Elk River representative introduces bill to improve palliative care statewide

January 19, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Jan. 19, 2017)—Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, today introduced a bill that would establish an advisory council on palliative care.


“Minnesota is known for its high quality healthcare, but we still have work to do on the experience patients have,” Rep. Zerwas explained, “Palliative care focuses on patients’ goals for their lives, first and foremost, and then designs treatments to match those goals. We need to see more of that at every level and setting of care, and an advisory council is a low cost way for us to figure out where policy can help.”


Palliative care is a specialty that provides an extra layer of support to relieve the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness, often over a long period of time. It is sometimes confused with hospice care, which is a subset of palliative care designed for patients at the end of life.


A similar bill is introduced in the state Senate on Jan. 12.


“I’m asking my colleagues to support this bill so we can make sure the aims of healthcare – high quality outcomes, excellent patient experience and efficient use of resources – are met in Minnesota,” Rep. Zerwas said. “An advisory council can help pave the way to better quality of life for patients and better results for our healthcare system.”


The bill also has the support of the newly formed Minnesota Palliative Care Coalition, a group of patient advocacy organizations, medical professional associations, provider networks, and others committed to improving palliative care in Minnesota.


More information about how palliative care works for patients can be found in a news release recently issued by American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, debunking common myths.


ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

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Eagan, MN