Updated January 6, 2005
Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland is collaborating with Hospice of the Western Reserve and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, in testing a new system for end-of-life care for patients with terminal illnesses.
Patients with cancer and their families often face a confusing and frustrating maze of medical and social services. Under the direction of Ireland Center Director James K.V. Willson, MD, Project Safe Conduct offers patients and families a guide to this labyrinth of treatments and services, emphasizing state-of-the-art symptom management as well as psychosocial and spiritual support.
The project creates and studies a system for end-of-life care that allows patients to receive life-prolonging care including experimental therapy protocols integrated with palliative care. Palliative care emphasizes symptom relief with a holistic approach to physical, psychosocial and spiritual issues, and, when cure is no longer possible, helps with the difficult but normal challenges of life completion and closure.
As part of the effort, Project Safe Conduct will develop innovative palliative care curricula for the Case Western Reserve Schools of Medicine and Nursing, as well as postgraduate training for specialists in oncology.
The Ireland Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to long-term changes in health care institutions to substantially improve care for dying people and their families. Visit PromotingExcellence.org for more resources.