• The Quandary of Living & Dying in Qatar’s COVID-19 Pandemic

    Sep 1, 2020 by Nezha Hamid
    Ever since my college in Qatar made the sudden shift on March 10th 2020, to teaching entirely online under the strains of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I have been trapped at home working on a laptop in a small space, within a tall apartment tower located in the city center area of the capital city, Doha. I am learning to be an online college instructor and I am discovering that I am not fond of it. One of the ways I have dealt with being cooped up inside is taking little, short strolls in my neighborhood to break up the monotony of too much screen time.
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  • Belonging and Connection: Under the Mask

    Aug 25, 2020 by Melissa C. Palmer, LCSW ACHP-SW APHSW-C JD
    In “Together”, Dr. Vivek Murthy talks about how humans’ need for connection is nearly as strong as hunger and thirst. Being able to build and strengthen bonds is what sets us apart from other creatures on this planet. It is what helps us thrive. In fact, human contact can be more important than basic needs in some cases; animals and humans alike seek to belong.
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  • How far would you go?

    Aug 18, 2020 by Sara Elliott
    As palliative care providers, we are no strangers to sad, stressful and unjust end-of-life situations. We have all had patients who have died alone or in circumstances where family members could not make it in time. As we work tirelessly to navigate these recent unchartered waters, more of these heart-wrenching stories have emerged. COVID-19 has forced families apart and health authorities have been required to modify policies and develop algorithms that have helped in some situations, but certainly not all.
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  • What Good Would It Do Her?

    Aug 11, 2020 by Dana Coutts, PA-C
    As I’ve been championing the incorporation of palliative care into care plans of stroke survivors, I encounter common responses, such as “they don’t have cancer,” “it’s not time,” “they can still get better,” “they are not dying,” and “there is nothing they can do for this patient”.
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  • Being Invisible: Health Care Disparities for Seniors

    Aug 4, 2020 by Melissa C Palmer, LCSW, ACHP-SW, APHSW-C, JD
    I turned 50 this year. A milestone birthday, heralding a new chapter in my life. What I was not prepared for was the change in attitude of younger people that I encounter in my work and personal life. As it was, I felt the sting of ageism during my pregnancy at age 40, having the term “geriatric pregnancy” included in my medical records. But I have experienced a rite of passage that is not talked about or acknowledged. I am becoming invisible.
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  • Ever Wonder What Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Means?

    Jul 28, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    A recent study in JAMA Oncology demonstrates once again “If you want people to understand their cancer is serious and that what you are giving them is “palliative chemotherapy” you are going to have to talk with them.
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  • "Because you still listen, because in times like these to have you listen at all, it's necessary" Adrienne Rich

    Jul 21, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    Often, Palliative Care, just doesn’t seem that complicated; but exhausting. Frequently, patients and family say something like “We really need to talk about this. We didn’t want to talk about it but now we know what we are facing.” We have spent an hour, our little IDT group, talking because as Adrienne Rich says, “It’s necessary.”
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  • Introducing a New, Non-Residential, Community-Based HPM FellowshipOpens in a new window

    Jul 27, 2020
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  • Meaning and Doing

    Jul 7, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    What is important, and what gives meaning to life? Often families are most distressed that their loved one will not eat! It would be fine if the loved one could not get out of bed, but he/she must clean their plate.
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  • Essential Workers

    Jun 30, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    What is an essential worker? Yesterday, I went to my first post-COVID dental appointment. The dental hygienist was wearing the equivalent of a HazMat suit. She struggled to do her job, which required finesse through all these different layers.
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  • Moral Determinants of Health

    Jun 23, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    When I saw this article and title I was intrigued. This could be very political, and this is in JAMA? Well, it is political, but isn’t everything? Don Berwick is the author; I met him over 20 years ago. He started the organization Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). He popularized Continuous Quality Improvement and the omnipresent PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) programs.
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  • The Secondary Effect of Disparity During Pandemic

    Jun 16, 2020 by Melissa C Palmer, LCSW, ACHP-SW, APHSW-C, JD
    We are all experiencing changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether we have had to work from home or have been furloughed from our positions, the psychological and socioeconomic impact will have far-reaching effects in our lives for the foreseeable future. However, not all people are experiencing the detrimental effects equally; groups that are marginalized in society are experiencing ramifications that far exceed the majority group.
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  • Life Might Not Be Fair but We Can Be Fairer

    Jun 9, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    COVID is not fair to anyone but is less fair to many in our society who have the least resources to cope. Those who get really sick and die are more likely to be poor, to live in communities with fewer resources, have less access to health care, and other supports that make up the Social Determinants of Health and are people of color.
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  • Denial (D’ Nile) Is More than a River

    Jun 2, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    I think I learned this joke from the famous Dolly Parton, and it works better in my Southern accent. At least once a week I would hear someone say this in relationship to a patient or family member who seemed to have unrealistic expectations.
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  • Congratulations, Dr. Regina Fink!

    May 26, 2020 by Melissa C Palmer, LCSW, ACHP-SW, APHSW-C, JD
    At the University of Colorado’s Graduate School 2020 graduation, Dean Engelke announced the exciting news that Dr. Regina Fink has been bestowed the Outstanding Dean’s Master’s Mentoring Award for 2020. Nominated by multiple students, Dr. Fink was described as “generous with her time” and “listens to students as individuals”.
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  • Unintended Consequences

    May 19, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    Recently, while on a clinical service for the Inpatient Palliative Care Consult Service we remarked on all the patients we were seeing who had COVID-19 but what about those folks we usually consulted on? Those being considered for a destination LVAD, or living with metastatic and progressive cancer, being considered for, or recovering from a Bone Marrow Transplant…where are these people?
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  • COVID-19 and going to LTAC

    May 12, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    “Well, if I am able to eat chocolate ice cream and watch football on TV, then I’m willing to stay alive. I am willing to go through a lot of pain if I have a shot at that.” Jack Block PHD father of Susan Block MD regarding his goals of care as retold in Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.
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  • Getting Back to “Normal”: Privilege in the Time of COVID-19

    May 5, 2020 by Melissa C Palmer, LCSW, ACHP-SW, APHSW-C, JD
    I have heard many times how those around me are looking forward to getting back to “normal”. When I have asked people to clarify, “normal” means being able to go out without worrying about being careful, not having to wear protective equipment, taking a bike ride at a moment’s notice, or heading out for Saturday evening dinner and movie. For others it is travel to Hawaii for spring break.
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  • Rip Van Winkle: My COVID-19 Surprise

    Apr 28, 2020 by F. Amos Bailey, MD
    I was alarmed in late January and February as I started to see the news from China. A great city on lock down and then a country with a medical system that was overrun. Could this happen here? I was concerned. I had learned about the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920. This was a once in a century catastrophe and it had been a century.
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  • A Peaceful Death? Is it possible in the time of COVID 19?

    Apr 21, 2020 by Nancy English PhD, APRN, CS, CHPN
    I keep remembering the words of Cicely Saunders spoken to her young patient as he lay dying. “You matter because you are”. This became the mantra of Palliative Care and began a world movement and a new paradigm in caring for the dying. Death is regarded as a sacred rite of passage. To care for a dying patient became a privilege and honor.
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