Nearly 2,000 Washingtonians are employed providing hospice care, but more are needed to keep up with growing demand. If passed, PCHETA includes valuable workforce training provisions to help our state meet the growing need for quality care for vulnerable individuals at the end of life. We're counting on Sen. Murray and her history as a champion of workforce development and skills training for support that would be in line with her continued efforts to keep our state’s workforce strong.
Palliative care provides patients facing serious illness relief from pain, symptoms and mental stress. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 2010 citing that patients who received palliative care quickly after a diagnosis experienced less frequent depression and had a better quality of life than others who did not receive palliative care.
Hospice and palliative care professionals in Washington also consistently provide emotional and spiritual support and family services like respite care and bereavement counseling. Forty-two percent of the Medicare deaths in the state happen under hospice care. These patients and their families rely on a supportive and dignified end of life hospice provides.
The House recently passed this important bill, and it’s time for the Senate to do the same. On behalf of those who need this type of care and their families, as well as the hardworking Washingtonians who provide compassionate care every day, I respectfully encourage Sen. Murray to support this legislation and work with her colleagues to move this bill through the Senate.