Homeland Palliative Care Enhances Continuum of Support


A hallmark of a successful organization is its ability to evolve to meet the needs of its community. For more than 156 years, Homeland Center has structured its programming to meet the needs of its patients and their families. In 2022, Homeland started offering palliative care, a new and valuable outreach service, to provide a greater continuum of care for its patients. The addition of palliative care services helps patients with a serious illness have a better quality of life.

Palliative care may be appropriate if a patient suffers from pain, stress or other symptoms due to a serious illness. These diseases may include cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), liver disease, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementia, stroke, HIV/Aids and other serious illnesses. Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on a specific diagnosis, and can be provided along with curative treatment.

The goal of palliative care is to reduce and eliminate symptoms such as pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

“Offering palliative care services is another critical line of support we can offer patients,” says Dr. David Wenner, Assistant Medical Director for Homeland Hospice. “This form of care often helps patients avoid emergency room visits due to uncontrolled symptoms and other issues related to the disease.”

Similar to Homeland’s other at-home services, palliative care can be administered any place a patient calls home. The convenience and comfort of receiving care at home has driven the demand for the creation of a palliative care program.

“For patients who are homebound because of a serious illness, this service brings them comfort,” says Hadiza Fox, a registered nurse practitioner at Homeland. “We provide our patients the highest quality of care in their personal space.”

“Each patient is unique and requires a personalized approach to care,” Dora Butler, a registered nurse practitioner at Homeland, adds. “The Homeland team works together, along with a patient’s other health care providers, to ensure that care is consistent, compassionate and individualized.”

In their roles with Homeland, Hadiza and Dora help patients with palliative care support. They work with each patient to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s medical condition as well as the needs of the family. They then set goals for the type of care needed to ensure the best quality of life possible.

Hadiza shares an example of when she met with a patient who was homebound and in significant pain. She evaluated the patient’s immediate need for symptom management and contacted the primary physician, pharmacy and insurance company. In one visit, she helped solve the patient’s immediate needs and addressed the ancillary concerns.

“I like to think we are the glue that holds the pieces of care together,” Hadiza says. “It is a privilege to help people when they need it most.”

Palliative care is sometimes mistaken for hospice care; however, they are not the same. Hospice care is provided at the end of life. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness and is often offered to patients at the same time they are receiving potentially life-prolonging or curative treatments. Palliative care does not prevent patients from receiving other healthcare services, treatments or procedures.

Palliative care also helps patients and families better understand an illness and assists with complex medical decision-making. Central to palliative care is that a patient’s care team fully understands the patient’s goals and values, so they can make the best care choices possible. Homeland’s Palliative Care team consists of board-certified nurse practitioners, a licensed social worker and a physician medical director.

For more information on Homeland’s Palliative Care program or to request a consultation, call (717) 857-7403.