Patient Care

palliative care Gets National ‘Gold Seal’ Certification

Oct. 8, 2019
palliative care team huddles on the palliative care inpatient unit at Strong Memorial Hospital

The palliative care Program at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital has earned its fourth Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for palliative care Certification.

The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality awarded to programs that demonstrate, through a rigorous onsite review, their commitment to and compliance with rigorous national quality standards, clinical practice guidelines, and performance improvement activities in palliative and hospice care.

“We are delighted to receive our fourth recertification in Advanced palliative care from The Joint Commission,” said Robert K. Horowitz, M.D., chief of the Division of palliative care at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital. “This recognizes yet again our amazing team of palliative care clinicians who offer their healing presence to our patients and families; educators who by lecture and by example teach expert palliative care skills and knowledge to others; researchers and quality improvement experts who help us do this vital work ever better; and our administrators and clerical staff who coordinate and choreograph our complicated program. Reaccreditation celebrates this diverse team’s extraordinary synergy in providing the best possible care to our community’s most seriously ill patients at their time of greatest need.”

joint commission gold seal

The palliative care program’s mission is to ensure the best possible quality of life for seriously ill patients and their families through excellent clinical care, comprehensive education, compassionate support, innovative research, and ongoing performance improvement.

The program team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, patient care technicians, researchers, social workers, chaplains, music practitioners, massage therapists, a bereavement coordinator, an administrator and clerical staff. The clinical team cares for patients in the hospital, the office, and patients’ homes, where the focus of care is management of pain and other symptoms, emotional and spiritual support, and guidance in clarifying goals of care.

Through Strong’s program, URMC was the nation’s first academic medical center to achieve Advanced Certification for palliative care when the Joint Commission launched it in the Fall of 2011, and has maintained its high standards to earn recertification every two years since.