Evergreen Healthcare Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Regence Foundation in support of Evergreen Hospital Medical Center’s innovative program to extend palliative care into nursing homes and residential settings. Palliative care is a medical specialty that helps seriously ill patients manage disease symptoms.

The funds will be used to increase both the medical community and the public awareness of palliative care benefits. Evergreen will use the grant to increase staffing and serve more people. The grant will allow Evergreen to broaden partnership with Life Care Center of Kirkland to deliver palliative care services and to broaden the program to expand to other skilled nursing facilities.

“We believe people should have access to palliative care in whatever setting they find most appropriate for them, not just in hospitals,” said Bob Malte, CEO of Evergreen. “The Regence Foundation Grant will make palliative care more readily available in our communities.”

The grant is part of The Regence Foundation’s Sojourns program to promote hospital- and community-based palliative care services. Through Sojourns, The Regency Foundation fosters a combination of best practices, leadership and collaboration aimed at helping people with life-threatening and incurable illnesses access quality palliative care in their own community.  The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest.

“When patients with serious illness talk about the kind of care and support they want, they often describe palliative care,” said Kieren Porter, The Regence Foundation board chair. “Hospitals are a key component of making this type of care available to patients in any stage of diagnosis.”

Palliative care can be provided at any time during a patient’s illness, unlike hospice care which is end-of-life service. Palliative care benefits patients and families. It also reduces healthcare costs because patients need fewer skilled nursing visits, emergency room visits and don’t require hospitalization as often.

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