Regional palliative care services now unified

James Arp

James Arp
Chief executive, Home and Community Services

Bill Sherer
Executive, Medicine Program

March 19, 2014

Our leadership team recently reviewed the structure of our palliative care services in the Oregon Region. As a result, we decided to consolidate leadership of palliative care services into a unified organizational structure that any part of the organization can access.

As of March 1, all palliative care consult services are integrated into one infrastructure in Oregon, including oncology palliative care and palliative care services provided by our teams in Hood River and Medford.

This change gives Providence greater consistency in our palliative care consult services wherever patients receive that care, whether at home, in a specialty clinic, primary care clinic or in the hospital. While we do not expect any changes in the referral process, this new operational structure allows us to serve our patients in the most effective and efficient way with a unified philosophy and model of care. 

To provide greater collaboration and coordinated care across all palliative care services, Ruth Medak, M.D., is medical director for both palliative care and hospice services and reports to James Arp. We’re also creating two new part-time associate medical directorships, one in Providence Connections and one in Providence Hospice, who will report to Dr. Medak.

Rob Luck, director of Palliative Care, reports to James Arp. He continues to work with Oregon service areas, providing comprehensive and integrated palliative care education and other initiatives to strengthen the palliative care skills of all clinicians. 

The “MyCareDirections” pilot, led by Alana Toups, John Niemitz, and Woody English, M.D., continues, and James oversees that work. We also will take this opportunity review the Oregon Region Palliative Care steering group composition as part of this transition. 

This is an exciting time for the Palliative Care Services teams. This year will be a time of development and growth as we further define our services and operations. Let James or Bill know of any questions you may have.