As individuals and organizations committed to palliative care education and services, we know that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about palliative care among the public. People often confuse palliative care with hospice and many believe that palliative care is only for those who are terminally ill.
I share this story to remind us that it is not so much what we say but the way we make people feel that determines the quality of the experience that patients and families carry with them on their illness journeys. Palliative Care professionals are in the perfect position to create positive feelings, even in difficult conversations.
My mom asked me why they don’t coordinate better and share information to make it easier on older people? I told her that this a goal for palliative care – to provide the best care possible, spare patients and caregivers unnecessary stress, and improve quality of life. This conversation was timely as it occurred just prior to the National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research which was held March 2-3, 2023, in Long Beach, CA.
As the year draws to a close most of us spend time reflecting on where we have been in the last 12 months and where we are going. This is certainly true for me this year, as I’ve returned to the Institute in a new capacity to continue the great work of our most recent Executive Director, Jennifer Ballentine. In November 2022, I was delighted to assume the role of the Interim Executive Director of the CSU Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care.