Western’s New Palliative Care Minor Approved to Start This Fall; Open to Students in All Disciplines

Western Washington University’s Palliative Care Institute and the Department of Health and Community Studies in the university’s Woodring College of Education will offer a new minor in Palliative Care starting next fall.

According to Marie Eaton of the Palliative Care Institute, palliative care is given to those with serious or chronic illness from the beginning to the end of their treatment. This care improves patients’ quality of life in many aspects including physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs for them and their family.

“Only about 20 percent of palliative care focuses on clinical symptoms, and is typically offered by an interdisciplinary team,” Eaton said. “Students from many other besides pre-med or nursing may be interested in this kind of minor, including those considering social work, human services or even the arts.”

This minor will provide students of all disciplines an avenue to prepare to meet the growing need of improved end of life and serious illness care. Students will learn basic grounding in the concepts related to palliative care.

Western is the third university in the country to offer this program at the undergraduate level.

“I have researched pretty extensively, and only found two other universities offering this type of program,” Eaton said.

While the minor was just approved, information is being sent out through many departments to reach students who may be interested.

Eaton said student interest led to the formation of the minor in this growing field.

“Students want a job that holds meaning in society,” she said.

For more information about the new Palliative Care minor contact Western’s Palliative Care Institute at 360-650-2579, pci@wwu.edu or visit their website at https://pci.wwu.edu/.