$5 Million Gift from Suzanne Hanas to Expand Palliative Care Services
“I want to do this for the community to improve the lives of those who are suffering, who are in pain, and for those that need follow up after being released from the hospital.” — Suzanne Hanas
Suzanne Hanas, founder and CEO of Premier RN Geriatric Care LLC, has made a $5 million commitment to enhance the palliative care program at VHC Health. The program provides pain management care for those who have serious or life-limiting illness, including chronic diseases.
VHC Health currently provides inpatient palliative care—but this philanthropic investment will allow the program to expand to outpatient care and bring care to the community.
Palliative care focuses on providing patient- and family-centered care for those facing serious illnesses. In addition to management of pain and other symptoms of an illness, palliative care also includes emotional care by providing support to look after the well-being, including mind, body and spirit of patients and their loved ones.
Expanding outpatient services also means building partnerships with organizations. To bridge that gap, VHC Health will hire palliative care navigators to connect patients to resources and other community services.
“When you have a loved one who needs help and is in pain or suffering, you should not have to rely on inpatient care. This transformative gift will allow us to grow on that journey,” said David D. Lee, MD, Medical Director for Philanthropy, VHC Health Foundation. Palliative care is often overlooked and under resourced. However, the need for this type of care is only increasing as the population ages.
“Across the nation, it’s estimated that 6 million people could benefit from palliative care. But right now there are only two practitioners for every 100,000 people in Virginia,” said Dr. Lee. Hanas’ long-standing philanthropic partnership with VHC Health and her experience in geriatric care put her in a unique position to identify a healthcare need and respond to it through her generosity.
“I felt I had a lot that I could offer in terms of making a gift to VHC Health. And not just for VHC Health, but also in terms of enhancing the delivery of palliative care to the community,” said Hanas.
Suzanne Hanas’ gift is already making a difference for the palliative care program.
“If you look at where we were a few months ago, we didn’t even have a palliative care physician on our staff. Today we’ve been able to recruit a physician, a nurse practitioner, and a nurse in the field. We hope to grow that and it’s all because of Suzanne’s philanthropic commitment to VHC Health,” said Dr. Lee.