Hospice of Stanly introduces palliative care

Published 4:34 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

Hospice of Stanly announces it has added palliative care services to its compassionate care program. Palliative care aims to ease pain and manage symptoms for any serious illness.

Unlike hospice care, palliative care is not intended solely for end-of-life patients. While hospice care aims to manage symptoms in patients who have decided not to pursue a cure and have a life expectancy of six months or less, palliative care patients can pursue curative treatments while their pain and symptoms are being managed. Palliative care is a good fit for anyone suffering from a disease that interferes with quality of life or is causing psychosocial or financial burden.

“Our agency is pleased to offer palliative care to those in our community who are suffering from serious illness,” Hospice of Stanly Executive Director Lori Thayer said. “I believe our community can truly benefit from providing patients with a service that puts their goals and decisions first. Palliative care makes a positive difference to both the patient and their families by helping them to understand current and potential treatment plans and provide pain and symptom control to improve their quality of life.”

Ashley Wiltcher, NP, will lead the palliative care program.

She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with her BSN in 2007, University of Cincinnati with her MSN in 2016 and University of Alabama Birmingham with her DNP in 2020.

She has worked with adult and geriatric patients since she began her nursing career in 2007. Her background includes skilled nursing care, home health, case management, hospice and primary care.

“Nearly everyone with a serious illness would be reluctant to leave their current healthcare provider,” said Wiltcher. “I would never ask you to leave your doctor. My role is to visit and help manage your symptoms. Consider me an extra layer of support on your healthcare team. I will work collaboratively with your current provider to keep you comfortable between visits with your provider.”

“Hospice of Stanly has been providing compassionate care to our community for more than 40 years. I’m delighted that our agency has been able to expand our service continuum to include palliative care – a beneficial service much needed by the community we serve,” added Thayer. “Many thanks to our board of directors for their leadership and guidance through the recent challenges while continuing to meet to focus on meeting the changing needs of patients in the area.”