Since serious illness remains one of the biggest challenges we face in the healthcare realm, high level North Carolina health care professionals have been continuously working to address the obstacles, gaps and challenges that the ‘seriously ill’ population, their caregivers, and the health care systems faces.
To help address these challenges, The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM), in partnership with agencies and organizations that provide care and advocacy around issues of aging, palliative care, hospice care, and long-term supports and services, convened a Task Force on Serious Illness Care in 2019-20. The North Carolina Serious Illness Coalition was then created to advance the recommendations made in the Task Force’s final report, published in July.
This article, published by North Carolina Health news, interviewed Catherine Sevier, state AARP president; Michelle Ries, associate director, North Carolina Institute of Medicine; and Dr. Laura Patel, chief medical officer, Transitions LifeCare, an organization offering hospice and palliative care services in the Triangle area and beyond. These three top healthcare professional addressed concerns regarding how one defines ‘serious illness’, the changes in end-of life care during a pandemic, and the change that are needed moving forward.