Palliative Care at Tampa General Hospital
Updated: Mar 12
We are so blessed to have many fine institutions located here in the Tampa Bay area. Among these institutions, as most residents are aware, we happen to have one of the nations best hospitals, Tampa General Hospital “TGH”. Behind the scenes of the massive operation that is TGH, there are numerous unsung heroes. One such person, Dr. Howard Tuch, leads the palliative care unit. I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Dr. Tuch over the years through my work on behalf of TGH as the co-chair of a fundraising campaign benefiting palliative care at the hospital.
Most of us probably have little knowledge or understanding about palliative care. Clinically, palliative care is specialized medical care focused on providing patients and their families with relief from pain, distressing symptoms and stress from serious illness. From a layman’s perspective, palliative care may be appropriately described as care provisions that are often beyond the level of care we are accustomed to. In addition to the patient’s primary clinicians, palliative care brings together a team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and chaplains all working to improve the overall benefit of medical care for each patient. Recent research regarding palliative care demonstrates its compelling value through significant cost reductions, increased longevity, as well as reduced hospital stays. Palliative care is not to be confused with end of life care, or hospice, which generally begins when a terminally ill patient has less than six months to live. The value and benefits of palliative care are evident during hospice care, but palliative care is in no way limited to advanced illnesses.
While I had done my basic research prior to first meeting Dr. Tuch, I must confess I was completely blown away by the work of his department and by him as a doctor and a human being. You may think this statement is hyperbole, but I assure you it is not and that his work is profound. I count myself fortunate to have spent time with Dr. Tuch and here are some of my observations: By virtue of Dr. Tuch decades of experience his vast knowledge allows him to assess his patients quickly, create a plan of action, and to facilitate the next steps of his patients’ care. His rapport with his patients and their families is built upon his well mannered, compassionate, and straightforward communication. He takes his time, speaks slowly, and always as one human being speaking at an equal level to others.
Picture how you would like to be treated if your loved-one was hospitalized; that is what I witnessed. Dr. Tuch and the palliative care staff at TGH are reducing the cost and length of hospitalization, while at the same time enabling patients to live longer as a result of the care they receive. Dr. Tuch is impressive and a tremendous asset for Tampa General Hospital!
About The Author
Jonathan Yob, founder and president of the Yob Family Foundation is a Tampa based entrepreneur and philanthropist with a passion for helping others and supporting high impact causes in our community. Mr. Yob has volunteered in support of community causes for almost three decades. He has an extremely close connection with TGH as he received life-saving treatment from TGH’s trauma care unit after a severe accident. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Yob began volunteering at the TGH auxiliary under the auspices of the amazing Zela Baker.
Mr. Yob has supported numerous TGH fundraising campaigns throughout the years, he is a graduate of the TGH White Coat Program (see photo), and he co-chaired and was the lead sponsor of the TGH Foundation’s campaign for the development of the palliative care unit. Mr. Yob looks forward to working again with TGH in the near future.