Millard Suburban adds palliative care unit

March 2, 2012 Updated Mar 2, 2012 at 8:18 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by Tracey Drury

March 2, 2012 Updated Mar 2, 2012 at 8:18 AM EDT

Kaleida Health has launched an enhanced palliative care program at its Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.

The program comes four months after a new affiliate agreement brought the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care together with Kaleida and Erie County Medical Center under the umbrella of Great Lakes Health System of WNY, bringing additional expertise and services in palliative care into ECMC and Kaleida's hospitals.

The enhanced programming at Millard Suburban provides relief of pain and stress for patients with serious illnesses. Services for frail elderly and individuals with advanced progressive diseases will include palliative care consultation and care coordination to reduce symptoms and enhance quality of life.

Services will be provided by Supportive Medical Partners, a physician-based practice group affiliated with the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care. The same group began providing similar services in February at Kaleida's Buffalo General Medical Center.

Palliative care refers to how health-care professionals relieve suffering and improved quality of life for people facing pain and stresses from serious illness at all levels, including curable or chronic disease. It's different from hospice care, which focuses on the care of those who are at the end of life.

James Kaskie, president and CEO of both Kaleida and Great Lakes Health, said the partnership enhances care while creating additional efficiencies.

"Having Supportive Medical Partners and the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care as an affiliate demonstrates once again that we can take what we have, which is very good, and make it better for those we serve," he said. "Both are outstanding organizations with a tremendous commitment to innovative care programs, and they help us provide a complete continuum of care to our patients and families."

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