October 14, 2016 – Finding Palliative Care


Anchor lead:  Where can you find palliative care? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you or a loved one has a chronic illness, you’ve probably heard of the many benefits of palliative care.  But if you’re trying to find such a service, you might be chagrined to learn that only about a quarter of the hospitals in the United States have a fully staffed palliative care team, according to a recent report. Tom Smith, head of palliative care at Johns Hopkins, gives some tips.

Smith: Perhaps the only failure is not recognizing this as a specialty service that can be really helpful, and asking them sooner rather than later.  For most people in the United States there is a service available.  It may not be optimal, it may not be a team, but there will be some component of palliative care service available to you.  You can go to getpalliativecare.org, and look up if your hospital has one.   :27

Smith reiterates the aim of palliative care to help everyone with chronic illness to experience the best quality of life possible.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.