From November 2002 through January 2003, consultants Lynn Hill Spragens, MBA, and James Block, MD, worked with two academic palliative care centers that were struggling financially and helped the physician leaders establish business plans and stabilize the centers.
The consultants worked with physicians at the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., and the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Targeted End-of-Life Projects Initiative.
Project staff worked closely with physician leaders and other staff of the two palliative care centers to help them:
Both centers are now stabilized, according to Spragens.
Based on her work, Spragens said that palliative care programs within cancer centers need the following characteristics to be effective and sustainable: