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Facing a serious illness or disability can be a trying and difficult experience for patients. At the same time, dealing with chronic illness and its associated symptoms can be emotionally, physically and spiritually disruptive to the family.
The Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Palliative Care Team, comprised of professionals trained to manage such issues, is dedicated to relieving symptoms and maintaining the best quality of life for patients and their families who, together, are fighting the disease.
Palliative care is available to patients at any stage of their illness, offering them a chance to aggressively treat the symptoms of their disease - for example, pain, shortness of breath, nausea - while continuing treatment.
Effective palliative care increases the likelihood that patients will cope adequately with the rigors of their therapy and maintain a satisfying level of physical and psychosocial functioning.
Palliative care treats the patient and family as a unit, providing care to the caregivers, as well as to the patient.
Palliative care is defined as medical care that specializes in effectively treating the pain, symptoms and stress that can accompany serious illness.
The Palliative Care team is comprised of a medical director, an advanced practice nurse, a case manager and a chaplain. They may call in other professionals, as appropriate. Together, they work with the patient and family to make decisions that will improve the quality of life for all. Having everyone involved can ease tensions and create solutions that improve the patient's and family's experience during care and clarify goals of the treatment.
Ask for a Palliative Care team consult when the patient and family are trying to manage:
Palliative care may be appropriate for patients with:
To request a Palliative Care team consult, discuss you needs with the physician treating you or your loved one.
For more information on the Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Palliative Care program, call Ginny Davis at (719) 776-5646.
Dr. Jonathan Weston specializes in palliative medicine and is board certified with the American Board of Family Medicine. Prior to completing his Family Practice Residency at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, in Washington D.C., Dr. Weston obtained his medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Weston has served the Colorado Springs area since 1981 and brings more than 15 years of palliative medicine experience to Centura Health Physician Group and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.
As the Penrose-St. Francis Health Services palliative care physician lead, Dr. Weston provides clinical supervision of the Palliative Care team and support staff. He focuses on and maintains desired quality and establishes cost outcomes, provides consultation regarding patient care issues, acts as liaison between administration, palliative care team and the department director, and assists in the development of standards of care, clinical pathways and clinical outcome indicators.
In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, hiking, Harley Davidson motorcycles and spending time with his Bernese mountain dogs.
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