WRPCI Handbook: Please explore the Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative Handbook to learn more about the framework of this initiative.

The Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative (WRPCI) is a pilot effort to better serve patients with serious illness in rural communities. Led by the Washington State Office of Rural Health at the Washington State Department of Health, this public-private partnership involves over 24 different organizations to assist rural health systems and communities to integrate palliative care in multiple settings, such as emergency department, inpatient, skilled rehabilitation, home health, hospice, primary care, and long-term care.

Seven rural communities are currently participating in the Initiative. The Washington State Office of Rural Health team is linked to efforts in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with technical assistance and funding from Stratis Health, pioneers in rural palliative care. The project also had funding support from Amerigroup/Anthem. WRPCI prepared a summary report on the first year of telehealth activities.

The WA Rural Palliative Care Initiative is pleased to welcome nine new communities to the new Cohort 2: Anacortes, Clarkston, Davenport, Ellensburg, Elma, Goldendale, Port Angeles, San Juan Islands and Stevens County.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized care for people living with serious illness. Care is focused on relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness and treatment—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve and sustain quality of life for the patient, loved ones and other care companions. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with active treatment. Palliative care facilitates patient autonomy, access to information, and choice. The palliative care team helps patients and families understand the nature of their illness, and make timely, informed decisions about care.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Complex Care Conversations at the Heart of Rural Palliative Care: Tammy Bhang, DNP, ARNP ACHPN and Juan Iregui, MA, MD, FAAHPM

Virtual meeting on Thursday, August 27th. Workshop is now full!

Watch Recording here soon.

Rural Palliative Care Education Series

  • 2020 training dates are open to rural health communities outside the cohort.
    • WRPCI will host a series of talk show style conversations via Zoom throughout 2020. These events are free. All events are on Tuesdays from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Register in advance.
      • February 25 - Tools to Support Discussion of Serious Illnesses and Conditions
      • April 28 - A Palliative Care App for Patients: A TapCloud Demonstration
      • June 23 - Designing Workflows for Palliative Care Telemedicine in Patient Homes
      • August 25 - A Guided Tour to Palliative Care Training Resources
      • September 22 - Legal Issues at the Heart of Serious Illness
  • 2019 Recordings:

How can other rural communities get involved?

  • Please contact Pat Justis for more information.

  • This portal has resources intended to help a wider group of rural health communities and organizations.

Learn more about the Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative.


Palliative Care Cohort Organization



Island Hospital Anacortes
Columbia Basin Hospital Ephrata
Columbia County Health System Dayton
Tristate Hospital Clarkston
Lincoln Hospital District #3 Davenport
Summit Pacific Medical Center Elma
Klickitat Valley Health Goldendale
Jefferson Healthcare Port Townsend
Newport Hospital and Health Services Newport
Okanogan Palliative Care Team Okanogan County
Olympic Medical Center Port Angeles
Pullman Regional Hospital Pullman
Interisland Healthcare Foundation and Member San Juan Islands
Providence- Stevens County Stevens County
Whitman Hospital and Medical Center Colfax



Washington State Department of Health

Pat Justis

Executive Director, State Office of Rural Health
Leader, Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative