Jamaica Hospital Seeks Help for End of Life Program

In an effort to increase quality of life and help ease the hospital experience at the end of life, the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Volunteer Services Department, in conjunction with the Palliative Care Consultation Service, is seeking volunteers for its Palliative Care Program. The program seeks  to provide patients and their families with companionship, comfort, advocacy and education at the end of life.

Often referred to as comfort care, palliative care provides relief to terminally ill patients through symptom and pain management.  It is a team-oriented approach that focuses on the quality of a person’s life; their emotional, spiritual and psychosocial needs as well as the alleviation of distressing symptoms. Palliative Care also provides bereavement care and support to surviving family and caregivers.  Unlike hospice care, the program does not exclude any therapies or specific treatments.

“The program supports the hospital’s Palliative Care initiative, which is to provide care and support at the time of a life threatening diagnosis, as well as, to educate patients and families about the options they have in making choices and decisions in regards to their personal care and medical treatment,” said Arlene Martin, Director of Volunteer Services.

Under the program guidelines, patients who are determined to have a life expectancy of less than 1 year and/or diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and their family, caregiver or significant other, will qualify to be visited by a Palliative Care volunteer.

Through visitation and personal contact, the volunteer will provide the patient/caregiver/significant other with comfort and companionship in a culturally sensitive, nonjudgmental manner during the hospital stay at life’s end.

Candidates for this program must have excellent communication skills, and be willing to commit for a six month period of time. For further information about volunteering for the Palliative Care Program, please contact Arlene Martin, Director of Volunteer Services at (718)206-6000 ext. 4078.



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