Children’s palliative care program earns bronze medal

Children’s palliative care program earns bronze medal


Palliative and complex care for patients in Mississippi’s only children’s hospital won a bronze award in the Tipping Point Challenge, a national competition sponsored by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Children’s of Mississippi’s entry, “From Service to Center: Leading Palliative Innovations for Complex Populations,” was one of more than 100 initiatives submitted from hospitals, health systems and clinics around the country.

The goal of the Tipping Point Challenge this year was to spark innovation that will result in positive change in the care of serious illnesses.

“High-quality care for the millions of people living with serious illness means that clinicians from all specialties and disciplines must provide effective, patient-centered communication and pain and symptom management, and that patients with the most complex needs must have access to palliative care specialists,” said CAPC CEO Brynn Bowman. “The Tipping Point Challenge is helping us reach this tipping point of change in U.S. health care.”

Each submission was peer-reviewed by an expert panel and evaluated using five criteria: impact, evidence-based, feasibility, scalability, and sustainability.

“We congratulate each of the Tipping Point Challenge winners for their innovative and groundbreaking approaches to ensuring that older adults and others living with serious illness have access to the highest quality health care,” said Dr. Terry Fulmer, president of the John A. Hartford Foundation. “Because of their work, patients and families will experience improved interactions with better-trained health care providers, resulting in better quality of life.”

Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair and professor of pediatrics, said palliative and complex care at Children’s of Mississippi is focused on patients and families.

“At Children’s of Mississippi, our palliative and complex care team is proudly spearheading initiatives in the coordination of care for medically complex children, supporting our belief in the power of patient- and family-centered care and the importance of hope and joy, even in the midst of serious illness,” she said.

Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on relief from symptoms of a serious illness regardless of the stage of disease. Patients who see two or more specialists benefit from complex care, which focuses on care coordination and collaboration among care team members.

“We realize that the children most in need of palliative care are those who are living with medical complexities,” said respiratory therapist Latanya Lee.

Complex care physician Dr. Shubhra Malik agrees. “These children require comprehensive care coordination to guard their quality of life.”

Pediatric palliative care initiatives at Children’s of Mississippi include a home ventilation team that cares for more than 80 patients living with mechanical ventilation, synchronizing multiple subspecialties, therapies, disciplines and technologies and building a population health coordination center.

“Our team champions the palliative care philosophy of interdisciplinary care for the whole person and family,” said social worker Neece Little.

Nurse coordinator Shannon Brown of Flora said palliative and complex care follows a patient whether in the hospital, at a clinic visit or at home.

“Coordination of care never ends at discharge,” she said.

Madison resident Dr. Christian Paine, chief of pediatric palliative care at UMMC, congratulated the Children’s of Mississippi team on the national award.

“This honor in the Tipping Point Challenge is a testament to the Children’s of Mississippi palliative and complex care team as a whole,” Paine said. “Each day, I am proud of the care they provide and the difference they make in the lives of our patients.”

Director of complex care coordination Regina Qadan said the honor reflects the hospital’s patient-centered care.

“From pediatric palliative service to a comprehensive complex care center, our team translates our love for these children into a population health model for all,” she said. “Dr. Paine, our team and I are grateful to have been part of the Tipping Point Challenge.”

Children’s of Mississippi CEO Guy Giesecke congratulated the palliative and complex care team. “They are leaders in comprehensive coordination, compassionate care and the palliative promise that every moment matters.”

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