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NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue unveils serenity unit, elevating palliative care for patients nearing end-of-life

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In a commitment to dignified end-of-life care, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue proudly inaugurated the Palliative Care Serenity Unit. This innovative facility aims to provide unparalleled support and expert symptom management for patients with serious illnesses, ensuring comfort for those nearing the end of life or awaiting hospice transfer.

Accredited with Advanced Certification for Palliative Care from The Joint Commission since 2006, Bellevue’s Palliative Care Program collaborates across various disciplines. This includes child life, therapeutic arts, legal health, psychiatry, critical care, and community hospices to address the diverse needs of its patient population.

Dr. Susan E. Cohen, the Director of the Palliative Care Program, highlighted the unit’s creation in response to the growing demand for specialized care. Last year alone, the Palliative Care team conducted nearly 1,000 patient consultations.

Gregory Harrison, son of the late actress Vinie Burrows, expressed gratitude for the compassionate care his mother received at Bellevue’s Palliative Care unit.

“Palliative care reduces so much of the stress of being in the hospital,” he shared, emphasizing the team’s ability to make families feel like they are “respecting their loved one’s wishes.”

The Palliative Care program at Bellevue, comprising physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and a dedicated chaplain, serves patients with various conditions, including cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, and serious lung diseases. Services range from inpatient consultation to pediatric palliative care, bereavement programs, a volunteer/doula initiative, and an inpatient end-of-life care unit.

Reflecting on his mother’s experience, Mr. Harrison acknowledged the invaluable role palliative care played in easing the transition and honoring her wishes. Dr. Cohen echoed this sentiment, expressing gratitude for the collaborative efforts that contributed to the Serenity Unit’s establishment.

The opening ceremony, attended by NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue CEO William Hicks and Palliative Care Director Dr. Susan Cohen, symbolized the institution’s dedication to enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill patients and their families. The Serenity Unit stands as a testament to Bellevue’s unwavering commitment to compassionate end-of-life care.

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