Center for Hospice Care (CHC) is committed to improving the quality of living for our patients, their families and the broader community. In addition to being the largest hospice provider in the state, CHC also provides palliative care, which is intended to alleviate the pain and symptoms associated with serious, life-limiting or chronic illness. Unlike hospice care, which is intended for patients with a life expectancy of less than six months, palliative care has no predefined time restrictions. To meet the needs of this population, CHC built the area’s only dedicated freestanding facility – Center for Palliative Care – as a place to offer palliative care consultation and services. The first of its kind in north central Indiana, this freestanding outpatient clinic gives patients and families an opportunity to receive the physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual support necessary to improve their quality of living. In addition, palliative care can help mitigate the depression that results from receiving the diagnosis of a life-limiting condition or chronic pain.
This type of depression can reduce life expectancy, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Patients whose pain is adequately treated tend to sleep better, eat better and communicate more effectively with caregivers and relatives. Patient- and family-centered palliative care optimizes the quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. The difference between palliative care and hospice care can be confusing. The most significant difference is that palliative care patients may simultaneously pursue active curative treatment. Palliative care includes aggressive symptom management as well as emotional support and assistance. Palliative care referrals may be made by any physician, preferably at an early stage of treatment. Once a referral is made, one of CHC’s physicians or nurse practitioners will examine the patient and provide a consultation on options for care. Interdisciplinary teams comprised of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and home health aides confer to support the care of our palliative care patients. By providing these services to the community, and by raising money to create a dedicated facility, the Hospice Foundation continues to support CHC in significant ways that improve the lives of those in our community.
Generous Matching Gift
To help make Center for Palliative Care possible, the Hospice Foundation received an incredibly generous matching gift from a local foundation. This $500,000 gift was truly transformational and helped spur the community to action.
The Community Responds
With the $500,000 matching gift as the impetus for action, our community stepped up in a significant way to match the full $500,000. Through the commitment of the community, CHC and the Hospice Foundation were able to build the Center for Palliative Care on our Mishawaka Campus. In addition, the combined $1 Million gifts have supported the initiation and development of our community-based palliative care program.