Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Sets Off on State Bike Trek to Honor Patients

Ride recognizes the 5,000 patients served by Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care

CONTACT: Todd Harper
Phone: 317.630.7808
Pager: 317.310.5972

E-mail: todd.harper@wishard.edu

Indianapolis, July 8, 2013 – On July 13, the Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program will embark on the fourth Ride to Remember (R2R4) in memory of the more than 5,000 patients who have been cared for by the program but sadly have passed away. Unlike the original 40-day-cross country bicycle ride that Dr. Gregory Gramelspacher, medical director of the Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program, completed in 2009, this year a Wishard-Eskenazi Health Bike Team of 42 riders will journey across the state of Indiana in a single day—one way, one day, 160 miles. The age of the Wishard-Eskenazi Health riders range from 20 to 70, and they come from all across the state of Indiana. As before, each mile of this bicycle ride will be dedicated to the memory of a palliative care patient.  

Dr. Greg’s R2R4 will remember the lives of those cared for by the Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program and honor their families. The donations to the effort will enable Wishard-Eskenazi Health to provide invaluable support and comfort for the families and friends of patients in the years ahead.

Since its formation 15 years ago, the Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program has worked to improve the comfort and quality of life for all patients who face a life-limiting illness.

“The goal is to raise awareness about compassionate end-of-life care – especially for the dying poor – and to talk about palliative care,”  Dr. Gramelspacher said.

Dr. Gramelspacher said palliative medicine is intended to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness. Palliative care is provided by a multidisciplinary team that includes doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains. The team works in partnership with the patient’s primary care doctor and other specialty physicians.

“Prior to starting our program, I witnessed too many patients die in pain, alone or forgotten. I learned that it doesn’t have to be that way, even for the dying poor. We can – we have – made it better. Our work is a labor of love,” Dr. Gramelspacher added. 

Established in 1999, the Wishard-Eskenazi Health Palliative Care Program assists poor and underserved patients who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and lack the resources to die with the dignity and compassion that all people deserve. The specially trained staff at Wishard-Eskenazi Health helps coordinate complex medical care for patients as they face the physical and psychological challenges associated with their illness.

Dr. Greg’s R2R4 is supported by the Glasscock Family Foundation, The Glick Family Fund with CICF, VITAS Innovative Hospice, The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis and SouthernCare, Inc. For more information or to donate to the ride, please call 317.630.6451 or visit www.ridetoremember.us.