The Peaceful Presence Project
Improving Rural Access to Palliative Care with Community Health Workers (CHWs)
In the twenty-six rural or frontier counties in Oregon, many patients travel hundreds of miles for a visit with an oncologist or specialist and may or may not see a palliative care team. Community-based palliative support delivered by CHWs is a solution to ensure equitable care for rural residents living with serious or terminal illness. With this nurse-led project I will develop and deliver continuing education for CHWs that prepares them to provide early palliative support in the rural communities where they live: connecting clients with resources, engaging in advance care planning and end-of-life planning conversations, and ensuring adequate caregiver support from diagnosis through the end of life. Curriculum will include principles of palliative care and aspects of the end-of-life doula model of care. CHWs will be part of a referral hub directly connecting them to clients in their communities.