CSU plans to expand palliative care practices

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The Cal State University Board of Trustees presented Gov. Jerry Brown with plans to expand the CSU Institute of Palliative Care model to other interested campuses within the system last week.

Palliative care is a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to health care that includes the contribution of doctors, nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors.

Cal State Los Angeles, San Francisco State and Chico State will adopt the institute’s model in 2014.

“I would like to get our health department in some way connected to this because this is part of a larger redefinition of health care that will be absolutely crucial as we embrace more and more people and everybody gets older,” Brown said.

Trustee Roberta Achtenberg and Cal State San Marcos President Karen Haynes, Ph.D., launched the Institute for Palliative Care at San Marcos in 2012.

It is the first statewide initiative in the country to focus on palliative care workforce development and community awareness, according to the CSU.

“Since the CSU educates more students with health care degrees than all California colleges and universities combined, it makes sense for us to launch an institute for palliative care in the CSU,” Achtenberg said.

Funded by the Archstone Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation and grant money, the institute is projected to be self-supporting within five years.

“With the launch of the CSU institute for palliative care last September, the CSU stepped front and center, shaping the future of health care in our state and modeling for our nation,” Haynes said. “We are setting the stage for palliative care education and further demonstrating the CSU’s academic excellence.”

Haynes said the team’s goal is to alleviate and prevent patient suffering by addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual and social concerns that arise with serious or chronic illness.

“It is not hospice care—it is an approach to health care that focuses on the needs of all patients whether they need short-term, long-term or end-of-life care,” she said.

Pallative care has been demonstrated to improve the quality of life for patients and their families and reduce health care system costs, Haynes said.

Cal State San Marcos has partnered with both private and public companies, enabling the school to launch innovative projects and programs such as the professional science master’s, a biotechnology certificate program, and various schools of nursing, Achtenberg said.

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