Read the official press release from the Alzheimer’s Association and Hospice of Southern Maine.
Pingree, Collins, local agencies advocate passage of
Palliative Care and Hospice education bill
Legislation would provide expanded education, training, research and awareness of palliative care impact
SCARBOROUGH, Maine (Sept. 19, 2016) – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree joined representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, Hospice of Southern Maine, Senator Susan Collins’ office and other organizations this morning at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House to support pending legislation, The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 2748/H.R. 3119 AKA PCHETA – https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3119/text).
“Access to high quality palliative and hospice care is so important to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Rep. Pingree. “But the truth is there isn’t adequate training and education available to meet the need. We must put more focus on training the palliative care workforce and invest in more research to make sure that patients and their families are getting the best possible care in times of their greatest need. This is an area where almost everyone has been affected in one way or another.”
Nearly half of all people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are in hospice care at the time of their death. For people with advanced dementia, palliative and hospice care – which focuses on managing and easing symptoms, reducing pain and stress, and increasing comfort – improves quality of life, controls costs, and enhances patient and family satisfaction.
But, as the demand for such care grows with the aging population, more must be done to ensure an adequately trained workforce.
“Palliative and hospice care is a demanding field that requires a well-trained workforce of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals,” said Senator Susan Collins in a letter. “Additional research is needed to develop and expand best practices for those with serious illnesses. The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act will accelerate our progress towards these objectives.
“We are proud to support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act on behalf of the five million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” said Laurie Trenholm, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter Executive Director. “For persons in the advanced stages of this terminal disease, palliative and hospice care can improve both the quality of care and quality of life.”
“Increasingly, patients and families afflicted with Alzheimer’s, dementias and other serious diseases are realizing that there may be an alternative to aggressive hospitalization and invasive treatments that diminish quality of life,” said Daryl Cady, Hospice of Southern Maine CEO. “We believe that access to high quality palliative and hospice care is vitally important in helping relieve pain, managing symptoms and improve the quality life for all individuals. PCHETA is one important step towards ensuring more Mainers and Americans have access to this high-quality care.”
On September 24, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter and Hospice of Southern Maine both hold their biggest annual awareness events – The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the morning at Payson Park and Twilight in the Park in the evening at Deering Oaks. This year’s cooperative day of events takes on new significance as both organizations support and raise awareness of PCHETA and the impact it brings to Maine.
Pictured above: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) (pictured center) met today with Laurie Trenholm (left), Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter and Daryl Cady (right), CEO, Hospice of Southern Maine for a press conference to support and raise awareness of The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (H.R. 3119 AKA PCHETA).
The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 2748/H.R. 3119 AKA PCHETA) is a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, social work schools, and other programs, including physician assistant education programs, to promote education and research in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.
About Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org® or call 800.272.3900.
About Hospice of Southern Maine
Hospice of Southern Maine’s mission is to provide compassion, care, and comfort through end of life. Formed through a collaborative effort among York and Cumberland County leaders and health care providers, Hospice of Southern Maine (HSM) organized in 2001 and began providing direct patient services in 2004. Today, HSM cares for more than 1,500 patients annually, at the patient’s home, current care facility, or Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, an 18-bed inpatient facility in Scarborough. HSM admits patients with a variety of diagnoses, including Alzheimer’s; heart, lung, and kidney diseases; stroke; Lou Gehrig’s disease; and cancer. Care is patient-centered with family support, and provided by a comprehensive interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, aides, chaplains, grief counselors, and volunteers. Hospice of Southern Maine is a non-profit 501(c)3, Medicare certified, state licensed agency, and the largest provider of hospice services in Southern Maine. To learn more, visit www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org.
For questions about this release, please contact
Hospice of Southern Maine
Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter