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CHC Receives $290,000 from The Duke Endowment for Palliative Care

Carteret Health Care has received a generous three year grant in the total amount of $290,000 from The Duke Endowment to establish a much needed palliative care program in Carteret County.

Grant funds will be utilized to develop a multidisciplinary Palliative Care Program to serve Carteret’s population living with serious, chronic and advancing illnesses. The Endowment grant will be paid over three years and enable Carteret Health Care to offer services that are not presently available. The program will then become self-sustaining so Carteret will be able to serve patients well into the future.  

“This grant will provide immeasurable benefit and truly advance the palliative care and end-of-life services in our community,” shared Dick Brvenik, Carteret Health Care President. “Our oncology patients as well as others will benefit from these enhanced care services for years to come.”

The current programs in the Carteret area focus on either curative treatment or comfort care, but not on a dual approach for the comfort and care of advancing illness and symptoms that precede becoming eligible for hospice care. 

“Palliative care helps support patients and families as they consider important decisions about care and services,” said Lin Hollowell, director of the Endowment’s Health Care program area. “This grant will help Carteret Health Care develop a comprehensive program designed to engage patients in their treatment planning and improve their overall quality of life.”

The palliative approach to care improves quality of life for the patient by anticipating, managing, and preventing symptoms associated with their condition.  Palliative care resources can provide an additional layer of support to the patient and family dealing with chronic disease in our community. This resource will complement the efforts of busy primary care physicians and specialty service providers. Also, the program will provide continuity of care and increase access to community support resources that are otherwise under-utilized.  Through a team approach, patients and families will receive disease specific education and learn about alternative treatment options.

Betsy Lane, BSN, RN, CDE, Director of Care Coordination and Community Health Programs stated, “Typically, patients with chronic disease experience multiple hospital admissions throughout their life.  A comprehensive palliative care program can reduce the incidence of hospital admissions, length of stay, and inconvenient and tiresome readmissions.” 

Through collaboration with Carteret Health Care’s community health partners, such as local primary care providers, home health, hospice agencies, skilled nursing facilities and the county health department, the Palliative Care Program will increase engagement between health care providers along with patients and families. Expected outcomes and benefits include:

  • Enhance community services
  • Decrease readmissions for targeted diagnoses of HF, COPD, AMI, active malignancies
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Improve symptom management
  • Facilitate timely referral for community and hospice services, when appropriate
  • Consistent, collaborative provider/patient/family support system
  • Improve health literacy, patient/family satisfaction and empowerment with advanced care planning and patient/caregivers’ disease specific education
  • Increase communication across the continuum

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

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