Tri-City Herald (Sunday) - - Opin­ion - Gary Castillo is Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Chap­laincy Health Care in the Tri-Cities.

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.

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