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Ireland Cancer Center - University Hospitals & Case Western Reserve University
Project Safe Conduct was a collaboration between the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Hospice of the Western Reserve and Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, to test a new system for end-of-life care for patients with terminal illnesses.
Patients with cancer and their families often face a confusing and frustrating maze of medical and social services. Project Safe Conduct offered patients and families a guide to this labyrinth of treatments and services, emphasizing state-of-the-art symptom management as well as psychosocial and spiritual support.
The project created and studied a system for end-of-life care that allowed patients to receive life-prolonging care, including experimental therapy protocols integrated with palliative care. Palliative care emphasizes symptom relief with a holistic approach to physical, psychosocial and spiritual issues, and, when cure is no longer possible, helps with the difficult but normal challenges of life completion and closure.
As part of the effort, Project Safe Conduct developed innovative palliative care curricula for the Case Western Reserve Schools of Medicine and Nursing, as well as postgraduate training for specialists in oncology.
The Ireland Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.
After the Grant
The University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University sustained Project Safe Conduct after the grant, and expanded it to include additional diagnoses.
Elizabeth Pitorak, M.S.N., R.N.
Meri Armour, M.S.N.
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.