November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Programs across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about hospice and palliative care. This year’s theme is “It’s About How You Live.” The Center for Rural Health offers training to help providers, caregivers, and others learn about resources available to communities in North Dakota.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. Palliative care promotes quality of life by addressing the physical, psychological, emotional, cultural, social, and spiritual needs of patients and families. It offers treatment of pain and other symptoms; relief from worry and distress of illnesses; close communication about goals of care; and well-coordinated care during illness transition.

Palliative care brings this holistic model of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness. Learn the differences in  Palliative Care or Hospice Care.

Hospice is not a place but high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Palliative care and Hospice programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when they are facing serious illness. These programs combine the highest level of quality medical care along with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious illness or nearing the end of life.

CRH offers virtual training, mentoring, and resources to communities that expand North Dakota Rural Community-Based Palliative Care. CRH also offers timely, virtual Project ECHO sessions with CME that can be viewed on a person’s own schedule, Organizing Palliative Care for Rural Populations TeleECHO. Portable medical orders, aware, education, and implementation (POLST) live sessions are held monthly.

About the Center for Rural Health

Established in 1980 at the University of North Dakota, the Center for Rural Health is one of the nation’s most experienced rural health organizations. It has developed a full complement of programs to assist researchers, educators, policymakers, healthcare providers, and most importantly, rural residents to address changing rural environments by identifying and researching rural health issues, analyzing health policy, strengthening local capabilities, developing community-based alternatives, and advocating for rural concerns. For more information, visit