The Memorial Hermann Foundation received a $200,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to support a system wide Supportive Medicine Program for chronically ill patients.
“We are incredibly pleased the Hearst Foundations have recognized this critical healthcare need and are honored they have awarded us this important grant,” said Memorial Hermann Supportive Medicine Director Sandra P. Gomez, M.D. “Today, countless people are overwhelmed with caring for a family member or loved one suffering from a chronic and life-threatening illness. It is challenging to think about the future of their care, while at the same time determining how to cope with a devastating or complicated diagnosis.”
The United States will soon face a crisis where the number of patients with serious, chronic illness will overwhelm the capacity of its acute care oriented healthcare system. It is estimated that by 2030, more than 900,000 people will be considered elderly. In addition, more than 70 percent of elderly adults live with some level of chronic or life-threatening disorder.
The goal of Memorial Hermann’s Supportive Medicine Program is to have the healthcare team work as one synchronized unit. It offers home, clinic and hospital visits by specially trained nurse practitioners or physicians. The team works closely with patients and caregivers to manage symptoms and medications, connect them with social workers and chaplains, and help them navigate the complex medical system.
“Grants toward efforts like Memorial Hermann's Supportive Medicine Program are an example of our commitment to help leading medical centers respond to the country’s evolving needs,” said Paul "Dino" Dinovitz, executive director of the Hearst Foundations. “The Foundations seek to use their funds to create a broad and enduring impact on the nation’s health."
The benefits of such comprehensive care include fewer trips to the emergency room, reduction in hospital admits, lower medical costs, improved ability to function, practical and emotional support for exhausted family caregivers, and a better quality of life for the chronically and terminally ill.