Mount Sinai’s Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute was honored with the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Circle of Life Award during a recent ceremony held in San Diego, California. The award, which spotlighted Mount Sinai’s innovative palliative care and end-of-life programs, was accepted by R. Sean Morrison, MD, who is Director of the Institute and the National Palliative Care Research Center, and Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“This year’s honorees exemplify the best in health care—providing compassionate care and helping patients and families facing complex health challenges,” says Richard Umbdenstock, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AHA. “These innovative programs address critical needs so that patients can manage their health and live as fully as possible. They also reflect the needs of their communities as they provide the best care possible for those they serve.”
In making the announcement, the Circle of Life Award Committee said that it “was particularly impressed with the integration of palliative care and physician support throughout the medical center, interdisciplinary teams with strong nursing leadership, and emphasis on primary palliative care.” The committee also noted the Institute’s “complementary therapies and bereavement support that are more expansive than those provided by most hospitals and academic medical centers,” as well as its research and educational initiatives. Circle of Life nominations were reviewed by an AHA committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work, and health administration.
“Since its inception in 1997, Mount Sinai’s Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute has grown dramatically and now encompasses a broad array of clinical, educational, and research activities,” says Dr. Morrison. “I was privileged to accept this award on behalf of the dedicated specialists on our interdisciplinary consultation team and our inpatient Palliative Care Unit. These expert physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, and licensed massage, art, and music therapists help patients and families establish goals, make decisions, manage symptoms, and maintain the best possible quality of life throughout the course of an illness and across the settings where they receive care.”