Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center's fully-renovated 9-bed Palliative Care Unit is specially designed to provide relief to those suffering from pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. With pain and symptoms under control, patients can maintain their strength and quality of life throughout their illness. The contemporary and comforting unit is located on the 4th Floor of the Good Samaritan Building on the main campus of Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.
Understanding Palliative Care
Palliative care is provided with one goal in mind – to relieve the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. It is available at any time during an illness, and is often provided while patients are receiving treatments designed to cure them. This makes it different from Hospice Care, which offers pain and symptom relief to those who are at the end of life and are no longer seeking treatment.
Relieving Pain and Symptoms
Meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients is at the heart of everything we do. To help our patients feel better and maintain their strength during their illness, our palliative care team works with your family doctor and other specialists to provide:
- Pain management
- Relief from symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or shortness of breath
- Massage therapy
- Stress management
- Family and caregiver support
We also serve as patient advocates, taking the time to talk with patients and families about their needs and helping them navigate today’s complex health care environment.
Receiving Palliative Care
Our team is focused on relieving pain and symptoms associated with any serious illness. In addition to cancer, this can include heart disease, lung ailments, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and multiple sclerosis. Patients can receive palliative care at any time during their illness – even as soon as a diagnosis has been made.
Your doctor or another specialist can refer you to our program. Talk with them about how our palliative care team can provide that extra level of care to help you through your illness.
Palliative Care at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
Our Palliative Care Unit includes nine private rooms, decorated in calming colors and equipped with comfortable sleeper sofa beds so that family members can stay with loved ones. Personal CD and DVD players in each room give patients the freedom to relax to soothing music or watch their own movies. Patients and families can also take advantage of a new massage chair, internet access in our family gathering space and in-room wireless internet service.
Compassionate care is provided under the medical direction of Donald Ratchford, MD, with full-time support from a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) who coordinates and oversees a personalized care plan for each patient. Together, they work other physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, home health professionals and spiritual leaders to provide relief to those suffering from pain and debilitating symptoms.
Click here for patient letters about the Palliative Care Unit
To learn more about palliative care, visit these online resources:
Center to Advance Palliative Care
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine
For more information, please contact us at:
The Palliative Care Unit
Good Samaritan Building, 4th Floor
Memorial Medical Center
1086 Franklin Street
Johnstown, PA 15905
(814)534-1800 or (814)-534-1812