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Helen McNeal Honored for Palliative Care

San Diegan Helen B. McNeal Honored for Lifetime Dedication to Palliative Care

San Diego, CA – November 17, 2015 The California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA) has named Helen B. McNeal as its 2015 Pierre Salmon Award of Excellence recipient. McNeal, Executive Director of the California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care, accepted the award at the CHAPCA Annual Awards Luncheon in Long Beach, CA, Tuesday, November 10.

The Pierre Salmon Award is CHAPCA’s “Hall of Fame” annual recognition, awarded to an individual whose efforts have advanced palliative care and hospice excellence in California and Nevada. CHAPCA developed the Salmon Award in 1988, with Pierre Salmon, M.D., as its namesake and first recipient. Dr. Salmon, throughout his career, was instrumental in policy and regulatory development, advocating for compassionate and appropriate care for the aging at local, state and national levels. Dr. Salmon was a hospice medical director and champion of palliative care implementation.

McNeal’s efforts to advance palliative care knowledge and practice in healthcare spans more than 30 years. She has advised and performed assessments for the US Department of Health and Human Services, has co-authored a book, led a groundbreaking assessment of end-of-life care in correctional facilities, founded and led a hospice in Canada, consulted to hospice organizations, and created numerous guides and courses for palliative care implementation and success. At the request of President Karen Haynes of California State University San Marcos, McNeal joined the CSU to establish a university system-wide institute to advance and provide palliative care education to the healthcare workforce. Since its inception in 2012, the Institute has served over 3,000 participants, and offers online courses for the entire health care team, which are available to audiences all over the world.

At the awards ceremony luncheon, McNeal turned the focus from herself to professionals in the room and in the field of palliative care: “This award is really about each and every one of you and what you do every day. 40 plus years ago, people like those in this room, brought hospice to the United States and changed all of our lives and started to change the healthcare system. I thank each and every one of you for all you do every day, because what you’re doing is continuing the tradition of changing the healthcare system. You’re changing it, you’re bringing it palliative care, you’re bringing it so many things but most of all you’re bringing it compassion, your caring, your heart… so, thank you for honoring me, but most of all, thank you for what you do every day that makes all of this possible for so many people.”

About the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care

The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care offers palliative care-focused professional development and continuing education courses designed to enhance the skills of current and future healthcare professionals across the country and around the world. Housed within one of the largest university systems in the United States, the Institute leverages the strength of the CSU to deliver evidence-based online and in-person palliative care education to healthcare professionals working in health systems, hospices, skilled nursing facilities, health plans, case management, and physician practices. The Institute helps organizations and professionals achieve the palliative care skills needed to meet the growing needs of chronically or seriously ill people in all care settings.

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