PATERSON, NJ [October 9, 2013] – St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center was recently host to a roundtable discussion lead by NJ Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. After a tour of the Emergency Departments, Commissioner O'Dowd was joined by a panel of experts to discuss palliative and end-of-life care and the Practitioners Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) initiative. Panel members included William A. McDonald, President & CEO, SJHS; Elizabeth Ryan, NJ Hospital Association President & CEO; James McCracken, Ombudsman for Institutionalized Elderly; Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Chairman, Emergency Medicine, SJHS; Karen Stutzer, Executive Director, Critical Care and Medical/Surgical Nursing, Chilton Hospital; and Deborah Quinn-Martone, Administrator, SVNH.
"St. Joseph's understands the importance of advanced care planning and individualized end-of-life care that is well-coordinated and designed to promote the quality of life, address the preferences, and meet the unique needs of each patient – mind, body and spirit," stated Mr. McDonald. "St. Joseph's has developed successful innovative integrated models of care that effectively address our patients' end-of-life needs, such as our Life Sustaining Management and Alternatives program initiated in our ED and our award-winning geropalliative AgeWISE program. POLST is a valuable element of end-of-life related discussions and care planning."