Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

medical staff pulse newsletter

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P and T Approvals, FDA Warnings About Alglucosidase Alfa, Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol-Epoetin Beta

Pharmacy Focus

See highlights of the Oct. 7 meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about alglucosidase alfa and methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta.

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Meetings and Events

Grand Rounds

Click here to view upcoming grand rounds.

Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - December 2014 (PDF)


Do you know of a significant event in the life of a medical staff member? Please let us know, and we'll post these milestones in Medical Staff Pulse. Also, feel free to submit comments on milestones, and we'll post the comments in the next issue. Click here to email us your milestones and comments.

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Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

Click here to share your news

Supportive Care Medicine Gets Vital Aid to Patients

Supportive Care Medicine team members Todd Barrett, MD, (left) and Jaime Goldberg, LCSW, discuss patient care.

It's not hospice care. It's not just for hospital patients. And it shouldn't be a last resort.

The common misconceptions about "palliative care" are giving way to greater awareness of how patients with advanced, life-limiting — but not necessarily terminal — illnesses can benefit from a clinical team dedicated to alleviating pain and suffering and improving quality of life.

Supportive Care Medicine Leadership

The Supportive Care Medicine program is led by Brad Rosen, MD, medical director of the Office of Care Transitions and Complex Medical Management. The program's leadership team includes:

  • Deane Wolcott, MD, director, oncology
  • Arash Asher, MD, director, Cancer Survivorship and Rehabilitation
  • Susan Stone, MD, associate medical director, who oversees outpatient care
  • Rishi Gupta, MD, assistant director, inpatient care
  • Eve Newhart, MD, assistant director, oncology
  • Todd Barrett, MD, assistant director, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute

Other clinical team members include:

  • Jeffrey Angeles, MD
  • Steph Cassone, NP
  • Azi Dashti, MD
  • Jaime Goldberg, LCSW
  • Garo Harmandayan, MD
  • Erin Reeve, MD
  • Arvind Shinde, MD
  • Naureen Khan
  • Christina Shu, MDiv
  • Melissa Wilkinson, NP

Palliative care has come of age at Cedars-Sinai as inpatient, outpatient and cancer center services have been integrated under a single program called Supportive Care Medicine. This transition has taken place over the past year under the leadership of Brad Rosen, MD, medical director of the Office of Care Transitions and Complex Medical Management.

"We're building a next-generation program that provides rigorous attention to the comfort and well-being of patients at the bedside, in physician offices, in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and in their homes," Rosen said.

The earlier patients are referred to Supportive Care Medicine, the better.

"From the time of diagnosis of a serious condition, our team can provide an extra layer of support for patients and families, whether they're receiving treatment with curative intent or to help with symptoms such as pain and/or suffering at the end of life," Rosen said. "By integrating Supportive Care Medicine consults into the treatment of patients with a wide variety of illnesses, our team helps to ensure that care is personalized and appropriate, and reflects each patient's wishes, goals and burden tolerance."

The Supportive Care Medicine team works in collaboration with primary care physicians and specialists. Services include providing complex pain and symptom management for patients along with emotional and spiritual support. Team members also help:

  • Facilitate advance care planning discussions and completion of Advance Healthcare Directive or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms
  • Organize family meetings and clarify patient and family expectations
  • Discuss goals of care and assist with decision-making about treatment options
  • Manage end-of-life care

The interdisciplinary Supportive Care Medicine team includes doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical social workers, pharmacists, food and nutrition experts, chaplains and mental health experts. They help care for patients with such conditions as cancer, congestive heart failure, dementia, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, liver disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke.

The expansion and redefining of Supportive Care Medicine is part of an effort throughout Cedars-Sinai to deliver greater value to patients by providing higher-quality, patient-centered care.

"Supportive Care Medicine is designed to be more proactive in the management of patients who are seriously ill," Rosen said. "If we take steps earlier to manage symptoms and discuss goals of care, the evidence indicates that we can both improve patient experience and lower medical costs by reducing preventable hospital stays and readmissions. And there's growing evidence of how supportive care benefits patients. For example, in one study, patients who have end-stage lung cancer and received supportive care lived longer than those who didn't — with better quality of life."

Plans to further develop the program include education for nonpalliative care clinicians to improve their primary palliative care skills, clinical outcomes research on topics related to Supportive Care Medicine, and community outreach to encourage patients and families to do advance care planning.

To request a Supportive Care Medicine consult for a patient, clinicians can place an order in CS-Link™ for "Supportive Care Medicine" or call 310-423-9520 (inpatient) or 310-423-7500 (outpatient). For questions or additional information about Supportive Care Medicine, please contact Rosen at rosenb@cshs.org.