Improving Patient Quality of Life: The Role of Palliative Care

NCHC Writers
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Host: United States Representative Eliot Engel

Amy Berman, RN, Senior Program Officer, The John A. Hartford Foundation; living with stage IV breast cancer

Diane Meier, MD, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care, Mt. Sinai Medical Center

Sean Morrison, MD, Director, Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, and Director, National Palliative Care Research Center, Mt. Sinai Medical Center


Palliative care provides an extra layer of support for people of any age and at any stage of a serious disease such as cancer, and can be provided alongside curative treatment. Palliative care relies on interdisciplinary teams of providers to coordinate and deliver care- centered on the patients’ needs and preferences. It focuses on treating the disease while also ensuring the best possible quality of life for the patient. Research demonstrates that palliative care can improve outcomes and improve patient satisfaction, but too often patients are not offered the choice to pursue palliative care. This forum will address the barriers to broader access to palliative care and explore what health care stakeholders and policymakers can do to address them.

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