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Healthwatch 16: Geisinger's new facility to hone in on palliative care

During a new diagnosis, patients and their families usually have a lot of questions about what comes next. And that's where palliative medicine comes in.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Palliative medicine, also known as supportive care, can begin at any time during a serious illness. Experts with Geisinger can help patients navigate their diagnosis and manage symptoms.

"We are there as an additional layer of support to get them through their curative intent treatment so they can go on to live a full and normal life," Geisinger Director of Palliative Medicine Dr. Glen Digwood said.

Dr. Digwood said palliative care can help patients with a variety of illnesses, everything from cancer to Alzheimer's.

"All of these disease categories come with their own set of unique physical symptoms and coordination challenges, broadly all of these patients and their loved ones need additional support," he said.

The health system is working to bring the treatment and palliative resources together under one roof with a new cancer center in Dickson City.

"The more we can coordinate services and have teams of physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, psychologists in the same building collaborating makes it easier for patients and their loved ones to not have to go to multiple clinics across the same city or different counties," he said.

Geisinger broke ground on the facility last month. It expects to open its doors by late next week.

See more Healthwatch 16 stories on YouTube.

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