$10 Million Gift Will Fund Visionary Palliative and Hospice Care Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock
March 20, 2014
A gift of $10 million to Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) will be used to create an advanced clinical facility to provide integrated, patient- and family-centered care for patients with life-threatening illness and complex medical needs.
The Center for Palliative and Hospice Care will combine the latest thinking and techniques to advance interdisciplinary patient- and family-centered care, while offering unprecedented opportunities for teaching, training, and research for health care providers and clinicians in training from across the country.
The $10 million gift, the largest in D-H’s history, has been made anonymously. It will be used to establish a 12-bed center, intended to fill a growing need for specialized care for seriously ill people whose pain or other medical needs are difficult to manage at home or in a nursing home.
“Although great advances in palliative and hospice care have been made in the last decade, too many people are still dying in ways they would not want, often in intensive care units, connected to machines,” said D-H CEO and President Dr. James N. Weinstein. “At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, with our colleague Dr. Ira Byock leading the way, we have built an internationally respected palliative care program. This incredibly generous gift will allow us to further advance this work within a dedicated facility where we will be able to better address the physical comfort, emotional and spiritual well-being, and inherent dignity of each patient and his or her family.”
“This gift and new center will further Dartmouth-Hitchcock's leadership in person-centered care for people with life-threatening conditions. In addition to providing the best specialized treatments and personalized care for patients and family who need it, the center will train doctors, nurses and other professionals and conduct research that advances the field of hospice and palliative care nationally,” said Byock, who served as director of Palliative Medicine at D-H 2002 to 2013. He will be acting as a consultant to the project.
The center is designed to be a regional resource, working with hospice providers from around New England to smooth transitions of care for patients and families. Regional providers will also be encouraged to draw on the center for education and training in palliative and hospice care.
The $10 million gift will cover half the anticipated costs of the $20.5 million Center for Palliative and Hospice Care. The balance will be raised through fundraising.
Plans call for the center to open in 2017. Its exact location has not been decided, but it will be established close to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center campus to make transitions of care easy for patients and their families.
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Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in patient-centered health care and building a sustainable health system. Founded in 1893, the system includes New Hampshire’s only Level 1 trauma center and its only air ambulance service, as well as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only Children’s Hospital Association-approved, comprehensive, full-service children's hospital. As an academic medical center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock provides access to nearly 1,500 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
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