Valley Health System Partners with Family of Caring Healthcare System to Bring Palliative Care Services to Park Ridge

RIDGEWOOD, NJ, January 5, 2024 – Valley Health System is proud to partner with Family of Caring Healthcare System to provide palliative care supportive services at the Family of Caring at Park Ridge campus.

Family of Caring Healthcare System consists of 10 health and rehabilitation centers that provide subacute care and rehabilitative services, assisted living, and long-term care to adults of any age. Through this partnership, patients at Family of Caring at Park Ridge can receive palliative care support from Valley’s team. A provider’s referral is needed.

Valley’s palliative care team provides a continuum of care, evolving with the patient to ensure there are no gaps during their healthcare journey. Under this care model, Valley’s palliative care team provides services in the inpatient setting, outpatient setting, home setting, and in certain 5-star rated sub-acute medical facilities, such as Family of Caring at Park Ridge.

Palliative care enhances medical treatment to help patients with serious, life-limiting, or incurable illnesses experience the highest quality of life possible. These illnesses can include congestive heart failure, advanced cancer, chronic lung disorders (COPD, pulmonary fibrosis), kidney failure, neurological disorders (dementia, Parkinson’s), and life-limiting diseases (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS). Services provide patients and their loved ones with comfort, support, and assistance to ease the burden of illness for both patients and their families. Palliative care can be helpful at any stage of illness.

“Valley’s palliative care program offers an integrative team approach that focuses on preventing or relieving pain and other physical, emotional, or spiritual distress.

Our team, which includes physicians, advanced practice nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers, offers services such as medical decision-making assistance, pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, care coordination, and assistance with life-planning decisions,” said Yusimi Sobrino-Bonilla, APN, Clinical Supervisor of Palliative Care Services for Valley Health System. “We are excited to share these important services with Family of Caring at Park Ridge and are eager to help patients in their time of need.”

“We are committed to empowering the residents of Family of Caring (Park Ridge), giving them agency to dictate their own care and to help them achieve the quality of life they deserve,” said Ayelet Spitzer, DO, a Valley palliative care physician. “Our service facilitates a seamless transition between the home, to the hospital, and back again.”

“Palliative care offers our aging patient population a chance to live to the end, rather than solely planning for end of life. We need to look at chronic illnesses in a way where we no longer exclusively focus on trying to cure the patient, but rather focus on helping these patients find a way to live to their fullest potential,” said Stefanos Pantagis, MD, Medical Director at Family of Caring at Park Ridge.

“Palliative and hospice care services bring compassion and comfort to patients and their families when it is time to accept that cure is no longer an option. It reinforces that hope is not lost for a preserved quality of life,” said Odessa Hoinkis, MD, Director of Clinical Education at Family of Caring.

For more information about palliative care at Valley, please visit

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