Tim Jessick, chairman of the recently formed Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin, is trying to build out a broad support network for palliative care providers.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness, focusing on quality of life, stress relief and symptom management.

“The approach is patient- and family-centered,” Jessick told WisBusiness.com. “For palliative care people, the skill is really at communication; how can we meet patients and families where they are, and figure out which treatments make sense, and which don’t make sense.”

As Jessick explains it, most modern medicine is practiced in silos, where individual care experts specialize heavily within a certain field of study.

“We come in and look at the big picture, what patients and families want,” he said. “It’s a different approach to care.”

Jessick, a practicing physician for over a decade and current chair of the ethics committee at Aurora West Allis Medical Center, decided along with some colleagues to launch a network for health care providers that administer this type of care. It began in January 2015, and Jessick says there has been “great support” so far.

The Wisconsin Medical Society provided seed money to get the network off the ground. Starting as a “grassroots network” with only a handful of medical professionals, it has now grown to over 3,700 members around the world, with 500 of those in Wisconsin.

See more at WisBusiness.com. 

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