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Published on April 29, 2013

University of Colorado Hospital Receives Grant to Advance Palliative Care for Cancer Patients and Their Families

AURORA, Colo. - University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) has been chosen to help the LIVESTRONG Foundation advance the care of cancer survivors requiring a stay in the hospital. UCH is one of 15 sites across the country awarded $10,000 to put toward the costs of achieving The Joint Commission advanced certification in palliative care.

“Palliative care is about improving the quality of life for the patient and family members as they face serious illness,” says Jeanie Youngwerth, MD, director of the Palliative Care Consult Service at UCH.

Improving symptoms and well-being

Palliative care integrated into cancer care has been shown to improve physical and psychological symptoms, improve family caregiver well-being and even prolong survival. Palliative care is provided in conjunction with disease-modifying or curative treatments and can be obtained in the hospital or outpatient setting. 

Jeanie Youngwerth, MD

Jeanie Youngwerth, MD

“The inter-disciplinary team at UCH provides specialized care and extra support to patients of any age and at any stage of a serious illness and their families," says Youngwerth. “The first time we meet with a patient and their family, we might spend a couple hours getting to know them and learning about their values and goals. Then we make sure that medical therapies are aligned with that patient’s values and goals.”

The Joint Commission is the body that accredits and certifies health care organizations across the United States. It launched its Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care in 2011. The certification is designed to recognize hospital inpatient palliative care teams that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to improve quality of life for patients facing serious illness. Joint Commission certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality.

CU Boulder earns another LIVESTRONG grant

UCH is part of the University of Colorado Cancer Center consortium. The University of Colorado Boulder, another consortium member, received a $10,000 LIVESTRONG seed grant to develop Camp Kesem, a university-based summer camp where college students fundraise and host camps, free of charge, for children with a parent who has, or has had cancer.  More than 1,200 kids affected by cancer attend the camp each year. Camp Kesem in Boulder will take place in the summer of 2014.

CU Cancer Center is one of just seven members of the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network. As a Center of Excellence, CU Cancer Center provides essential programs to Colorado’s 215,000 cancer survivors and their families. The center works with LIVESTRONG to improve survivorship care through collaborative research, the development of new interventions and sharing of best practices.

About University of Colorado Hospital

University of Colorado Hospital is the Rocky Mountain region's leading academic medical center.  UCH is best known as an innovator in patient care and often as one of the first hospitals to bring new medicine to the patients’ bedside.  University HealthSystem Consortium named UCH the #1 Academic Medical Center in quality in the nation in both 2011 and 2012, and U.S. News & World Report named University of Colorado Hospital the best hospital in Colorado in 2012.  UCH is one of five Colorado hospitals that make up University of Colorado Health.  The hospital’s physicians are affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, part of the University of Colorado system.  Based on the expansive Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the hospital is where patient care, research and education converge to establish the future of health care delivery. 

About University of Colorado Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 41 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.”  CU Cancer Center  is headquartered on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six health delivery institutions: University of Colorado Health System (including University of Colorado Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and Memorial Hospital), Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and Kaiser Permanente Colorado.

Contact: Erika Matich, (303) 724-1528 or erika.matich@ucdenver.edu

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