Southeast Georgia Health System is pleased to announce the recent expansion
of its palliative care services. Palliative Medicine is specialized treatment
for people with chronic or serious illness and has become the fastest-growing
medical specialty in the United States. John Shaner, M.D., medical director
of the Health System’s Palliative Care Center, explains that palliative
care is focused on providing comfort and support to patients living with
a serious illness at any stage in their disease management.
The Health System has partnered with Golden Isles Palliative Care to offer
inpatient consultations and establish the new outpatient Palliative Care
Center on the Brunswick Campus to help patients navigate their diagnosis,
prognosis and treatment options related to serious illness.
“While pain and symptom management is a critical component of palliative
care, the bigger picture focuses on communication about achievable goals
and care coordination across clinical settings,” says Shaner, board-certified
hospice and palliative medicine physician.
Palliative care is an added layer of care for patients and their families
through education, support and treatment of disease symptoms to help maintain
quality of life. Palliative care is not one size fits all. It is different
for every patient, whether it is pain relief from disease symptoms, stress
relief, caregiver and social support, or simply information to make decisions
Palliative care includes having conversations with patients and their families
to better understand who they are, what they want to achieve, and connect
them with the options available to help them reach those goals. Shaner
explains that “palliative care can happen anytime, or intermittently,
along the continuum of care to provide the patient symptom and support
management. It can include multiple forms of support including medical,
spiritual or social--such as transportation, housing, food and visitation.
Care is directed by the patient’s goals, resulting in greater satisfaction
Shaner is passionate about the benefits of palliative care. He has been
at the forefront of the expanding palliative care movement, pioneering
an in-patient palliative care consulting service at Genesis Healthcare
System in Zanesville, Ohio. He is a member of the American Academy for
Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a certified trainer in Education in
Palliative and End of Life Care, a program of the Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine. He has given over 40 presentations to date
for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, clergy, social service professionals
and other ancillary staff.
Appointments at the Palliative Care Center are made following a physician
referral. The Palliative Care Center is located in the Outpatient Care
Center on the Health System’s Brunswick Campus. For more information,
please call 912-466-5190.