Our Lady of the Lake Children's Health Hosts Expert on Pediatric Palliative Care

08/03/2018

Our Lady of the Lake Children's Health welcomed Justin Baker, MD, an internationally recognized expert on pediatric palliative care, for an all-day palliatiave care conference.

Our Lady of the Lake Children's Health welcomed Justin Baker, MD, an internationally recognized expert on pediatric palliative care, for an all-day palliatiave care conference at Our Lady of the Lake on Friday. Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness with a goal of improving quality of life for both the patient and the family, often at end-of-life stages.

Dr. Baker is the director of the pediatric hematology/oncology Fellowship program and chief of the Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. As chief, he works with patients who are facing the very real possibility of death. He is viewed as a leader in integrating palliative care into the ongoing care of children with cancer, and he frequently presents on the topic nationally and internationally.

"In palliative care, we look to make every day the best day that it possibly can be for patients and families, to suffer with them, and to try to take on as much of that burden ourselves as we can," said Dr. Baker. "As Our Lady of the Lake is building a new children's hospital, fully integrating pediatric palliative care is critically important."

Topics for the conference included improving patient outcomes through integrated pediatric palliative care; ethical decision making; symptom management; spiritual care at the end of life with pediatric patients and their families; and the future of palliative care.

"Dr. Baker has published extensively on pediatric palliative care and done tremendous research on the topic that has really helped to progress the profession and the specialty," said Tracie Major, DNP, APRN-CNS, CPN, clinical nurse specialist for Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital. "We're lucky here at Our Lady of the Lake to continue to pursue opportunities to grow pediatric palliative care, and we look to a future of truly having a multidisciplinary pediatric palliative care program in place."

Our Lady of the Lake Children's Health is one of only eight St. Jude Affiliate Clinics, providing the same expertise, care and treatments as patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, but closer to their home, family and support system, which is a crucial part of a patient’s healing journey.

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit 800-bed medical center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,100 employees committed to building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With a Regional Medical Center, dedicated Children’s Hospital, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 450-provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. In 2016, Our Lady of the Lake was one of three hospitals recognized by the American Hospital Association with the Quest for Quality Prize award.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit www.ololchildrens.org.

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit www.letsbuildamazing.com.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus in Baton Rouge and the future freestanding hospital, as well as in Monroe with St. Francis Pediatrics. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one the largest healthcare systems in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we serve patients statewide through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. Our five hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales and Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa. For more information, visit www.fmolhs.org.

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

From a modest beginning in July 1913 as a three-story red brick building with 75 patient beds, St. Francis Medical Center has grown to become Northeast Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider and one of the largest employers in Ouachita Parish. Today, St. Francis Medical Center is licensed for 367 beds, employs over 1,700 team members and partners with over 300 medical staff members. Our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to those most in need reaches out to 17 parishes in Louisiana and three counties in Arkansas, an area with a population exceeding 515,000 people. St. Francis Medical Center is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. For more information, visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.