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St. Louis University Hospital names VNA of Greater St. Louis Palliative Care Training Site; Partners



(St. Louis, MO)…Saint Louis University Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship Program, led by Physician, Dr. Oscar Cepeda, has named Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis an approved test site for SLU’s innovative fellowship program in palliative medicine. In the past year, VNA of Greater St. Louis launched its Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program to focus on patients with difficulty leaving home due to serious chronic illness as well as their caregiver to help prevent and relieve physical, emotional, social and spiritual suffering to enhance the patient’s quality of life.

“With VNA’s AIM program, fellows in our program get the unique opportunity to work alongside the advanced illness management team to learn and to practice palliative medicine,” said Dr. Cepeda. “This unique program in St. Louis complements SLU’s training.” Fellows in SLU’s Palliative Medicine Program have completed their residency training in Internal Medicine before beginning the one-year fellowship program.

SLU palliative medicine fellows will do a rotation with VNA’s AIM team, a team that includes VNA Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mary Fox, AIM Nurse Practitioner, Deborah Jeffery, MBA, RN, NP-C, and others, such as a social worker and spiritual counselor. Additionally, VNA’s AIM team and fellows work together with the patient’s Primary Care Provider (PCP), who remains at the center of directing the patient’s medical care.

“We started our AIM program a little over a year ago,” said VNA of Greater St. Louis President and CEO, Nesa Joseph, Ed.D. “We have experienced tremendous success in the care provided to chronically and seriously ill patients in our service.”

Patients and their caregivers in the program gain the management of symptoms at home, wherever “home” is defined. The program prepares patients and their caregivers for transitions related to severe chronic illness, whether the outcome is a return to fully independent living or preparation for a transition to end-of-life care.

Two SLU fellows started their rotation in October.

About Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis

Since 1911, the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis has been recognized as a trusted leader for excellence in community healthcare, bringing its skilled care to thousands of families in the region. Today, VNA of Greater St. Louis continues to be one of the region’s few community-based, nonprofit providers of wellness services for individuals and corporations, vaccinations for all ages, private duty care for seniors and people that need personal assistance, palliative care and hospice care.

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