PINEHURST, N.C. – FirstHealth’s Palliative Care program recently welcomed advanced nurse practitioner Kristen Bilinski to the team.
Bilinski joins a dedicated team of palliative medicine certified physicians, nurses, social workers and patient representatives with the Palliative Care team. Bilinski earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing degrees from the University of Louisville, and she most recently worked as an emergency department nurse practitioner with Sandhills Emergency Physicians.
In her role with Palliative Care, Bilinski said she is looking forward to treating much more than just a disease.
“I chose to pursue palliative care after leaving the emergency room because it gives me the chance to place emphasis on the patient and not just the disease,” she said. “Palliative medicine will allow me to focus on relieving suffering while being present for the patients and their families.”
Bilinski knew early in her life that she wanted to work in health care.
“I initially became a nurse working in the cardiac ICU, but after starting my career I quickly realized I wanted to further my education to provide the best care possible for my patients,” she said. “I care for each patient the same way I would want my own family cared for.”
Outside of work, Bilinski enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking and baking. She also volunteers with a local animal rescue. In her role with Palliative Care, Bilinski will see patients in Pinehurst and Rockingham.
Palliative Care helps patients with a chronic or serious illness including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, kidney disease, Alzheimer's disease and more. Palliative Care can help relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients and their family members.
Palliative Care is offered along with all other appropriate medical treatments. The focus is on the needs of the patient whether those needs concern pain and symptom control, counseling, spiritual needs or coordinating links to other community services.
FirstHealth palliative care services are offered in the hospital, 305 Page Road in Pinehurst, 921 S. Long Drive in Rockingham and in select skilled nursing or assisted living facilities.
Patients or family members may request a referral to FirstHealth Palliative Care by calling (910) 715-6000. For more information on FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care, visit www.firsthealth.org/hospice