Thank you for visiting Richmond University Medical Center.  View our VISITOR POLICY

Home » News » Richmond University Medical Center Receives Half Million Dollar Grant for Palliative Care Services

Richmond University Medical Center Receives Half Million Dollar Grant for Palliative Care Services

February 23, 2021

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Providing $500,000 to Assist Patients, Families Facing life Threatening Illnesses

February 23, 2021 – Dealing with the diagnosis and symptoms of a limiting, serious, or even terminal illness affects an individual and their family in many ways. To assist patients and their families navigate through care options while also coming to terms with a diagnosis, Mother Cabrini Health Foundation (the Foundation) has awarded $500,000 to Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) in support of its palliative care program.

Palliative care focuses on providing care for the symptoms and stress of a serious illness at any stage. Any individual diagnosed with a serious, limiting, or terminal illness can request palliative care from RUMC’s program. Some examples of illnesses or conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, dementia, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, lung disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

“The ultimate goal of palliative care is the improved quality of life for the patient and their family. Patients and their families often find it difficult understanding or making rational decisions when faced with a devastating or life-threatening diagnosis,” president and chief executive officer, Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, said. “As a result, they may delay treatment. Our palliative care program is a comprehensive resource, providing direction and support with compassion and dignity. We are grateful to the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for their support and partnership.”

Using a multidisciplinary approach, including medical, nursing, psychological, social, and spiritual care resources, specialists from RUMC collaborate to bring a united approach to a patient’s treatment plan. Services include care coordination, behavioral health counseling, hospice referral, pain management, spiritual care, social service referrals, discharge and/or end of life planning.

“Palliative care becomes part of the plan of care when the burden of serious disease is more than the patient and family can endure,” Chief of Palliative Care, Thomas J. Forlenza, MD, MS, said. “The purpose of our program is to improve the overall patient and family experience and help deliver better medical care.”

RUMC can provide palliative care for the patient and their family in many places including at the hospital, outpatient facilities, and/or at home. Palliative care is often confused with hospice care. While both palliative and hospice care focus on improving quality of life, hospice care focuses on continuing comfort for a patient when their condition has progressed to the last phases of a terminal illness. Hospice care is offered through RUMC’s palliative care program, if needed, however, a patient does not need to be diagnosed with a terminal illness to receive palliative care.

“Our grants seek to ensure that essential health and social service providers receive the support necessary to address an unprecedented level of health-related needs across New York State,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. “Last year, so many organizations demonstrated resilience, creativity, and flexibility in serving their communities. Our grants reflect our commitment to these critical providers, which are the bedrock of a healthy and equitable future in New York.”

“Our palliative care program uses a multidisciplinary approach, including medical, nursing, psychological, social, and spiritual care resources,” President of the Richmond Health Network and RUMC’s Chief Administrative Officer, Richard Salhany, MBA, FACHE, said. Salhany will have administrative oversight of the palliative care program. “Our specialists from RUMC will collaborate to bring a united approach to a patient’s treatment plan with a significant focus on spiritual care which is often neglected in a patient confronting a devastating illness.”

For more information on RUMC’s palliative care services, call 718-818-4104.


Richmond University Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. The medical center provides premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. RUMC does this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff. For more information call 1-718-818-1234 or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of the vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation – which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor – provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. For more information, visit


Alex Lutz

Assistant Vice President,  Public Relations & Marketing

Richmond University Medical Center

355 Bard Avenue

Staten Island, NY  10310

T: 718-818-2104