St. Joseph Hospital makes changes to their palliative care program

Eureka, CA (Kiem TV)

St. Joseph Hospital is taking their palliative care program in a new direction.

Local Doctor Michael Fratkin is known for serving as the Medical Director of the hospital’s inpatient palliative care program, but his contract as director is coming to an end.

Saint Joseph’s President, Dr. Daivd O’Brien, says that they have been discussing with Dr. Fratkin the end of his directorship for months now.

In a statement put out recently by Dr. Fratkin, he calls the decision a “big and unwelcome local change.”

President David O’Brien made clear they are not letting Dr. Fratkin go. He will still be allowed to contribute palliative care at the hospital, but no longer will be directing the program.

The hospital says they plan to make changes to the program – following models developed by Dr. Ira Byock, an international expert on palliative care.

“One of the great benefits of being a part of the Providence Saint Joseph Health is that we have access to a lot of resources that we might not otherwise be able to bring to Humboldt County,” said President O’Brien, “We will be doing this development in conjunction with our other sister hospitals in the Northern California region. We have in our health system a lot of work going on to refine and develop palliative care and we’re bringing that model to Humboldt County which we think will be a very positive development for our community.”

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