Palliative Care Program Pursuit Walk Supports Pediatric Palliative Care Program

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Palliative Care Program Pursuit Walk

Photo by Jeremy Wilburn

For the second year in a row, friends, families and community members will come together for the Palliative Care Program Pursuit Walk. The walk is being held to raise awareness of palliative care, a specialized area of care offering physical and emotional support and comfort to pediatric patients with chronic or serious illnesses, as well as to raise funds to expand the supportive/palliative care program at Miller Children’s. The palliative care program improves “quality of life” for children with life-threatening illness and to better address the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of pediatric patients and families.

“Our goal is to assure that every child has a meaningful life, and that they have the opportunity to live that life free of pain or other symptoms of discomfort engulfed by the families and communities that love them, for as long as possible,” says Joetta Wallace, NP, Pediatric Supportive Palliative Care Program, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

The Walk was founded by Rachel Llanos who is one of more than 100 parents whose family has benefited from the supportive/palliative care program. Her daughter, Kellie, had a rare chromosomal abnormality called Trisomy 13 that led to heart problems and the need for constant care at Miller Children’s throughout her life. Although Kelly has passed away the Llanos family was deeply touched by the supportive/palliative care program, which provided comfort to Kelly and her entire family. When it was time, Kelly was able to pass away peacefully at home surrounded by family. Rachel’s goal is to raise funds to support the supportive/palliative care program so they can continue to provide future patients and families with the same compassionate care.

“I was so touched by palliative care I wondered why more people in the community didn’t know about it,” says Rachel Llanos, supportive/palliative care advocate and parent, Miller Children’s. “I want to be able to help other families have access to a program that ensures a child’s comfort and needs are met.”

The Palliative Care Pursuit Walk will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2012 starting at 10 a.m., at East in Long Beach. Registration is $20 and goes to benefit the palliative care program through online . Visit MillerChildrens.org/pursuit to register online or support a walker.

About Supportive/Palliative Care:
Supportive care, also called palliative care, involves a variety of resources to improve the quality of life for children with a chronic or serious illness by addressing their needs for comfort. The pediatric supportive/palliative care program at Miller Children’s is unique, and different from hospice, in that it begins at diagnosis and is a part of the care plan, whether the child is at home or in the hospital, throughout cure or bereavement. This distinctive care team applies the latest in palliative care initiatives and ensures palliative care experts are throughout the hospital, establishing Miller Children’s as a leader in pediatric palliative care.

About Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach:
Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach provides specialized pediatric care for children and young adults, with conditions ranging from common to complex – as well as maternity care for expectant mothers – all under one roof. Only five percent of all are children’s , making them unique not only to children’s health care needs in the community, but across the region. Miller Children’s is one of only eight free-standing children’s in California – treating more than 8,000 children each year – and has become a regional pediatric destination for more than 84,000 children, who need specialized care in the outpatient specialty and satellite centers. Miller Children’s is currently undertaking a major expansion project to expand the pediatric cancer center, neonatal intensive care unit and the Center for Women. Visit MillerChildren.org, like on Facebook.com/ or follow on Twitter.

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