HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: the benefits of palliative care

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)

The goal of palliative care is to treat and manage pain and other symptoms including social and spiritual needs of people who are nearing the end of life. It focuses on providing relief.

Dr. David Buxton of Chippenham & Johnston-Willis hospitals says many patients come in with psychological stress, pain, nausea, and vomiting from having a serious illness like cancer or heart disease.


“We see patients hopefully at the moment of their diagnosis early on in the disease to get to know their family and what means most to them in life.”

They begin treating the patient and their entire family when they first get a diagnosis; a distinguishable difference from Hospice care.

“This is comprehensive care that we're talking about. We have an integrative team, so there's a social worker, myself, chapel services, and we really try to look at who they are as people and not as patients. We try to find those core values and then have the treatment align with them."

Johnston-Willis' program was certified in 2008 and he expects to see more growth with in-patient and out-patient care. And according to Dr. Buxton, patients survive longer the earlier they are connected to this specialized care.

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