After 20 years of caring for families at Pueblo Community Health Center, Dr. Rona Knudsen embraces her role as InnovAge PACE’s Center Medical Director, helping vulnerable older adults in the community. <br />
Providing Comfort, Care, and More
October 26, 2020
The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
“With palliative care, seniors and their family caregivers engage early on in conversations with their medical team about their care goals. It allows us to support them in enhancing and maintaining their quality of life,” says Dr. Lubna Sorathia, medical director at InnovAge’s PACE center in Denver, Colorado.
“Palliative care can be provided at the same time we are treating a disease,” explains Dr. Sorathia. “When curative treatments are no longer helping, palliative care can shift to focusing on comfort care or transition to hospice.” Hospice care is usually offered during the last phase of an incurable illness.
Palliative Care at InnovAge
InnovAge has a team of providers trained and certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) by the American Board of Medical Specialties. “We now have great and enthusiastic providers involved in the program,” says Dr. Sorathia, who helped launch the program.
Over the last year, the program has expanded to Colorado PACE centers in Aurora, Denver, Lakewood, and Thornton. It will soon launch in Northern Colorado and Pueblo, where staff is currently being trained. The program will then be implemented at InnovAge’s PACE center in Roanoke, Virginia.
The new palliative care program aligns with the recertification of InnovAge’s Colorado PACE centers as Patient-Centered Medical Homes. That designation demonstrates InnovAge’s commitment to providing quality, patient-centered care.
“As a physician with InnovAge, my primary goal is to support the seniors we serve by providing them the best possible medical care – this includes improving their quality of life. I’m so proud of InnovAge for supporting our efforts to bring additional structure and focus to our palliative care program,” says Dr. Sorathia.