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Published on February 12, 2013

Palliative Care Physicians Achieve Certification

Congratulations to Drs. Merryn Jolkovsky, Jeff Carlson and Paula Lindhorst for achieving board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Certification by ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 19 subspecialties for more than 75 years.

Certification is a rigorous, comprehensive program for evaluating physician knowledge, skills and attitudes to assure patients, employers and payers that a physician has achieved competence for practice in a given field. This certification indicates that a physician has gone beyond the minimum requirement necessary for licensure to provide optimum care.

Dr. Carlson serves as the Medical Director for St. Cloud Hospital Hospice in addition to his practice at St. Cloud Hospital Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Clinic. Drs. Jolkovsky and Lindhorst provide Palliative Care consults to St. Cloud Hospital inpatients and outpatients at the Coborn Cancer Center and Internal Medicine at CentraCare Clinic - Riverside Campus. Patients with advanced chronic illness, multiple co-morbidities, and significant symptom burden are appropriate patients for this service. Palliative Care works with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure coordinated care delivery.

About Palliative Care

The physician-led Palliative Care service is entering its fourth year providing inpatient Palliative Care consults at St. Cloud Hospital. Each year has seen in increase in the number of patients referred. 410 patients were seen in 2010, 478 in 2011, and 578 in 2012.

Palliative care specializes in the relief of pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. And, it may be given at the same time as curative treatment.

Palliative care aims to relieve symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. It helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments. Overall, palliative care offers patients support for decision making and comfort related to quality of life during their illness.

About Hospice

Hospice provides comfort and dignity and respects human life from beginning to end for patients who have a six month or less life expectancy and are accepting of comfort care.

Hospice uses the combined specialties of a team of health care professionals to assist patients in the final stages of life. The focus of care is the patient and family as a unit. The hospice team includes: the patient's physician, nurses, social workers, chaplain, hospice volunteers, massage therapists, home health aides and rehabilitation therapy, as needed.

Goals of Hospice

  • Holistic pain and symptom management
  • Compassionate emotional and spiritual support
  • Education
  • Support and respite for caregivers
  • Grief and bereavement follow-up

For more information call Inpatient Palliative Care at 656-7117 or St. Cloud Hospital Home Care & Hospice home-based palliative care at (320) 259-9375.

Media Contact

Communications Department

320-251-2700, ext. 74980

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