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Member Spotlight: CSU Institute for Palliative Care

More than 90 million Americans are currently living with serious illness, a number expected to double in the next 25 years. The need for palliative care – and thus palliative care training – is only going to grow.

The CSU Institute for Palliative Care offers medical professionals around the world training to overcome the most pressing challenges in serious illness care. Based in the California State University system, which boasts an unparalleled history of innovation, interdisciplinary academic qualifications, and leadership committed to improving quality, the Institute has trained more than 8,600 healthcare professionals through online and in-person programs; its network of CSU campus partners have educated more than 9,000 future professionals and reached more than 10,000 community members across California since inception.

In October 2017, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced that it would fund palliative care education for qualified Medi-Cal providers as part of the implementation of the state’s Senate Bill 1004, which made California the first state to add palliative care to services offered under a Medicaid managed care plan. Based on its track record of offering high-quality, effective, convenient, and economical palliative care education, the CSU Institute for Palliative Care was chosen by DHCS to train Medi-Cal providers in this new set of services. Now, the Institute aims to apply its experience outside California by partnering with other states working to reform their Medicaid programs or expand palliative care services.

“We’re ready to begin at any time,” said Jennifer Moore Ballentine, Executive Director of the Institute. “Palliative care enhances quality of life, expands therapeutic solutions, and reduces costs — everybody wins.”

In addition to instructor-led certificate courses for all palliative care disciplines, the CSU Institute for Palliative Care offers the Essential Palliative Care Skills for Every Clinician series.

“We’ll never have enough specialty-trained palliative care providers to meet the need,” says Ballentine, “Palliative care has to start in the primary care setting.”

Designed by an expert taskforce of experienced palliative and primary care providers, the Essential Skills program offers clinicians in any setting a convenient and immediately applicable set of tools that help them identify patients who could benefit from palliative care, understand the role of palliative care at every stage of the care continuum, and improve their ability to manage symptoms and communicate with their patients about difficult subjects. Moreover, the course emphasizes whole-person care, meaning advance care planning, psychosocial and spiritual care, and cultural sensitivity are integral components of the curriculum throughout the self-paced 34-content hours.

Learn more about CSU Institute for Palliative Care and its full catalog of courses here.

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