2016 Mission Report

Learn how the Supportive Care Coalition is bridging the gaps in palliative care with innovative connections in this PDF of our 2016 Mission Report.

Palliative Care: A Hallmark of Catholic Health Care – Key Messages for Health Care Ministry Leaders

As a “hallmark” is seen as a mark of quality, palliative care is a hallmark of Catholic health care, intrinsically linked to Catholic mission and values. It embodies our commitment to provide compassionate, high quality, patient- and family-centered care for the chronically ill and dying by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Read our Key Messages for Health Care Ministry Leaders.

SCC Spirituality in Goals of Care Conversations 10 Stages and Tools

The Supportive Care Coalition’s Spirituality in Goals of Care pilot project was designed to embed spirituality into palliative care practice, placing greater focus on identifying spiritual strengths and addressing sources of suffering, and emphasizing that spiritual care is the responsibility of every palliative care team member. It is important to acknowledge and attend to the spiritual life of the patient, the individual practitioner and the interdisciplinary palliative care team. The project engaged twenty palliative care teams in  “learning communities” to implement new team-based practices focused on specific stages of the Goals of Care Conversation to develop team culture and introduce specific behaviors.  Access to our new publication “Honoring the Spiritual Dimension of Palliative care” will be available in the coming months.  This publication includes a guide and tools which offer suggested scripting with an emphasis on listening deeply for the patient’s underlying spiritual concerns, as well as building upon their spiritual strengths and resources to inform their goals of care and treatment choices.

Palliative Sedation Talking Points – St. Joseph Health / Supportive Care Coalition

What are Palliative Sedation Practices?  Palliative sedation practices refers to a spectrum of interventions where sedation medications are used to relieve the physical pain and/or distress of a dying patient in the last hours or days of their life. Many times it is initiated at the patient’s request. Sedation is usually implemented by means of an infusion of a sedative drug. It is an option of last resort to address “intractable symptoms” (Dyspnea [gasping for breath], Nausea, vomiting, other forms of intolerable pain) A key distinction between this practice and that of euthanasia is that the direct goal of supported sedation practices in palliative care is to address the intractable symptoms of patients and not to hasten the death of the patient. Click here to read this document.

POLST Talking PointsCatholic – Catholic Health Association / Supportive Care Coalition

What is POLST?  POLST stands for “Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment.” It is a tool for translating a patient’s goals for treatment into an actionable medical order within the context of advance care planning. It standardizes the way in which the health care professional prescribes a plan of care in a visible way that is portable among health care institutions, rather than focusing on standardizing the patient’s communicating his or her treatment preferences by means of an advance directive. Click here to read this document.

SCC Member St. Joseph Health Launches Website to Start Conversations about Advance Care Planning

As a health care system dedicated to caring for people – mind, body, and spirit – St. Joseph Health recognizes its responsibility to help patients, their families and their community to hold courageous conversations around care preferences.  To meet this need, St. Joseph Health has created The Center for Advance Care Planning and Advocacy to engage its community and health care providers in conversations around care preferences. The goal is to help ensure that patients receive the right care, at the right time and that this whole person care aligns with their individual values, goals and priorities.  Learn more by visiting the new website,

Quick Links to Palliative Care Resources

View our Quick Links document for immediate access to national organizations that support palliative and end-of-life care.