Caring For Very Seriously Ill Patients

Dr RitterSince the beginning of the year, we’ve been caring for seven new patients with metastatic cancer, meaning that cancer cells have spread to different areas of their bodies. AFC’s dedication to shepherding these very ill patients and their families through their final days with compassion and dignity is a charge we take very seriously.

AFC engages a wide swath of the community to help care for these patients. Virginia Cancer Specialists’ Dr. Loren Friedman, a palliative medicine physician, provides compassionate end-of-life care. Life with Cancer program counselor, David McGuinness, not only supports patients in their final days and counsels family members after death, he also provides care and training for AFC’s nursing staff on how to have difficult conversations with dying patients and their loved ones. Oftentimes, our nurses will visit patients and families in the hospital towards the end, and many families remain close to the Clinic many years later.

We’re able to draw on special funds that generous individuals provide in order to buy costly supplies such as a $400 medication for constipation caused by pain medicine or nausea bags needed when traveling in the car. Our volunteer oncologists readily see patients experiencing problems related to chemotherapy and transition patients to hospice care when it is time. The Clinic’s case manager, Matt Kennedy, even helps families resolve patients’ outstanding bills long after patients have passed away.

Thanks to our dedicated staff, our talented volunteers, and a large network of partners, we’re uniquely positioned to serve those who would otherwise have difficulty accessing anything comparable to the high-level, comprehensive end-of-life care available through AFC.

Joan Bowes Ritter, MD
Medical Director

Read our entire 2018 Annual Report here.

Patient Story: Gabriel & Diego—Brotherly Love
Message from our President: What Our Dental Expansion Will Mean
AFC Highlights, July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018
Why I Volunteer: Margot Wheeler, MD
Donor Profile: “Lyfting” barriers to care
Practice Spotlight: Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group Cardiology
Message from our Board Chair