CANCER CENTER NEWS

Palliative Care & Advanced Care Planning Program

Sep 14, 2021, 16:37 PM by OnCenter
When you are living with a serious illness, palliative care provides an extra layer of support by helping patients and families manage disease-related or treatment-related symptoms, and by offering emotional support, spiritual support and comfort care for improved quality of life. Under the leadership of Deborah S. Meyers, MD, Sansum Clinic’s Palliative Care team consists of a nurse practitioner, nurses, a social worker/counselor, a medical assistant and a team coordinator. Each member is passionate about caring for patients with serious illness. This dedicated, multidisciplinary
team works with each patient’s primary care and specialty care providers to address any issues caused by the illness or

treatments. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. Palliative care can also be offered alongside curative treatments.

Who Can Benefit from Palliative Care:

  • Seriously-ill patients whose symptoms are stressful and difficult to manage
  • Patients and families struggling with decision-making about complex medical issues
  • Patients and families whose goals of care appear to be in conflict
  • Patients in need of coordination of care throughout the course of a complex illness
  • Patients diagnosed with serious medical conditions such as cancer, ALS, COPD and other respiratory diseases, dementia, heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease

Palliative Care Services Include:

  • Assessment and review of patient’s plan of care, including identification of a patient’s specific needs
  • Patient-family case management to help navigate the healthcare system, coordinate care and effectively manage complex and changing symptoms
  • Guidance with difficult and complex treatment choices, as well as preparing patient and family for the end-of-life process
  • Providing resources and referrals for bereavement services
  • Coordination of discharge, home care or hospice services to ensure a smooth transition

Advanced Care Planning 

Advance Care Planning is an integral part of our program. The Palliative Care Team engages with patients and loved ones in meaningful discussions about healthcare goals and preferences, and provides guidance during the completion of an advance directive, a legal document that explains your medical care preferences for your loved ones and healthcare team. Sansum Clinic provides palliative care for any patient in our community, with or without a referral. Telemedicine offers access for patients from Bakersfield to Oxnard. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (805) 879-0675. The Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Program is generously funded through philanthropic support from major donors: Natalie Orfalea Foundation and Lou Buglioli, J.S. Bower Foundation, William Williams, Lady Leslie Ridley-TreeBenjamin Wayne and Valerie Mizuhara, Warren and Mary Lynn Staley, Hollye and Jeff Jacobs and the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation in memory of Paul W. Hartloff, Jr.
Palliative Care TeamPhoto captions: (Left to right) Mara Rodriguez, Maria Fazio, RN, Stefani Rashti, NP, Deborah Meyers, MD, Rebecca Bank, RN, Jennifer Blankenbeckler and Edith Gonzalez, MSW, ASW