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Published on December 13, 2017

Cone Health Leads Innovative Effort to Improve Palliative Care for Children

First program of its kind in North Carolina.

Children with serious—often terminal—illnesses and their families will soon receive services through a new partnership. Advanced Home Care, Cone Health, and Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro will provide community-based palliative care for children.

This new partnership will bring a team approach to care. “When a child needs to be in the hospital or leaves after being treated, the partners will be in communication, managing the care,” said Jody Moore, senior director for the Triad & Blue Ridge Virginia Regions of Advanced Home Care. “Everyone is on the same page. No longer are there 50 phone calls to manage a single case.”

The partnership links palliative care with primary and specialty clinics, home health and services such as social work, counseling and spiritual care. Cone Health coordinates care through its pediatric and palliative programs with home health provided by Advanced Home Care. Kids Path continues counseling, volunteer support and spiritual care for the children and their families. 

“This collaboration provides a medical home for sick children with very complex, often chronic, needs,” said Mike Cinoman, MD, interim director of the pediatric care division at Cone Health. “Their conditions usually require several specialists, making their care very complicated.”

Following several months of planning, this partnership evolved to meet the increasingly complex needs of area children. It is the first of its kind in North Carolina. “Our goal was to provide seamless care delivery and support in a sustainable way,” said Kristen Yntema, CEO of Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro. “This partnership uses the expertise of each agency to create a safety net for this unique population.”

"Community-based palliative care is the ideal model for serving affected children and their families,” said Beth Golding, DO, medical director of palliative care services at Cone Health. "Working together to manage pain, symptoms and the stress of serious illness, we will enhance the quality of life for these children and their families.”

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