FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104
Date: September 28, 2010
West Islip, NY – Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center has expanded its palliative care services into the community with the recent opening of its Outpatient Palliative Care Center, located at 15 Park Avenue in Bay Shore. The first of its kind on Long Island, it offers patients and families a forum to receive the physical, emotional and spiritual support for improved quality of life.
When a person learns that he or she is sick or experiences constant pain from an illness, depression can set in. According to a study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, this has been found to shorten life. Patients whose pain is treated often sleep better, eat better and communicate more with relatives. Since 2004, Good Samaritan Hospital has had a comprehensive palliative care program, which has grown to a hospital-wide consultation service with a dedicated Acute Palliative Care Unit. The 11-bed unit is the only dedicated palliative care unit in Suffolk County and offers an interdisciplinary team approach.
Patient- and family-centered palliative care optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Palliative care is not limited to the terminally ill or dying. Anyone with a serious, life-limiting or chronic illness can benefit from palliative care, which can extend from a few hours to several years. There is often confusion between palliative care and hospice care; the key difference is that with palliative care, an individual may be receiving active curative therapy. Palliative care includes aggressive symptom management, emotional support and assistance.
Anyone can refer a patient for palliative care services, preferably at an early stage of treatment. Once a referral is made, a nurse will visit the patient to discuss the options for care. Then an interdisciplinary team–comprised of certified palliative care physicians, certified palliative care registered nurses, medical social workers, physical and occupational therapists, spiritual counselors, registered dieticians and home health aides–work closely to determine how to best address the patient’s needs for comfort care and support. The patient and family members are considered vital members of the team.
For more information about Good Samaritan’s palliative care services or to make a referral, please call (631) 376-4444.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip. The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had more than 30,000 patient admissions and more than 100,000 emergency room visits in 2009. Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at www.good-samaritan-hospital.org.
Good Samaritan provides more than $54 million in community service and charity care each year. The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health. This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.