|Valley City is one of three cities selected for National Hospice Project|
More than a million patients a year who are dying or facing a terminal illness may endure pointless suffering and useless, but expensive, treatments because they lack access to hospice or palliative care services, according to the National Priorities Partnership. Compassionate, high quality end-of-life care can ensure patients are comfortable, ease their pain and help their families make difficult decisions about the course of treatment.
To assist rural communities in meeting the challenge of providing appropriate and compassionate care for patients with a life-limiting illness, Mercy Hospital of Valley City will take part in the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Palliative Care Pilot Project. Angel Medical Center in Franklin, N.C., and North Sunflower Health Care in Rulesville, Miss., are also participating in the study.
The purpose of the six-month learning and planning project is to start or strengthen palliative care services in the participating communities. Each health care facility had to submit an application indicating commitment from all key health care providers in their communities: hospital, clinic, home health agency, nursing home, and hospice program.
“This is a great opportunity to bring Valley City together for a shared, common goal. The NRHA project will enable the city to build on the development of palliative care programs in their area. Mercy Hospital was hand-picked from other critical access hospitals (CAH) in the United States,” said Jody Ward, ND CAH Quality Network coordinator with the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
NRHA’s initiative focuses on rural health care, palliative care standards and processes, and facilitated action planning for participating communities.
“All of North Dakota will be able to learn from the knowledge gained through Valley City. We are doing great things in North Dakota, and this is a good opportunity for the state to be recognized on a national level,” Ward said.
-- Denis F. MacLeod, Communications Specialist, Center for Rural Health, email@example.com, 777-3300