Celtic’s Journey Program: Helping Patients and Families With Their Own Journeys

Updated on June 23, 2013
Bill Gammie
Bill Gammie

By Kathleen Ganster

Palliative care is an important phase of health care, but one that can be difficult for families and patients to face – especially if that health care transitions to end-of-life services.

That phase of health care for physicians, patients and their families can be much easier thanks to a knowledgeable, well-trained and empathetic care team.

Celtic’s Journey Program matches health care coordinators and experts with primary care physicians to provide patient-centered care, helping patients and their families to live with terminal and chronic illnesses.

The Celtic team of trained palliative health care workers, a chaplain, a social worker and bereavement counselor work together to ensure every aspect of the patient’s health care needs are met – and their families’ needs as well.

“It is important for people to know medicine is become more patient-focused. The thoughts and voices of the patients and their families are as important as the treatment,” said Bill Gammie, Vice President of Operations at Celtic.

Celtic Journey care teams work with the physicians and patients to provide the clinical care needed, partnered with emotional, spiritual and mental health care services for total, patient-centered care.

“We want to take a time that could be very difficult and make it memorable. We want the patients to live their lives to the fullest with those they love,” Gammie said.

The Celtic Journey Program is designed for physicians and those working with patients with chronic, advanced, and/or terminal illness, and patients and their families who want to know more about end-of-life care options.

“We work extremely close with the primary care physicians. They are key to the care of the patients,” said Gammie.

Gammie added, “By taking the time to know and understand what the patients and their families want and working with the critical care team to know these decisions makes all the difference in the world to the patients.”

The Celtic Journey Program not only provides more patient-centered care, but reduces readmissions for patients with serious illnesses and chronic conditions; improves discharge planning by preparing patient-centered goals and care plans; and improves the survival and quality of life in terminally ill patients.

Managing health care for patients may also involve acknowledging and moving a patient into the next phase of treatment, which may include end-of-life services. The Celtic team works with the physicians and families in these challenging times.

By working with the trained and knowledgeable Journey care team, patients and their families can have those difficult discussions earlier and make better-informed decisions, said Gammie.

“Families are often confused and struggle with decisions. But it is a time that everyone passes through. We want to help the patients live their lives to the fullest with those they love the most,” he said.

According to Gammie, studies show that 90 percent of Americans have heard of a living will, 71 percent have thought of having one, but only 29 percent actually have a living will.

“Planning ahead and having a specialized, trained care team to guide patients and their families allows them to take that journey together in a way that creates happy memories for the families,” said Gammie.

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16th.  For more information visit, http://www.nhdd.org/..

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