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Louisiana State University Medical Center
PalCare: End-of-Life Care for Persons with AIDS in New Orleans, LA, implemented an innovative patient care model combining palliative care with aggressive HIV management within a large public health care setting. The project's multi-disciplinary team developed, implemented and evaluated a model of palliative care for Louisiana State University HIV Outpatient Program (HOP) for patients and families living with advanced HIV/AIDS.
The HIV outpatient program of LSU served more than 3,000 patients. The majority of those patients were indigent and stigmatized by their HIV diagnosis, poverty, drug use, mental illness and homelessness, in addition to advancing HIV disease. PalCare worked closely with the outpatient primary care team, HIV inpatient care, hospice and home care services to create a streamlined continuity of care for the patient and family members facing advanced HIV disease.
Although there has been a great resurgence of hope and optimism for the multiple drug therapies for HIV infected persons, not all HIV infected persons are able to successfully take or tolerate the new protease inhibitor and antiviral regimens. Many patients have been unable to benefit from new treatments and will continue to struggle with symptoms of end-stage HIV illness. The PalCare program was designed to address the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients not normally met by traditional care and to evaluate the impact of this program on patient care and service delivery.
After the Grant
Louisiana State University sustained and expanded PalCare into a formal service, providing consults and case management.
Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to long-term changes in health care institutions to substantially improve care for dying people and their families.