Franciscan Health System honored for hospice and palliative care

Editor's note: the following is a press release issued by Franciscan Health System.

Franciscan Health System, which includes Enumclaw Regional Hospital, has received the Catholic Health Association’s premier national award for excellence, effectiveness and innovation in hospice and palliative care.

Franciscan was presented with the prestigious 2010 Achievement Citation during the Catholic Health Association of the United States annual assembly June 14 in Denver. As the recipient of the award, Franciscan also received a $10,000 grant from CHA to support its comprehensive hospice and palliative care services in King, Pierce and Kitsap counties.

“We are deeply honored and humbled to have been chosen for the Achievement Citation,” said Dr. Mimi Pattison, medical director for Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care. “This award is a wonderful recognition of our commitment to excellence and to compassionate caring every day.”

Franciscan is the leading provider of hospice and palliative services in Washington state. In 2009, Franciscan’s staff logged 116,598 visits in service to more than 2,400 home-based hospice patients. Additionally, 590 terminally ill men and women were admitted to Franciscan’s 20-bed inpatient hospice program in University Place. One of every eight expected deaths in Pierce County occurs at Franciscan Hospice House, the inpatient care facility.

Since 1990, Franciscan Health System has provided hospice services that include care for patients and bereavement support for patients’ families and friends. Franciscan also offers palliative medicine for hospitalized and home-based patients, and palliative care outreach services that include personal in-home consultations and other support for ill individuals not yet eligible for hospice. Patients with a life expectancy of six months or less are eligible for hospice care.

Also, Franciscan has several community programs designed to raise awareness among ethnic and cultural minority groups about end-of-life care options that are available to everyone. One goal is to help individuals overcome language and cultural hurdles that may prevent them from seeking appropriate services for the terminally ill.

“Through our outreach efforts, we strive to ensure that minority individuals learn to make fully informed choices about the type of care they receive when they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness,” said Mark Rake-Marona, regional director of Franciscan’s hospice and palliative programs.

This is the second major award for Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care this year. In May, Dr. Pattison, the program’s medical director, was chosen by The Regence Foundation to receive its inaugural Sojourns Award and a $50,000 grant in recognition of her leadership in, and advocacy for, palliative medicine.

Franciscan Health System is affiliated with Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the U.S. Through grants, CHI is a major sponsor of Franciscan’s community programs that raise awareness about end-of-life services.

The Catholic Health Association of the United States, founded in 1915, is based in St. Louis. The organization represents more than 600 hospitals and 1,400 long-term care and other health facilities in all 50 states.

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