COLUMBUS - 

The love and support Ohio families show to one another is unlike any other. Families share memories of countless holidays and adventures spent together throughout life. Nothing should interfere with the special bond families have, especially when it comes to hospice care. It can be devastating when a loved one becomes diagnosed with a serious illness that leaves countless medical bills, hospital trips, and doctors’ visits in its wake. For those who have gone through a similar experience, they know that the circumstances cause stress on both the patient and their family and friends. 


That is where palliative care steps in and aims to make important changes. This type of care helps to improve the quality of life for a patient by reducing pain and symptoms associated with a serious illness. By focusing on reducing the patient’s pain and symptoms, the patient can be in more control of their life, allowing them to spend more time with their families and all others that are closely involved with treatment decisions.


Because of the powerful rebalance that palliative care brings to a patient and their loved ones, the Ohio House recently passed House Bill 286, sponsored by Representative Sarah LaTourette. The bill would establish the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council and the Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Information and Education Program. Both the council and the program would work with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on matters pertaining to palliative care.


The goal of such innovative thinking is to further assimilate palliative care into mainstream medicine and ensure that families in the state of Ohio have access to information and education on the matter. In order to do so, the Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Information and Education Program would first publish a section on its website to palliative care information. In addition to the program’s efforts, House Bill 286 requires certain health care facilities to create a system in order to identify patients that could benefit from palliative care and ensure their access to such care.


The bill now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate, and it is my hope that this legislation will be given the utmost priority so that we may contribute to the betterment of a more fulfilling life for each Ohio citizen.

 
 
 
  
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