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Media Contact: Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 44405 Woodward Avenue Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-6662

Pain and Palliative Care Program Awarded Accreditation
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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Pain and Palliative Care Program Awarded Accreditation by The Joint Commission

Program Enhances Quality of Life for Patients

Pontiac, Mich.—St. Joseph Mercy Oakland’s (SJMO) Pain and Palliative Care program has been accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC), an independent, national body that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the U.S.

According to the TJC, this accreditation recognizes “hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illness.”

Services provided by the Pain and Palliative Care team seek to prevent, relieve, reduce or soothe the symptoms of a disease or disorder to enhance the quality of life for patients.  These services are designed to:

  • Provide patients with relief from pain and distress from symptoms
  • Incorporate psychological and spiritual aspects of care
  • Assist in the development of support systems for patients and their families
  • Maintain the autonomy and dignity of every patient.

A team of health care professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, spiritual counselors, social workers, psychologists, a music practitioner, a healing touch practitioner, dietitians and physical therapists, brings comfort, relief and understanding to those with distressing symptoms and/or those with life-limiting diseases.

Among the services provided by the Pain and Palliative Care team and Supportive Care are:

  • Pain and symptom management for patients in the hospital.
  • No One Dies Alone Program (NODA). This program ensures that no one is alone at the time of death, and that the patient dies with dignity and in comfort.
  • Love blankets/hand casts/Comfort Carts. Quilts and blankets are given to our dying patients as a remembrance. Hand casts are molded from clay handprints and set in cement and given as a remembrance to the family of a dying loved one. Comfort Carts are portable carts equipped with a music player and soft listening CDs, bibles, rosaries, bereavement information, community resource booklets and are placed in dying patients rooms and create sacred peaceful spaces around patients and their families.
  • Supportive Care outpatient case management service and 24-hours-a-day phone line. This program helps develop support systems for the patients and their families by coordinating therapies, equipment and other resources to help the patient improve the quality of his/her life.
  • Bereavement services.
  • Healing touch and music practitioners.
  • Grief/bereavement conference. A bi-yearly seminar given to help grieving families and health care providers improve their ability to support others through the grieving process.

The mission of the award-winning Pain and Palliative Care team is to relieve suffering of mind, body and spirit while maintaining dignity and maximizing the quality of life for all those who receive care.

For more information, contact Peg Nelson, NP-BC, PCM, Director, Inpatient Pain and Palliative Services, at 248-858-6818 or at

About St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a 443-bed comprehensive, community, teaching hospital and a long-time leader in health care in Oakland County.  Founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has won numerous local and national awards for patient safety, quality and performance, and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide.  A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a technologically leading hospital that combines advanced medicine and personal care to assist patients on their path to wellness. With dedicated physicians, nurses and hospital staff committed to providing quality care throughout the patient stay, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has truly personalized the patient care experience.

For more information about health services offered at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, please visit

About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a newly expanded health care organization serving southeast Michigan. Health coverage spans six counties, including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline. Combined, the seven hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have five outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians. 

A member of Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth largest Catholic health care organization, SJMHS is committed to providing a remarkable patient experience by using leading edge technology in a comforting and healing environment. As a mission-based organization, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System provides approximately $100 million in community benefit to the communities it serves each year.
For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit


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