Palliative Care Institute

The Palliative Care Institute (PCI) at Calvary Hospital was established with the vision of becoming a recognized source for education and research in the field of palliative care. Within its mission to educate not only the healthcare community, but the community at large, the PCI staff will continue to articulate and publicize Calvary Hospital's commitment to kindness, non-abandonment, and the importance of "caring" people who care for the patient.

The PCI functions as part of the medical department and actively cooperates with all administrative and clinical sectors throughout the Hospital. The Institute's activities play a primary role in the education of Calvary Hospital's own staff. Presently, it is cooperating with the hospital-wide education program called "Decisions at the End of Life." The Institute supports and directly contributes to the teaching programs already in place in the departments of Nutrition, Social Work, Recreation Therapy, Pharmacy and Pastoral Care.

The Institute has sponsored multiple educational opportunities for medical students in cooperation with Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine. Calvary Hospital has had an affiliation with the New York Medical College for many years and plans to increase this involvement. The syllabus for the teaching plan of the medical students prepared by the Institute not only incorporates the principles of palliative care, but attempts to establish a sense of the ethics of caring and non-abandonment. It is hoped that by reaching students early in their training, the Calvary experience will ignite a lasting influence on how they treat patients throughout their career. A major effort is made to impress on the student, the priority of life, and the privacy of the patients.

The very successful Distinguished Lecture Series covers a broad spectrum of subjects pertinent to the care of the advanced cancer patient and their families. Although these conferences are primarily for professionals, they are open to the public.

Topics previous covered were:

  • Infectious Complications in Oncology Patients
  • Management of the Patient with Advanced Breast Cancer
  • Empathy
  • The Importance of Forgiveness of Those Who are Dying and Bereaved
  • The Need to Understand, Communicate with, and Support the Patient with Aphasia
  • Concepts on Geriatric Depression

The Palliative Care Institute will assist, and when necessary, coordinate clinical education functions and research with other clinical departments of the Hospital.

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