Building Workforce Resilience for Hospice and Palliative Care Providers

Helping ensure clinicians have what they need to provide all people everywhere access to the best medical care.

By Guest Byline: Elizabeth Burpee MD
Building Workforce Resilience for Hospice and Palliative Care Providers
The impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been devastating to our health care system.  Hospice and Palliative (HPC) organizations and their health care teams, especially those in rural areas, are struggling.  Many of these compassionate medical professionals and caregivers, who were already working at capacity, have been pushed to the point of exhaustion as they try to develop new protocols for treating patients, incorporate telehealth services and maintain cohesion for distraught families navigating the impact of this devastating illness.

Recognizing the unique personal and professional challenges that the pandemics has presented to health care providers, Cambia Health Foundation partnered with Four Seasons in Flat Rock, NC, Four Seasons-The Care You Trust in the Southeast and the Providence Health System to implement a new training/support model, ECHO HPM CARES (Hospice and Palliative Medicine COVID-19 Action and Resilience Education Support). 
“I have had the privilege of attending these ECHO HPM CARES sessions since June and have found them to be a lifeline for me as a palliative care nurse. The speakers and interactive opportunities have provided new tools useful in our inpatient consultation service and have also served as affirmation to the challenges we face and solutions we have previously implemented as a palliative care team.
Thank you for this ongoing opportunity to be a part of the ECHO HPM CARES community.”
— ECHO HPM CARES community member

Using and adapting the ECHO model (developed by ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico)  which stresses the importance of serving the underserved, we hope to help ensure all people everywhere have access to the best medical care. Offered to hospice and palliative care interdisciplinary teams in the SE and Pacific NW, the project provides resources and opportunities for clinicians to connect virtually with field leaders and with one another to share stories.  In addition, the two clinical geographic hub sites (SE and NW), with two cohorts per hub - one cohort for palliative care team members and one for hospice team members, works to:

  • Create and support a virtual community of hospice and palliative care providers across the country-with a strong focus on provider and patient care issues pertinent to the COVID19 pandemic
  • Offer a response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our hospice and palliative care communities using videoconferencing, workshops, interactive sessions and patient-case consultations
  • Bring to the fore the opportunity, created by the synergistic pandemics of racism and COVID19, to resolve health inequities through anti-racism and antidiscrimination work, education and research
  • Share expert advice on caring for patients with COVID19 and to assist with patient care questions
  • Build provider resilience skillsets through education and discussion
  • Provide new ideas for enhanced advanced communication skills in this new telehealth era
Interested in learning more and joining one of the cohorts please contact