Palliative Care focuses on what matters to you, as well as what is the matter with you.
The Palliative Care team at North Mississippi Medical Center consists of doctors, a nurse practitioner and a registered nurse who partner with case management and pastoral care to provide additional support to those we serve. Our team is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses by offering emotional, spiritual and physical assistance. Palliative Care works closely with patients and families to educate on the disease process, establish treatment goals and develop a plan based on what matters most. Finally, our team works with patients and families to ensure their wishes are shared and respected by all.
Palliative Care works to guide patients and families through complicated decisions and helps lessen the confusion and fear that come with serious illnesses.
At NMMC, we believe a conversation about the care of a serious illness is invaluable to a patient's treatment planning and decision making. Therefore, our team is readily available to assist patients to have this discussion with their loved ones and provide resources to help. The Palliative Care team is dedicated to supporting these conversations both in the community and in the hospital. For more information about starting this conversation with family and friends, please visit the “Talking Matters” tab listed above.
Finally, it is important to know that palliative care can begin at any point in a patient’s journey with a serious illness. NMMC's focus is to ensure every patient’s dignity is maintained and to provide proper control of symptoms so that patients may enjoy the highest quality of life.
Thank you for the honor of allowing us to participate in your multidisciplinary care.
When Palliative Care consultation is beneficial:
- Assistance is required for complex decisions
- Unacceptable level of pain or other distressing symptoms
- Unresolved psychosocial or spiritual issues
- Frequent emergency room or hospital visits
- Lengthy or complicated hospital stays
- Diagnosis of a potentially life-limiting illness such as cancer, heart failure, COPD, kidney disease or dementia
Advantages of Palliative Care:
- Provides education on available treatment options that align with patient values
- Allows patients and families to make informed decisions regarding their medical care
- Assists other healthcare providers in maximizing comfort and streamlining treatment
- Provides expert symptom management for pain, shortness of breath, nausea, constipation, anorexia, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, depression and more
- Advocates for the patient’s beliefs and wishes
- Offers spiritual and emotional support for patients and families
- Maintains the patient's dignity throughout the course of the illness
Managing a chronic, life threatening illness is stressful. Our palliative care team believes that proper knowledge and understanding about the illness and possible treatment options helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, education empowers patients and families to make confidently the choices that best fit their goals of care.
Listed below are additional resources that will offer valuable insight to palliative care and end of life planning.
Palliative Care - https://www.mayoclinic.org/
What Are Palliative Care and Hospice Care? - https://www.nia.nih.gov/
Advanced Care Planning - https://www.nia.nih.gov/
The Conversation Project - https://theconversationproject.org/
Meet Our Team:
Hospice care is focused on terminally-ill patients who no longer benefit from curative treatments.
Palliative Care team, pictured from left
Charles Edwin Leckie, D.O.
Attended the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy
Lucas Morgan McElwain, M.D.
Attended the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Doctor of Medicine
Completed the Fellowship Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Hospice & Palliative Medicine
Board certified in Geriatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Lori Blansett, FNP
Attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, Masters of Science in Nursing
Abigail Farris, RN, MSN
Attended the University of North Alabama, Masters of Science in Nursing Education
Lindsey Smith Hinton, M.D.
Attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine
Completed the Fellowship Program at the University of Alabama Hospital, Hospice & Palliative Medicine