Extraordinary People - Pat Bomba, M.D.

Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment helps plan for end-of-life care

ROCHESTER, NY - None of us like to think about our loved ones getting old, getting sick, or even dying.  That's why so many fail to plan for the end of life.  But the consequences of this lack of planning can be devastating.  Experts say if you're over 18, you should have a health care proxy, a iiving will, and if you're seriously ill, a relatively new document called Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.  

In Rochester, the Vice President of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dr. Pat Bomba, is quietly leading the nation in this tough conversation.  When she began her career as a geriatric doctor, the common rule was that doctors know best.  Over time, her elderly patients taught her otherwise, and so did her mom.

In 1992, Sophia Bomba wrote up a living will, then gathered her family together to talk about her final wishes.  

"The first time was not easy.  My mother led the discussion.  She started not by saying this is what I want when I die.  She started by saying this is what's important to me right now, in my life," says Bomba.

That family conversation took place once a year, every year, until Sophia's death in 2007.

All this while, Dr. Bomba was earning national recognition for her work.  

She championed a new end-of-life-care document called MOLST - Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment - for people who are seriously ill.  

MOLST helps fill in the gaps of a living will, and make sure everyone in the health care system is guided by the patient's own preferences for care.  

Dr. Bomba helped roll out the form first in Rochester, and then across the state.  She says, "I believe in it personally and professionally, because I was one of those baby boomers caring for her mom."

15 years after she filed a living will, Sophia Bomba filled out a MOLST form too.  When she was diagnosed with advanced cancer, her meticulous planning helped guide her 5 daughters through the challenging months to follow.  "In those last few days, and during those last few months when she was in hospice, it was the conversations that we had during the Thanksgiving dinners as well as the series of MOLST discussions that helped not only myself but our whole family, and at that point, multiple grandchildren, to be able to help my mom close her life on her terms, based on what mattered most to her," says Bomba.

Dr. Bomba says people like her mother helped spark a sea change in end of life care - a change that Dr. Bomba helped shepherd into law.

For more information about advanced care planning, click on the link below.

http://www.compassionandsupport.org

 

 

 

 

 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Adam Interviews
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Buffalo Kickoff Live!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Extraordinary People
  • Ask The Experts
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Games and Puzzles

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center