November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration’s Palliation work group continues to address awareness of and access to palliative care services. Over the past year, work group members collaborated with NH Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and University of New Hampshire students from a community based research psychology class, on a project to identify Barriers to meeting spiritual needs of patients - a gap that had been identified in a previous survey.
Palliative care is the multi-disciplinary medical specialty focused on preventing, treating, and, relieving the debilitating effects of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and their loved ones. As an illness progresses, patients can transition to hospice care, also part of palliative care, for necessary treatment and services. Hospice provides care during the final months and weeks of life, and helps patients and loved ones focus on living as fully and comfortably as possible.
For more information about palliative care visit www.nhcancerplan.org or the New Hampshire Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Featured Partner: Donald McDonah, MD
“If we keep waiting to die, then we’ll never live.”
Donald McDonah, M.D. provides compassionate care and guidance for patients facing serious and terminal illnesses. As the medical director of Circle of Life Palliative Medicine Program at St. Joseph Healthcare in Nashua N.H., McDonah works with patients and loved ones to enhance their quality of life.
McDonah has served as an integral member of the NH CCC since 2003, beginning his work as the Chair of the first Palliative Care workgroup which he still participates in. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors through 2011 before transitioning into his current position on the Medical Advisory Committee.
Through his involvement with NH CCC, he has seen many accomplishments such as increased awareness about palliative care services in NH and the sun safety/tanning awareness programs offered to NH teens. “It’s a very nice organization to be involved in, with people from all disciplines sitting at the table talking to each other.”
A highlight of his work with NH CCC was the opportunity to participate in advocacy efforts with NH legislators. Last year, he testified on behalf of palliative care interests for a bill that passed in both the house and senate to establish a palliative care center in NH.
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News and Events
Atul Gawande explains why the health care system should stop trying to help everyone live longer, Washington Post, 10/30/14
Reminders May Trigger Advance Care Conversations Earlier, Medscape, 10/28/14
Patients Do Better After Surgery If They Do 'Prehab' First, NHPR, 10/29/14
Smokers see little NH tax money helping them to quit, Union Leader, 10/24/14
Families First to offer life-saving cancer screenings Oct. 29, Seacoastonline.com, 10/5/14
New Hampshire women diagnosed with breast cancer quickly find they’re not alone, Concord Monitor, 10/4/14
Beyond Breast Cancer Treatment, Dr. Roshani Patel combines healthy choices and community partnerships for a special kind of cancer care, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, 9/8/14
Straight Talk About Palliative Care: What Everyone Should Know, Wall Street Journal, 9/14/14
CDC says NH cancer rates among highest in nation, InsuranceNewsNet.com, 9/23/14
Terminally Ill, But Constantly Hospitalized, NPR, 9/21/14
Granite State Has Highest Rate Of Breast Cancer, NHPR, 9/22/14