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St. Mary's to Bring Palliative Care to Patients at Home

Athens’ St. Mary’s Hospital is taking one of its most successful programs to patients. The hospital is expanding its hospital –based palliative care program by taking that care into patients’ homes.

Palliative Care provides medical assistance to people living with sudden or chronic illness. Petti-Jeanne Sheldon is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse and manager of the St. Mary’s Hospice and Palliative Care Services.

“We want our patients and families to have the information that they need to make decisions about their healthcare than means the most to them,’ according to Sheldon. “So as long as they have all the information and we can help them with which path or which road map to pick.”

The program starts Monday, August 5th and will first target patients in Athens-Clarke, Oconee and Greene Counties.

Sheldon says while they may seem similar, there is a difference between hospice and palliative care.

“Hospice care is for patients who have advanced disease and often have a life expectancy of six months or less; on the other hand, palliative care is for anyone at any stage of illness or recovery, regardless of how long they are expected to live, trying to negotiate their disease journey or manage symptoms as a part of their disease.”

For more information about St. Mary's In-home Palliative Care Program or to request a visit, call 706.389.2273. You can also learn more at

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