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St. Rose and UNLV Receive Palliative Care Funding


Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), has been awarded $14,855 from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington D.C. for its Engaging Terminally Ill Patients with Palliative Care project.

This award is one of 47 new projects to receive community-building funding support through PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards program. It is one of the first two projects to receive PCORI funding support in Nevada.

The project’s goal is to develop a Nevada State Palliative Care Association, which will establish palliative care standards in Nevada. The association will provide education on palliative care and its services, in addition to community education about health care planning, i.e. POLST/advanced directives. These beginning stages will involve developing a network of medical professionals from the southern Nevada community that are dedicated to increasing the availability of palliative care in the area. In addition, the perspectives of patients and caregivers will assist in ensuring that further palliative care programs include a patient-centered approach.  

Palliative care serves those with a life-limiting illness, and unlike hospice, there is no requirement of having a diagnosis of six months or less to live. Palliative care can be provided simultaneously with curative treatments. The unit of care includes the patient, family, and friends. Goals of service include providing pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, and advanced care planning. Providers of palliative care are part of an interdisciplinary team that often include a physician, nurse, social worker, and chaplain. Palliative care can be received at home, in a hospital, and in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Participants in the project include Veneta Lepera, BA, BSN, RN, CHPN, Supervisor of Palliative Care Services at St. Rose Dominican; Maggie Ozan-Rafferty, DHA, RN, Chief Experience Officer for St. Rose Dominican; Jay Shen, PhD, Professor of Health Care Administration and Policy at UNLV; Abbie Kirkendall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work at UNLV; Pearl Kim, graduate student at UNLV; and Diana Lee, MD, hospitalist and hospice/palliative care practitioner at the Platinum Medical Group.

“St. Rose Dominican is excited to be a part of this innovative, collaborative approach to public health,” said Lepera. “This new project will be very beneficial for those that want to better the quality of life of all Nevadans with a chronic illness, and we’re excited to be a part of this project.”

Pipeline to Proposal Awards enable individuals and groups that are not typically involved in clinical research to develop the means to develop community-led funding proposals focused on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER). Established by the non-profit PCORI, the program funds three tiers of awards that help individuals or groups build community partnerships, develop research capacity, and hone a comparative effectiveness research question that could become the basis of a research funding proposal to submit to PCORI or other health research funders.

“The Pipeline to Proposal Awards program is a manifestation of PCORI’s commitment to the meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders in all our research endeavors,” said Jean Slutsky, PA, MSPH, PCORI's Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer. “It provides support to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to contribute to the field of comparative effectiveness research. We’re pleased to follow the awardees’ progress as they develop partnerships and begin to form research questions.”

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI continuously seeks input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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