Akron Children’s palliative care center receives Joint Commission certification

Palliative care center recognized by Joint Commission

Dr. Sarah Friebert


Akron Children’s Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its pediatric palliative care program by demonstrating compliance with the commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety.

Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center underwent a rigorous on-site review this month, following the commission’s palliative care specific standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures.

“Joint Commission certification proves that the field of palliative care has arrived, and we are proud to be among the first pediatric hospitals to achieve such important recognition,” said Sarah Friebert, MD, founder and director of the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center. “Though we’ve always known that we provide the highest quality care possible, it’s wonderful to have our work validated in this very public and meaningful way.”

Advanced certification is a voluntary process and demonstrates an organization’s commitment to the highest level of care for patients with serious illness. Certification is available only to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and provides the framework for a formal, organized palliative care program featuring:

Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Center cares for children of any age, prenatal through young adulthood, with a chronic, complex or life-threatening condition.

The team – physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, therapists, case managers and bereavement counselors – is available to families 24/7, 365 days of the year and house calls are not uncommon. The center’s patients come from 46 of Ohio’s 88 counties and eight other states.

The center, which recently earned the American Hospital Association’s Circle of Life Award, was one of the first to create a fellowship program in pediatric palliative care and is the only one to have an endowed chair, which is named for Dr. Friebert. With its well-rounded emphasis on clinical care, research, education and advocacy, the center is a model for other programs and, as a result, Akron Children’s frequently hosts visitors wishing to learn how to create or expand their programs.

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Kudos to Dr. Friebert & our palliative care team for earning Joint Commission advanced accreditation

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Laurie Schueler