University of Vermont Health Network - CVPH Palliative Care

75 Beekman Street
Plattsburgh,  NY  12901

Our Palliative Care Consultation Service supports patients with serious illness by ensuring the care provided matches the patient's wishes while improving quality of life for both patients and their families.

Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of disease and treatment of serious illness.  You do not need a "terminal illness" to benefit from these services.  We can help navigate the medical system and with difficult decisions about care and treatments in the hospital.

Our coordinated Palliative Care Team can work with any patient in regard to:

  • Pain and symptom management
  • Emotional and spiritual support
  • Patient and family education
  • Information about community resources
  • Defining choices regarding medical care


We also work with discharge planners and case managers, social workers, other health care providers and outside agencies to facilitate care.

Ask your doctor to request a Palliative Care consult if you are interested in this service.

 

Palliative Care is Different Than Hospice Care

Many aspects of Palliative and Hospice Care overlap.  Palliative Care can begin at diagnosis, and be provided along with disease treatment. Hospice care begins when disease treatments are no longer effective.  Hospice is a program under Medicare and has specific criteria for qualification, one aspect of which is an expectation of a 6-month or less life expectancy.  Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of disease and treatment of the serious illness.

 

Advanced Care: Planning Terms You Should Know

Health Care Proxy is a form in which you appoint a trusted person (this person would be called your agent), to make your medical decisions if you’re unable to speak for yourself. 

The agent must be at least 18 years old, willing to be the agent and willing to follow your decisions, even if they don’t agree with them.  You should discuss your medical wishes with your agent.

If a health care proxy is not completed, New York State has a hierarchy of who would make your medical decisions.  This person is called a surrogate decision maker.  This hierarchy goes as follows:

  • A court appointed guardian
  • A spouse or domestic partner
  • An adult child
  • A parent
  • A brother or sister
  • A close friend

Please note that each state has its own set of laws and rules around advance directives, what is considered a “legal” document, and what is not.

Advanced Directives is a broad term that includes living wills, health care proxies and MOLST forms.  They’re a way of indicating what medical wishes you may, or may not have, in the event that you cannot speak for yourself.

MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatments) Form is a form with medical orders for certain treatments including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), do not resuscitate (DNR), intubation, use of a ventilator, do not intubate (DNI), feeding tubes, intravenous (IV) fluids and use of antibiotics.  These forms are completed with your physician.

Living Will is a document that can be used to state your medical wishes for health care in advance.  It can help guide your health care agent or surrogate decision maker in making your medical decisions.

 

Community Resources

Essex County Public Health
132 Water Street
Elizabethtown, NY 12932
(518) 873-3500

HCR
176 US Oval, Suite 3
Plattsburgh, NY 12903
(518) 310-0900

High Peaks Hospice & Pallative Care
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
(518) 891-9631

Hospice of the North Country
358 Tom Miller Road
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
(518) 561-8465

 

 

Additional Resources

New York State Bar Association www.nysba.org

The official MOLST website www.compassionandsupport.org

New York State Department of Health www.health.ny.gov

Get Palliative Care https://getpalliativecare.org