Attending to Every Space, Every Person

The Center's physical design is informed by the best palliative and hospice facilities in the U.S. and abroad. With an abundance of natural light and wood and stone accents, every space is designed to comfort and nurture patients, families, staff, and volunteers. The main features include the following:

  • 12 spacious inpatient rooms where patients who require highly specialized care will receive the most advanced pain and symptom management in a home-like setting. Comfortable furnishings, natural light and private outdoor decks, accessible even for patients who cannot leave their beds, will create a home-like environment.
  • Respite areas for families, including sun rooms, gardens, a chapel, a family kitchen and dining area, children's play spaces, an exercise room, and showers will provide family members with opportunities for quiet reflection, consultation, and refreshment while staying nearby their loved ones.
  • Multi-disciplinary workspaces and respite areas for staff will facilitate teamwork, effective communication, and resiliency among the many different professionals interacting with patients and families.
  • Spaces to create and to enjoy art, music, and food will nourish the minds and bodies of patients, families, staff, and volunteers.

Education and Training: Strengthening the Care Network

As part of an academic medical center, the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care will educate and train professionals from diverse disciplines and share best practices.

Medical students, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, health aides, administrators, chaplains, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, healing arts practitioners, lay caregivers, and volunteers will all have opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills.

  • On-site learning opportunities, such as rotations, consultations, and simulation-based training will elevate the level of community-based care and care delivered in other hospitals and clinics.
  • Telehealth video conferencing will allow for timely consultations between the Center's staff and community-based clinicians, as well as a variety of educational sessions delivered conveniently over vast distances to professionals, lay caregivers, and patients.

Research: Creating and Sharing New Knowledge

The Center will become a resource for the latest knowledge and innovation in symptom management, complex communication between caregivers and patients and families, and regional health care delivery.

  • Evaluation of processes, therapies, and communication by caregivers will drive continuous quality improvement.
  • Measurement of patient and family experiences, health care practices, community engagement, and individuals' beliefs about care through the end of life will be a top priority.
  • Collaborations with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice will accelerate the creation and evaluation of models of care that can be implemented in any community, especially those with limited resources.

You Can Help

Only through the generosity of donors like you can we achieve this vision.

In 2014, the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation donated $10 million to help launch the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care—and to challenge others to support the cause. Now, Dartmouth-Hitchcock is looking to other forward-thinking community members to help raise the additional funds necessary to complete the Center's building and underwrite its programs.

Will you be part of creating the kind of care that you want for yourself and your loved ones?

To learn more about making a gift to the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care, contact Dorothy Heinrichs in the Office of Development at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the Geisel School of Medicine, at (603) 653-0752 or via email.

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