Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care has received a $225,000 grant from the Johnson Foundation in support of its Palliative Care Program. The announcement was made Wednesday, December 23rd at a ceremony at its program offices on Fairmount Ave. in Lakewood, NY.
In recognition of the Johnson Foundation’s support, the program has been rededicated as the “John A. and Oscar Johnson Palliative Care Program.”
Left to right: Rev. Sam Shreffler, Board Chair; Ron Sellers, President & CEO; John Sellstrom, Truestee of the Johnson Foundation; Dr. Thomas Putnam, Medical Director; and Shauna Anderson, VP of Clinical Services.
Begun in 2012, the program focuses on providing timely, primarily home- based medical care for residents of Chautauqua County who are debilitated from chronic illness such as COPD, cancer, diabetes or stroke. People who are referred to palliative care are frequently hospitalized for their illness and have large medical bills. Many patients are undergoing curative treatment and see multiple specialists. Palliative care seeks to keep patients comfortable and out of the hospital, as well as informed and in control of their medical decisions.
“Carole and I are very pleased to make this investment in this Palliative Care Program,” said John Sellstrom, Trustee of the Johnson Foundation. “It fits on all four corners what the Johnson Brothers intended at the inception of the Foundation. Children and adults of every age will benefit greatly by this caring and understanding service to our community. We offer special thanks to Andrew and Shauna for their efforts to explain and educate us as to the value and need of our investment.”
The John A. & Oscar Johnson Palliative Care Program was first envisioned by Shauna Anderson, VP of Clinical Services.
“We created the palliative program to address symptom management and quality of life for people who don’t qualify for hospice services but have significant symptoms like pain or nausea,” said Ms. Anderson. “If symptoms are controlled, then a person is more able to focus on those things that make them happy and fulfilled.”
The John A. and Oscar Johnson Palliative Care Program has experienced steady growth since its inception. In its first full year of operation the program treated 88 patients and received referrals from 40 unique physicians. 122 patients have been cared for in 2015 and 72 different physicians have referred patients for care. A total of 369 patients have been cared for since the program’s inception. The average daily census is 48; 4 children are currently being cared for.
The program has been named for John A. and Oscar Johnson, two Swedish-born brothers who immigrated to Jamestown. The brothers were successful home builders for other Swedish families in the community and relied on John Sellstrom, Esq. for their legal guidance. The brother’s savings funded the creation of a memorial trust that was administered by Mr. Sellstrom. These funds were the basis for the formation of the Johnson Foundation which has supported charitable, religious and educational organizations in our community for the past 20 years.
“The generous Johnson Foundation gift will insure the future of our program which is providing vital and timely medical care to many of the sickest residents of our county,” said Ron Sellers, CEO of Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care “While the Johnson Foundation has provided previous support to initiate the program, this gift will ensure the success of the program long into the future. We are extremely grateful for the Foundation’s generosity.”