HackensackUMC Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute Becomes the First Joint Commission-Certified Program for Advanced Palliative Care in New Jersey

Hackensack University Medical Center is proud to announce that the Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute became the first Joint Commission-Certified program in New Jersey. Based on a December 6 visit from a Joint Commission surveyor, HackensackUMC received its 19th Gold Seal of Approval®, remaining the most awarded hospital in the country. the joint commission seal of approval

“What an honor it is to be the first hospital in the state to be recognized for our Pain & Palliative program,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Health Network. “HackensackUMC is a patient- and family-centered medical center that puts the needs of our patients first. Our commitment to pain and palliative medicine is another example of the ways in which we strive to provide the best possible care in the most comfortable environment. Congratulations to Dr. Joe Contreras, chairman of our Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute; Dr. Jamie Beversdorf, chief of Pediatric Pain & Palliative Care; Theresa Ebel, administrative director of the Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute; and their entire team for attaining such a remarkable distinction in care.”

Launched in September 2011, The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care recognizes hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care and optimize the quality of life for patients (both adult and pediatric) with serious illness. HackensackUMC received the Gold Seal of Approval® based on its best practices, “first time seen” practices, staff engagement, and complete immersion of palliative care culture.

The Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute at HackensackUMC, developed in 2008, includes collaboration between the patient and the multidisciplinary team that focuses on relieving stress, pain and uncontrolled symptoms of patients with serious illness. The Pain & Palliative team – comprised of staff such as physicians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, pastoral care members, and ethicists – strives to ease suffering and offer patients the best possible quality of life. The team works with the rest of the patient’s medical team to complement treatment being received. Services range from pain relief, to advanced care planning, to coordination of care.

“We have been working on this application for Joint Commission certification since 2011, and we are very proud to receive this designation,” said Dr. Contreras. “Pain and palliative care applies to patients across the continuum of care – no matter what illness they are facing or the type of care they receive. As part of our best practice, our Palliative Care Task Force has developed a policy where every admitted patient is assessed for pain and palliative needs, ensuring a new level of comfort and attention afforded to patients who need it most.”

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a non-profit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, New Jersey, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state, and home to the only Level II Trauma Center in the county. This 775-bed facility has created an entire campus of care, including: the Heart & Vascular Hospital, the John Theurer Cancer Center, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey and one of the top four New York metro area hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report, and has received nine national rankings and four high-performing New York metro rankings. HackensackUMC is among HealthGrades® America’s top 100 hospitals in 10 different areas – more than any other hospital in the nation.  The medical center has also been named one of the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals®, a Leapfrog Top Hospital, and one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by HealthGrades® for six years in a row. HackensackUMC received 19 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls, and remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events.