Montana VA Health Care System
Palliative and Hospice Care
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized care focused on improving quality of life for seriously ill Veterans and their family/caregiver.
Who would benefit from Palliative Care?
Anyone with a progressive, serious, or life-limiting illness such as: lung disease, heart disease, neurological disease, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, and others.
The Palliative Care Service Includes:
- Pain and symptom management
- Emotional and spiritual support
- Coordination of care and communication between patients, families, physicians, and other healthcare providers
- Support for loved ones and caregivers
- Information on advanced care planning, including benefits and risks of life-sustaining and life extending measures
- Assistance with Advanced Directives and Physician Ordered Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
- Referrals to community resources
Palliative Medicine Consultation Includes:
- Assessment and management of physical symptoms
- Assisting Veterans identify personal goals for end-of-life care
- Assessment and management of psychological and spiritual needs
- Assessment of the Veterans support system
- Assessment of discharge planning issues when Veterans are hospitalized for life-limiting illnesses
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care focuses on providing comfort care not cure
Who Would Benefit From Hospice Care?
Anyone with a terminal illness, who has been told they have a limited life expectancy of 6 months or less
- Hospice Services Include:
- Provides individualized compassionate care centered on physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the Veteran and family members
- Provides a team of experts designed to meet the needs of Veterans with a terminal illness
- Provides a format for open discussion about your life experiences, fears, joys, life goals, and treatment plan
- Provides a goal of peace and quality of life for each day
- Provides emotional, spiritual, and bereavement support for families
What Types of Palliative/Hospice Care Do We Provide?
- Inpatient Care: available for Veterans living with a life-limiting illness who want a balance of comfort care along with curative interventions
- Respite Care: available for Veterans who's family/caregiver need a break. A total of 30 days in each calendar year is available
- Home Care: available in coordination with community agencies, for those Veterans who want to receive hospice care at home
- Community Nursing Home Benefit for End-Of-:Life Care: available in coordination with community nursing homes
- Inpatient consultation and follow-up by the Palliative Care team during hospitalization
For More Information, Contact:
Dawn Porte RN FNP-BC, Palliative Care Program Coordinator, Fort Harrison, 406-447-7019
Trena Bonde, MD, 406-447-6716
Blanche Reishus, RN-Continuum of Care Coordinator, 406-447-7622
DeEtta Hurt, RN-Continuum of Care Coordinator, 406-44707699
Terry Stephens, LCSW-Medical Social Worker, 406-447-7624
James Patterson, Chaplain, 406-447-7640
For Information at VAMT Miles City, contact:
Marielaine Hegel, LCSW-Medical Social Worker
We Promise to:
- Listen to you
- Respect your beliefs
- Honor your wishes
- Provide information and assure that you understand all of the choices available for your healthcare
- Connect you with quality healthcare professionals in the community
Advanced Directives: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/advancedirectives.html
Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors: http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp
Hospice Veteran Partnership: http://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/Guide/LongTermCare/Hospice_and_Palliative_Care.asp
State of Montana POLST: http://bsd.dli.mt.gov/license/bsd_boards/med_board/polst.asp
- VA Montana Health Care System
Hours of Operation
- Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm