Summit Health Oregon is enhancing its partnership in the delivery of palliative care services with Partners In Care.

The partnership will provide all Central Oregonians seen at Summit Health with access to a fully integrated palliative care service line as part of Summit Health’s patient-centered medical home. Since 2014, Partners In Care and Summit Health have worked together, featuring Dr. Jennifer Blechman and her team providing services in Summit Health’s Oncology Department at the eastside clinic in

Bend.

The expansion to the partnership will significantly increase the availability and access to these services throughout multiple Summit Health departments. Partners In Care providers will begin working with Summit Health’s multidisciplinary care team as part of its palliative care service line. All patient treatments and care will be delivered as one unified Summit Health service and fully utilize the EPIC medical record platform, further enhancing the coordination and quality of care for the community. The service line will expand into cardiology, nephrology, and pulmonology, as well as the Total Care Clinic in Primary Care at Summit

Health.

Summit Health patients will now have access to palliative care consultations utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach that includes coordination with the patient’s entire care team. Palliative care specialists work with patients and families dealing with serious illness to expertly treat symptoms to improve quality of life, while ensuring patients get the best care possible in line with their values.

“This partnership continues Summit Health’s multi-year commitment to investing in our industry-leading patient-centered medical home and the delivery of high-quality care for all Central Oregonians,” said Justin Sivill, Summit Health chief operating officer. “Expanding upon our decades-old relationship with Partners In Care will dramatically enhance our medical group quality and coordination of care while furthering our mission to lower the total cost of care for all of Central Oregon.”

The enhanced partnership will begin in July, when Dr. Blechman and her team expand their services into multiple departments within Summit Health’s eastside medical facility located at 1501 NE Medical Center Drive in Bend.

“I am looking forward to this expansion that will allow us to reach many more patients further upstream in their disease trajectory,” said Dr. Blechman. “The medical team I work with at Summit Health has embraced palliative care and see our value in improving patient care and reaching quality goals. We are thrilled to become an even stronger partner with each outpatient department as well as to strengthen our collaboration with Summit Health’s hospitalist and skilled nursing facility care teams.”