Building an Optimal Healing Environment in Hospice and Palliative Care

Press Contact:Doug

Alexandria, Va. - September  24, 2015

Samueli Institute, in partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), is inviting innovative practices to join a nine month breakthrough collaborative, “Optimal Healing Environments in Hospice and Palliative Care.” The collaborative intends to transform the experience of care for patients and caregivers by evolving current palliative care practices. Led by an expert faculty, participants will focus on new ideas to reduce suffering and improve quality of life for patients with advanced illness and their caregivers, preparing providers for the demand swell of aging baby-boomers, and meeting ever-changing reimbursement standards.  

The need for this collaborative, focused on holistic comprehensive hospice and palliative care in the home environment, has never been greater. With a 74 percent increase in the number of patients served by hospice and palliative care in the last 10 years, and as 42 percent of the U.S adult population are baby boomers approaching retirement, the need for palliative care and home hospice supportive services is escalating.

“The collaborative provides an incredible opportunity for hospice organization to focus on how to implementpractices to mindfully create healing environments for the patients and their families they serve,” states NHPCO Senior Director of Access and Chair of the Samueli Institute collaborative Gwynn Sullivan.  “In essence, from attending the collaborative, hospices can return their attention back to the roots of healing from which they began.”     

Participating organizations will be at the forefront of change as they collectively implement best practices in the home environment, such as specific pain relief measures that can be deployed by anyone. Additional improvements include addressing caregiver fatigue and burnout, reduction of pain, anxiety, dyspnea and helplessness; reducing ER admissions and associated costs; and pay-for-performance challenges.

“Making small changes can be challenging; achieving breakthroughs even more so, but there are factors that can lead to success,” explained Samueli Institute President and CEO Wayne B. Jonas, MD. “Our breakthrough collaborative offers technical expertise, intensive coaching, and peer engagement to improve outcomes and prepare for the future of the industry.”

Through shared learning in a “breakthrough collaborative,” a methodology created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, teams from a variety of organizations work together to rapidly test and implement best practices that lead to lasting improvement.

Samueli Institute is currently accepting applications to join the breakthrough collaborative. Participating organizations will be asked to pay a fee and cover travel costs to in-person meetings in Alexandria, Virginia and scholarships may be available. More information is available at

About Samueli Institute:

Samueli Institute is a non-profit research organization supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes and their role in medicine and health care. Founded in 2001, the Institute is advancing the science of healing worldwide. Samueli Institute’s research domains include integrative medicine, optimal healing environments, the role of the mind in healing, behavioral medicine, health care policy, and military and veterans’ health care. Our mission is to create a flourishing society through the scientific exploration of wellness and whole-person healing. 

About NHPCO:

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is the oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. The organization is committed to improving end-of-life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones.