Children’s Specialized Hospital celebrates second graduating cohort of its Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Children’s Specialized Hospital recently celebrated the second graduating cohort of the Pediatric Palliative Care Anchor Training Program at a symposium on June 5 and 6 at McLoone’s Pier in Long Branch The cohort consists of 35 clinicians, social workers, and chaplains who completed the year-long training program which focuses on pediatric palliative care best practices.

The symposium featured presentations of 13 top projects from the cohort focused on topics such as quality of life, symptom management, patient and family centered care, and care treatment pathways. Additionally, a “Social Determinants of Health” panel featuring Drs. Robert Graebe, Margaret Fisher, Jonathan Teitelbaum, Kirby Rekedal and Sylvia Jabobs was presented.

“Palliative care is much more than just end-of-life care. It is emotional care, physical care, spiritual care, and it is our mission as providers to focus on the quality of life of the children and families in palliative care programs first and foremost,” Colin O’Reilly, vice president and chief medical officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital said. “With that being said, providers must be equipped to deal with the many emotions, turns, and rewards that come with being a pediatric palliative care provider. Through the Anchor Training Program, providers learn how to provide valuable care for their patients and their families.”

Under the leadership of its experts, RWJBarnabas Health’s Anchor Training Program serves as a national model for creating designated care pathways and improving the quality of life for children with complex needs. The program allows providers to expand their pediatric palliative care skills by sharing techniques with one another, improving symptom management skills, adopting new best practices, and improving family support service skills.

Intending to increase the number of providers trained in pediatric palliative care and expand techniques in pediatric palliative care, the Anchor Training Program has now graduated two cohorts of pediatric palliative care professionals, totaling 82 providers.

The Anchor team is set to open enrollment for Cohort three in the fall, which will include participants from across the RWJBH system and have an anticipated graduation in 2024.