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Navicent Health Applauds Georgia Legislature for the Passage of HB 509

New Law will Improve Palliative Care Statewide

MACON, GA (Tuesday, May 31, 2016) - Navicent Health applauds Georgia's General Assembly for the passage of House Bill 509 into law. The bill passed in a 140-22 vote and was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on April 26, 2016.

The bill will lead to the creation of the Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council, a state board under the Department of Community Health. Once members are appointed, the nine member board is charged with creating a statewide Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Information and Education Program.

“The passage of HB 509 demonstrates that our legislators recognize the importance of making palliative care services available to all Georgians. At this time, our state ranks “C” in palliative services, according to the Center to Advance Palliative Care. Through the creation of this new advisory council, access to palliative care will be extended to areas of Georgia that have not previously  had access to such services,” said Carol Babcock, Director of Palliative Care, Atrium Health Navicent.  

The palliative care program at The Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH) has been recognized as a “Leading Performer in Palliative Care” by the national healthcare network VHA, Inc. MCNH's palliative care program addresses a patient's physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice. As a Leading Performer, MCNH has played an integral role in the development of palliative care programs throughout the U.S. while improving patient care and lowering healthcare costs.

“Atrium Health Navicent's palliative care program has seen tremendous success, and we are beginning to expand our inpatient palliative services into the community. We are thrilled that patients and families statewide will soon have access to similar palliative care services,” said Rosegenee McLarin-Ellis, M.D., Medical Director of Palliative Care, Atrium Health Navicent.

Atrium Health Navicent, along with Babcock and Dr. McLarin-Ellis, advocated for and celebrate the passage of the bill.