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Posted: 6/20/2008

Associate Professor Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, and colleagues of the Harriet Lane Compassionate Care Program are taking the lead in establishing an innovative regional program aimed at improving access to and resources for pediatric palliative care.

With a $50,000 grant from the Womens Board of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Rushton and colleagues in the program will create a Pediatric Palliative Care Network within Maryland. The Network will improve access to and resources for pediatric palliative care through the creation of a centralized resource and referral center, education for health care professionals in pediatric palliative care and provision of palliative care for infants (who comprise the largest number of pediatric deaths) across Maryland.

"We are delighted to receive this generous grant from the JHH Womens Board to expand our care for infants and children in Maryland who can benefit from palliative care," said Rushton. "Support like this is foundational to our ability to make a difference in the lives of these special children and their families."

The Harriet Lane Compassionate Care Program was the first pediatric palliative care program in Maryland. Rushton, Program Director since 2000, has worked closely with other team members to create a 70-member interdisciplinary palliative care network, establish innovative educational programs, create a comprehensive bereavement program for families and health care professionals, and develop support systems for health care professionals who care for these children.