Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: Midland Care Deserves Recognition

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: Midland Care Deserves Recognition

Article excerpt

The American Hospital Association's Circle of Life "Citation of Honor" award recognizes hospitals, hospices and other health care providers that offer "innovative palliative and end-of-life care" and "serve as models or inspiration for other providers." This year, Midland Care was honored with one of these prestigious awards for its broad continuum of care, outreach to rural areas and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

Midland Care has served our community -- as well as the rest of northeast Kansas -- for almost four decades. As the AHA notes, it has used this time to develop "a network of collaborative community partnerships with hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other providers." For example, Midland Care offers palliative care at its outpatient clinic and "on an inpatient basis at a local cancer center." This allows the organization to fuse its expertise in palliative and end-of-life care with the medical resources available in the community. Midland Care also provides home-based services to keep patients as comfortable and independent as possible.

According to Midland Care CEO Karren Weichert, the organization was the first American hospice program (out of roughly 5,000) to provide PACE services. It was also the 37th PACE in the country among all health care providers.

Midland Care PACE was launched 10 years ago, and it has already expanded to three sites (Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City) that serve 12 counties. The AHA cited PACE in the award summary because it demonstrates Midland Care's innovative approach to palliative care. Medical director Greg Nelson points out how unusual it is for an organization like Midland Care to offer such comprehensive services: "It was a bold move for a smaller organization like ours. That kind of characterizes the atmosphere here. …

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