Nurse-Led Rural COPD Palliative Care Education Model
Current models of rural, community-based palliative care are scarce resulting in gaps of care for patients facing serious illnesses such as COPD. As the US third leading cause of morbidity and mortality, COPD remains an unrecognized, challenging epidemic, particularly in rural and Appalachian regions. Palliative care leaders need to be advocates to reduce health disparities of rural inequity and marginalization. Using this model, Dr. Fasolino delivers educational modules and coaching strategies to rural primary care clinicians equipping them with the skills to improve COPD care management for patients and caregivers in rural South Carolina. Additionally, this project engages policymakers and legislators through regularly, planned interactions building relationships to redirect resources to these marginalized communities. This model of care delivery, known as embedded palliative care (ePC), serves as an important step in addressing health disparities and rural inequities. Transforming rural COPD through embedding palliative care into primary care has the potential to alter the course of suffering for patients and caregivers burdened by this debilitating disease.