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Calvert Hospice recently announced that all six of the hospice and palliative care staff members who applied now have additional certifications in hospice and palliative care to enhance their respective roles at Calvert Hospice.

These qualifications include administrative, nursing and social worker certifications, according to a press release.

Calvert Hospice Executive Director Brenda Laughhunn said in the release, “We are excited to have this many employees who are interested in furthering their education with regard to end-of-life issues. This is value-added for our patients to have so many of our staff certified in both hospice and palliative care services. Development of expertise in this area has become formalized through recognition of palliative care by the specialty certification boards. It is quite an accomplishment.”

Palliative care is a comprehensive approach to treatment that focuses on the emotional, psychological, existential and physical suffering that often accompanies serious illness, the release states. This model of care strives to improve quality of life not only by relieving pain and other physical symptoms, but also by addressing these diverse needs. Specialists in palliative medicine have a unique set of skills, which allow them to effectively care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Specifically, these practitioners are proficient in evaluating and reporting prognosis, discussing goals of care, reviewing treatment options and assessing and managing emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical needs.

Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses, such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more, according to the release. It helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments. And it helps them have more control over their care by improving communication so that they can better understand their choices for treatment.

Working together with a primary doctor, the palliative care team provides communication, pain and symptom management, support for navigating the health care system, guidance with choosing treatment choices and emotional and spiritual support for the patient and their family members, the release states. For more information, contact Brenda Laughhunn at 410-535-0892, ext. 4000.