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Philanthropist Surprises with Big Gift at Palliative Care Launch

A surprise $1.2 million gift from local philanthropist Darlene Shiley highlighted the launch of the CSU Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM on Thursday, Sep. 20. The Institute for Palliative Care is America’s first statewide educational and workforce development initiative dedicated to palliative care.“I am so pleased to support a program that will ultimately benefit others the way I have been personally helped,” said Shiley. “My late husband’s experience with hospice and palliative care made me realize how specialized and important the field of palliative care is today and the growing need for such care in the future. Cal State San Marcos is taking on a project that is smart, compassionate and greatly needed.”Advancing Palliative CareThe CSU Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM will address the critical shortage of nursing, social work, spiritual and other professionals with palliative care skills and training. It will also educate the public about the value of palliative care and how to access it.“We are very pleased to be giving this important Institute its start here at Cal State San Marcos and to begin addressing this critical workforce need in not only our region but the state and nation as well,” said CSUSM President Karen Haynes. “This gift from Darlene will help accelerate our efforts and we are extremely appreciative of her support.”Palliative care improves quality of life for individuals facing serious illness and their families — whatever the prognosis. It prevents and relieves suffering by addressing pain as well as the physical, emotional, psycho-social and spiritual challenges associated with serious and chronic conditions. Palliative care uses an interdisciplinary team approach to help patients and their families. Teams typically include a physician, nurse, social worker, pharmacist, chaplain and others as needed.Launched by the largest higher-education system in the U.S., the CSU Institute for Palliative Care will create a model at CSUSM that can be replicated at any of the other 23 campuses across the CSU system, as well as other campuses across the country. It will offer continuing education courses for working professionals, academic curriculum for today’s students and programs to support palliative care awareness in the community. “More people than ever before are living with one or more chronic conditions, and while palliative care can do so much to help, its role and benefits are not well understood,” said CSU Institute for Palliative Care Executive Director Helen McNeal. “Mrs. Shiley’s gift is a wonderful, exciting surprise! Her support will enable us to proceed even more quickly in educating health care professionals and our community.” A Collaborative PartnershipIn addition to the $1.2 million gift from Shiley, the Institute has also received initial grant funding of a combined $1.2 million over three years from the Archstone Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation.“Our aging society requires a qualified palliative care workforce that can support people’s desire for quality of life, independence, and choice and control in their health care decisions,” said Archstone Foundation President and CEO Joseph Prevratil. “The CSU Institute for Palliative Care shares our vision of the future and has a plan to help us get our workforce there.”“The California HealthCare Foundation is committed to expanding access to palliative care as part of our focus on improving clinical outcomes and quality of life for Californians with chronic disease,” said Kate O’Malley, senior program officer for the California HealthCare Foundation. “We’re pleased to support the CSU Institute for Palliative Care and its mission to educate health care professionals in all disciplines and expand awareness of palliative care in the community.”To learn more about the CSU Institute for Palliative Care, visit www.csupalliativecare.org.