Ivy Creek Healthcare is expanding its palliative care services through its newest facility, Ivy Creek Palliative Care.
A ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday for Ivy Creek Palliative Care, which is located on the Elmore Community Hospital campus at 500 Hospital Drive in Suite B. The suite sits next door to Ivy Creek Family Care of Wetumpka.
Nurse practitioner Leslie Pendergrass said palliative care is specialized care provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers, religious/spiritual advisors and other professionals. The team works together to manage the symptoms of a patient’s illness.
“Our goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life,” Pendergrass said. “We discuss the symptoms causing distress and we come up with a plan to alleviate those symptoms.”
Ivy Creek Palliative Care manager Linda Segrest said there’s often some confusion about the difference between palliative care and hospice care.
“Palliative care is similar to hospice care, but they are not the same,” she said. “Palliative care can start at the time of diagnosis and can continue while the patient is undergoing curative treatment. It’s for people with a serious or chronic illness. We focus on making you feel better while you get better.”
A palliative care program may treat pain, depression, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, constipation, sleep issues, anxiety, can ease the side effects of treatments and many other symptoms.
Palliative care patients can be seen at the clinic, at home or a long-term care facility.
“You do need to ask your health care provider for palliative care,” nurse practitioner Christina Allen added. “A referral from a provider is necessary.”
Hospice care is specifically for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. Segrest said hospice care becomes available when the patient no longer has curative options or has chosen not to pursue treatment.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis expressed his appreciation for Ivy Creek Healthcare.
“I really appreciate Ivy Creek and what you all are doing to meet the needs of the community,” Willis said.
Ivy Creek Healthcare CEO Mike Bruce thanked the crew at Ivy Creek Palliative Care and employees throughout the Ivy Creek network for their hard work.
“What an amazing crew that’s stepped up to help during these uncertain times,” Bruce said. “I can’t say thank you enough.”