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Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence










The Palliative Care Center of Excellence at the University of Washington was launched in 2012 with the goal of giving every patient with serious illness access to high-quality palliative care focused on relieving symptoms, maximizing quality of life and ensuring care that concentrates on patients’ goals. Interprofessional teams of nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and doctors must work together to meet the complex medical, emotional and spiritual needs of seriously ill patients and their loved ones, and these teams need support and resources. The goal of the newly renamed Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, directed by J. Randall Curtis, M.D., MPH, is to see that palliative care has an integral and prominent role in healthcare — regionally, nationally and internationally — for seriously ill patients and their families.


About Cambia Health Foundation


Based in Portland, Ore., Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate Foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. Founded in 2007, Cambia Health Foundation awards grants in three program areas: Palliative Care, Transforming Health Care and Children’s Health. The Foundation has funded just over $29 million in grants to support these causes. Cambia Health Foundation’s investments in palliative care advance patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.
Learn more at



What is Palliative Care?


  • Palliative (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness — whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
  • Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
  • Palliative care addresses a patient's physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice.
  • There is a significant need to increase, enhance and support the palliative care workforce on a national level. Today, there is approximately one palliative care medical professional for every 1,200 people facing serious illness. And, as the baby boomer population ages, there will be a greatly increased need for palliative care both for patients and their families.



What Will the Cambia Palliative Care
Center of Excellence Do?


VIDEO: UW Medicine Palliative Care

Drs. Randy Curtis, Tony Back and Caroline Hurd describe palliative care and how it has transformed the lives of patients at UW Medicine Clinical Sites.


The mission of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence is to improve the palliative care received by patients with serious illness and their families and to provide support to clinicians caring for these patients. The center will help ensure that all patients and families are treated in a compassionate, respectful, individualized way by focusing on three interrelated areas:

  • Enhancing the palliative care programs at UW Medicine hospitals and providing tools and support to other institutions building palliative care programs;
  • Educating physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other clinicians, as well as students, in the art and science of providing thoughtful, expert palliative care; and
  • Conducting research and innovative pilot projects to improve our understanding of high-quality palliative care and how to deliver it to every patient with serious illness every time.


About the Cambia
Palliative Care Center of Excellence

Dr. Randy Curtis speaks about the progress of

Cambia  Palliative Care Center of Excellence




Cambia PCCE Awarded AHA Circle of Life

Upcoming Conference




The Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence has been awarded the American Hospital Association Circle of Life Award. The Circle of Life Award, now in its 17th year, celebrates programs across the nation that have made great strides in palliative and end-of lifecare.


The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider

organizations and individuals that are committed o the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information visit the website at


Expanding Dimensions in Hospice and Palliative Care

Featuring Keynote Speaker Mimi Pattison, MD

October 9-11, 2016

(Click on image below for registration and schedule information)

2016 Annual Meeting

Friday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Seattle Airport Marriott

The Washington End-of-Life Coalition 2016 Annual Meeting provides an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues from across the state who share an interest in end-of-life


Save the date!

Cambia PCCE Hosts 2nd Annual Metrics Summit

Cambia PCCE Members are invited to a one-day

stakeholder summit on

Palliative Care Quality Measurement


Date: Monday, November 7th, 2016

Time: 8 am to 4 pm

Location: Cambia Grove in Downtown Seattle


Sponsored by UW Medicine’s Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence (Cambia PCCE), Hutchinson Institute of Cancer Outcomes Research, Cambia Health Foundation, and Cambia Grove.


This meeting will focus on using quality measures to improve primary and specialty palliative care at health systems. We are inviting key stakeholders including clinicians, health systems administrators, health plans, healthcare purchasers, IT specialists, patient and family advocates, and others who are interested in palliative care quality initiatives to engage in discussion with us about the following topics:


1. What interventions are currently being developed or implemented to improve advance care planning and palliative care in our region, and how can these be expanded or strengthened?

2. How can healthcare purchasers, healthcare plans, clinicians, and patients work together to use palliative care metrics to improve the availability and quality of primary and specialty palliative care in our region?

3. What palliative care interventions are available for cancer care providers and their patients, and what are the next steps for adjusting, shaping, implementing and evaluating these interventions in new locales?


The goal of this meeting is to get broad input to identify metrics and programs that can be used to assess the quality of primary and specialty palliative care.


Please email with your contact information to register.


© 2012 - 2016 Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence