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Press Releases

Celebrating Innovation In Palliative And End-Of-Life Care

NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation Recognized by American Hospital Association for Model Program

Jul 13, 2010

New York, NY

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) has been named a Circle of Life Award® honoree by the American Hospital Association for its innovative program that specializes in comprehensive, sensitive and dignified care of patients near the end of life or with life-threatening conditions. HHC received a citation of honor from AHA for its strong corporate leadership commitment and system-wide approach to developing palliative care programs across the 11 public hospitals in New York City.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition, which reaffirms our leadership role not just among public hospitals, but among all healthcare organizations that provide palliative care to patients,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “The growth in our program confirms that patients and families want support in making informed decisions in their own best interests as they approach the end of life, and those who are suffering from the debilitating symptoms of a serious or terminal chronic illness want treatment focused on enabling them to make the most of every day.”
HHC’s Palliative Care is a $3 million program that saw 4,360 in-patients and 1,868 outpatient visits in FY 2009. The program is built around teams that include doctors, specialists, nurses, social workers, chaplains, psychologists, ethicists and others, all of whom provide inpatient and outpatient services to help patients manage symptoms, relieve pain, plan medical treatment and achieve the best possible quality of life.
The teams also support family members in times of stress as they help patients deal with serious debilitating or fatal illness, especially as patients and families face tough and highly personal decisions about which treatments are wanted and which treatments are not wanted. The teams also serve patients who are facing incurable disease, yet need long-term support in an outpatient setting to manage their pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and other debilitating symptoms associated with illnesses such as cancer, lung diseases, AIDS, congestive heart failure, dementia and other serious conditions. For all patients, the therapies available through comprehensive palliative care may also help with anxiety, depression and emotional anguish.
This is the eleventh year for the Circle of Life Award, which celebrates programs across the nation that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care. The 2010 award is supported in part by the Archstone Foundation, as well as by the California Healthcare Foundation, based in Oakland, Calif. Major sponsors of the 2010 award are the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization & National Hospice Foundation. The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and the National Association of Social Workers are cosponsors. The Circle of Life Award is a program administered by the Health Research & Educational Trust.
HHC is one of eight organizations honored this year by the Circle of Life Award Program.
HHC was chosen by a selection committee made up of leaders from medicine, nursing, social work, ethics, and health administration. The committee focused on innovative programs that respect patient goals and preferences, provide comprehensive care, acknowledge and address the family or caregivers’ concerns and needs, and build systems and mechanisms of support to continue the program for future patients and caregivers.
For more information on the Circle of Life Award, visit www.aha.org/circleoflife.

Contact: Ian Michaels (HHC) (212) 788-3339

About HHC

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us on facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.

About AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information visit the Web site at www.aha.org.