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Northwell’s community-based palliative home care program earns national recognition


Northwell Health's Home Care Network received the Joint Commission's Community-Based Palliative Care (CBPC) Certification for its Advanced Illness Program – only the second in New York State to achieve this distinction and among fewer than 20 organizations in the country to earn the honor.

The certification recognizes the organization's expertise in improving the quality of life for individuals who are facing serious illness and addressing the needs of their families and caregivers by providing essential home-based health services as well as emotional and spiritual support.

"Patients with advanced illness and their families often face significant gaps in care as they navigate a maze of medical and personal care services," said Merryl Siegel, senior vice president and regional executive director of post-acute services at Northwell Health. "Our clinicians recognized that patients receiving home care needed more support so we expanded our program to include a highly experienced team of health care specialists focused on geriatric, palliative and advanced illness care to better address the needs of some of our most vulnerable patients."

Northwell's Advanced Illness Program has cared for more than 2,000 patients over the last two years alone. In collaboration with the patient's physician, the interdisciplinary team and home care professionals develop a care plan that is consistent with the patient's treatment preferences and values. The team works closely with the geriatric and palliative care programs at the health system's hospitals including Hospice Care Network to help patients go from the hospital to their home, determining the most appropriate level of care and making all transitions of care as smooth as possible for patients and their families during a difficult time.

"The recent Joint Commission's certification for our community-based palliative home care program builds upon other national palliative care distinctions the health system has earned, continuing Northwell's leadership in this health care arena," said Maria Torroella Carney, MD, medical director of Post-Acute Services and chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at Northwell Health. "It's very exciting to see our program recognized for its excellence as well as the high degree of collaboration across the continuum."

For those patients who receive active treatment for their disease, the team – which includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, chaplains and primary care doctors – helps them manage their medically-complex conditions and offers support to their caregivers. "Our team utilizes clinical expertise to provide high-quality and compassionate care to patients with serious illness at home, no matter what stage of illness they are in," said Lori Ann Attivissimo, MD, senior medical director of Northwell Health Home Care Network.

Northwell Health was designated a Palliative Care Leadership Center in 2015 by the Center to Advance Palliative Care, one of only 11 hospitals and hospice programs in the country to receive this designation. In addition, four Northwell Health hospitals have received the Joint Commission's certification in palliative care: Long Island Jewish Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital and Huntington Hospital.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, over 550 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for more than two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and 3,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit