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Palliative Care Department Earns Joint Commission Certification

January 26th, 2017

Photo: (L-R): St. Catherine of Siena's Palliative Care Consultation Team: Gina Zarrilli, DO, FCCP, Palliative Care Physician, Elizabeth Meehan, Director of Pastoral Care, Chaplain, Roberta Levesque, BSN, RN, CHPN, Administrative Nurse Coordinator, Pedro Calves, MD, FACP, FCCP, Senior Associate Medical Director and Denise Raab, LCSW, Palliative Care Social Worker


St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center’s Palliative Care Department has earned The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification. This designation for palliative care recognizes hospital inpatient programs that optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illness and demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care.

 As a Joint-Commission accredited hospital and by providing comprehensive palliative care services to patients 24 hours a days, 7 days a week, St. Catherine of Siena was eligible for the Advanced Certification in Palliative Care.

“Earning the Advanced Certification in Palliative Care is an affirmation of our commitment to improve and sustain the quality of care we provide to our patients and their respective families—and the expertise of our multidisciplinary team,” said St. Catherine’s Executive Vice President and CAO Paul J. Rowland.

Palliative care is a medical specialty that helps patients and their families facing a serious illness, providing expert assistance during a difficult time. The Palliative Care Program at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, offers guidance and emotional support to help you make complex medical decisions and coordinates care and treatment with doctors at any stage of your illness. An experienced team will help manage symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, depression and anxiety following your wishes throughout the process.

St. Catherine’s Palliative Care program features pain and symptom management, family meetings, support groups and collaboration with an outpatient center. In order to achieve Joint Commission Advanced Certification, St. Catherine’s Palliative Care Program had to meet compliance standards, using a variety of evidence-based performance measurements to improve patient care over time.

The Palliative Care team underwent a rigorous survey and was granted certification on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. “I am very excited to congratulate the St. Catherine of Siena Palliative Care team for an amazingly successful survey—thanks to everyone that worked so hard for this achievement,” said St. Catherine’s Vice President of Quality, Patient Safety and Regulatory Affairs/HIPPA Privacy Officer Michelle Goldfarb, RN, MBA, CPHQ, CPPS.

The Joint Commission is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in health care quality review. Their mission is to improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public. The Joint Commission developed their voluntary certification program to meet the evolving need to ensure people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings. They review program management, provision of care, treatment and services, information management and performance improvement during an on-site visit and through previously collected data.

For more information about St. Catherine of Siena’s Palliative Care Program, please call (631) 870-3444.