Branch Meeting Programs

Program – October 20

Palliative Care

Guest Speaker – Carey Ramirez, APRN

Education: Master of Science Adult/Palliative Nurse Practitioner,  New York University

Training:  Fellow of Pain & Palliative Care,  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Hospital affiliations: PVH, MCR

Care philosophy:  Palliative care is a philosophy of care and medical specialty that can be provided in conjunction with other specialties.  As such, palliative care is appropriate at any age or any stage of a chronic illness.  In fact, patient outcomes and satisfaction are optimized with early referral.  The patient and his or her family are viewed as one unit of care, each with his/her own needs to be addressed and goals to be achieved.  One of the hallmarks of palliative care is expert assistance for the patient and family to properly understand the patients condition, thus giving them the tools to make decisions regarding achievable goals in accordance with their beliefs.  

The other hallmark of palliative care is expert pain and symptom management.  As you know, pain and symptoms have an adverse effect on quality of life.  When you or a loved one is faced with a chronic illness, it is not only important to treat it, but it is equally important to treat the patients response to the condition and/or the treatment of it.  In doing so, palliative care strives to support the patient and family while giving them the tools they need to manage their pain or symptoms, which leads to improved quality of life.

Clinical interests: Palliative care as a whole is not only an interest, but a passion for me. Within this specialty, it is particularly gratifying to arm a patient with the tools required to more effectively manage his/her pain, thus leading to improved quality of life.  Likewise, it is equally important to arm the patient and family with the information they need to make informed decisions in accordance with their beliefs and goals.  Thus, my overall goal is to become a resource for patients and families to assist them in achieving improved outcomes and satisfaction. In short, I hope to help them to live life to the fullest and according to their goals and values.

Palliative medicine allows me to contribute to lives in a very meaningful way.  People allow me to share very difficult and intimate moments in their lives and it is gratifying to add a very human element to the healthcare system.  Program arranged by Phyllis Beckley, Branch Member