The Supportive Care Coalition leverages its expertise and resources to be an influential leader for needed improvements in palliative care education, research, clinical practice and financing mechanisms. These advocacy efforts help ensure that the interests and concerns of those we serve are heard and advanced within the political process. We promote public policy that will improve and expand access to high-quality palliative care services which anticipate and address the physical, emotional and spiritual suffering of persons living with advanced serious illness.
We draw upon our distinct Catholic health care perspective in advancing palliative care, building advocacy partnerships with other health care organizations and strengthening our palliative care advocacy internally within member organizations.
Read our recent advocacy letters shown at right and our 2016 Mission Report to learn more about this work.
Catholic Health Association
We closely align our advocacy efforts with the Catholic Health Association.
Patient Quality of Life Coalition
The SCC is a member of the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC), which was formed to advance the interests of patients and families facing serious illness, including survivors, and includes more than 35 non-governmental organizations dedicated to improving quality of care and quality of life for these adults and children. This coalition has developed a consensus-based agenda aimed at promoting public policy that will improve and expand access to high quality palliative care. SCC joins PQLC and other national organizations in providing public comment and advocacy letters, shared at right.
SCC Assists in Planning The National Academies’ Recent Public Workshop on Palliative Care
The National Academies’ Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness hosted a public workshop on April 27, 2017 entitled Models and Strategies to Integrate Palliative Care Principles into Serious Illness Care.
The Supportive Care Coalition is an inaugural sponsor of this Roundtable. Board Member Bob Bergamini, MD serves as the Coalition’s representative and additionally, Board Members Bob Bergamini, MD and Sarah Hill are both members of the Roundtable’s workshop planning committee.
SCC Participates in PQLC Lobby Day 2016
Supportive Care Coalition Board of Directors Gregg VandeKieft, MD; Patty Peters, MD; Coalition Executive Director Tina Picchi; and Board Member MC Sullivan, attend PQLC Lobby Day to ask Congress for better access, education and research for palliative care by supporting the Palliative Care & Hospice Education and Training Act, H.R. 3119 / S. 2748.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Supportive Care Coalition Board member Bob Bergamini, MD, serves on behalf of the Coalition as a member of the academies’ Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness. During this three-year appointment supported by Mercy, Dr. Bergamini will be an instrumental and influential voice at the national level for our Catholic health care ministries as we strive to advance excellence in palliative care across the continuum of care.
Coalition’s Commitment in Response to Institute of Medicine’s Report and Update Presented at Progress Follow-up Meeting
The Supportive Care Coalition joined with 40 other organizations to publicly share their support and strategies around the recommendations of the IOM report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life. The Coalition has “…committed to the education and development of interdisciplinary palliative care teams and other leaders within Catholic health care based on the report’s identification of a problem with educational silos that impede the development of inter-professional teams…” Click here to read the commitment statements.
On May 23, the IOM hosted a meeting of organizations that had submitted commitment statements to Assess Progress in End-of-Life and Serious Illness Care in Washington, DC. The Coalition assessed its progress saying, “The IOM report identified a problem with educational silos that impede the development of inter-professional teams. SCC has made a particular commitment to inter-professional palliative care team education that develops the team’s ability to provide whole person care. Our webinar series draws upon the expertise of many palliative care disciplines to address professional practice gaps and educational needs identified in the IOM report. In the most recent 12 months, 2,525 health care professionals have participated…” Click here to read the Coalition’s entire assessment update.
Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act Bill Introduced to Senate
Known in Congress as the PCHETA Bill, H.R. 3119, this bill has was introduced to the U.S. Senate by sponsor Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on April 5. S. 2748 would amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, social work schools, and other programs, including physician assistant education programs, to promote education and research in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine. The Coalition has been working closely with the Patient Quality of Life Coalition to gain support of PCHETA.
National Pain Strategy Report Released
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services March 18 released a National Pain Strategy, outlining the federal government’s first coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans. Developed by a diverse team of experts from around the nation, the National Pain Strategy is a road map toward achieving a system of care in which all people receive appropriate, high quality and evidence-based care for pain. The Supportive Care Coalition signed a letter late in 2015 asking Secretary Burwell to release it quickly.
SCC and CAPC at PQLC
Supportive Care Coalition Board Chair Sarah Hetue Hill (center), and Executive Director Tina Picchi (right) review the 2015 CAPC State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation’s Hospitals with Diane Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care. The women were attending the Patient Quality of Life Coalition’s annual meeting in January in Washington, DC.