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Health Advocates and Lawmakers Unite to Improve Quality of Care For West Virginia Patients and Families

Last month, the newly formed State Advisory Coalition on Palliative Care had its first meeting. This coalition was formed through legislation and signed into law by the Governor in 2018.

February 19, 2019

Charleston, W. Va., – Feb. 19, 2019 –Last month, the newly formed State Advisory Coalition on Palliative Care had its first meeting. This coalition was formed through legislation and signed into law by the Governor in 2018. The coalition brings together experts to address barriers to this care and identifies innovative solutions for West Virginians. The coalition emphasizes provider training, patient awareness and overall access to palliative care.

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is proud to have led the effort to pass this legislation in West Virginia along with AARP,” said Juliana Frederick Curry, West Virginia government relations director for ACS CAN. “The work of this coalition will increase the demand for a system of care that has proven to improve quality of life outcomes for cancer patients.”

The purpose of palliative care is to enhance quality of life for both the patient and their family. It is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with the patient’s primary care physician and other physicians providing disease treatment to deliver an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment to help patients get well faster and easier.

“The goal of the coalition is to increase awareness and access to palliative care in communities throughout West Virginia,” said Dr. Amy Wirts, chair, State Advisory Coalition on Palliative Care. “Our mission is to give providers and caregivers guidance and tools to provide palliative care. As a palliative care provider, I have a unique and privileged opportunity to help patients and their families carry out their specific goals and wishes.”

To learn more about palliative care, visit: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/palliative-care/supportive-care-guide.html

About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.

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