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Over 200 health professionals gather to improve palliative care in California

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The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) hosted a two-day conference in Newport Beach, California April 10 and 11, 2014 entitled Exploring New Horizons for Palliative Care. Over two hundred nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains and other professionals gathered to learn how to provide what Dr. Ira Byock calls “the best care possible.”

Speakers covered topics such as new research in resuscitation, how to measure quality in palliative care programs, and communicating with patients and their families. Physicians from University of California, San Francisco conducted a session on social media, encouraging professionals to utilize new media to educate the public. They also demonstrated web-based tools that help health professionals discuss prognosis, or expected disease outcome, with their patients.

Palliative care provides an extra layer of support for people with chronic disease through all phases of illness. This includes providing assisting with understanding your disease process, clarifying your values and goals, and managing troublesome symptoms such as pain and nausea. Many hospitals provide palliative care consultation to those in need. Palliative care is also available in clinics, nursing homes, and at home.

The CCCC is a statewide collaborative of organizations and individuals including healthcare professionals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospices, community workers, clergy, consumers, and others. This group works to advance compassionate care for all Californians who are seriously ill or approaching the end of life.

If you have a serious chronic illness, ask for a consultation with a palliative care professional.

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