Davis Medical Center was honored in August for its West Coast Center for Palliative Education and
Research, a program that improves the care of patients near the end of life or with life-threatening conditions.
The medical center received the American Hospital Association's Circle of Life Award, which celebrates
programs that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care. Only two other organizations
nationwide received the awards this year.
Established in 1994, the West Coast Center for Palliative Education and Research was among the first
centers in the United States to conduct research and train health-care providers in palliative care. Fred
Meyers, chair of internal medicine, is the center's founding director.
Meyers is best known for pioneering "simultaneous care," a model of care for cancer patients undergoing
investigational therapy. Traditionally, cancer patients who have exhausted standard therapies have faced
a choice. They could enroll in a clinical trial of an investigational agent that might extend life, or
enter hospice. Simultaneous care spares patients this difficult choice. It allows patients with advanced
cancer to receive both an investigational treatment and palliative care. Last year the National Cancer
Institute awarded Meyers $2.5 million for a simultaneous care study that will evaluate the effectiveness
of a clinic-based simultaneous care program.
The Circle of Life awards are supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and co-sponsored by the
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the American Medical Association and the National
Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.