CentraState Healthcare System

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Thursday, October 31, 2013 - CentraState names medical director of its palliative care program

Contact:        Karen Lippai, (732) 294-7080; Public Relations & Marketing

CentraState names medical director of its palliative care program


            FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP—Vikranta Sharma, MD, has recently joined CentraState Healthcare System as the medical director of its palliative care program, in partnership with the VNA Health Group.

Dr. Sharma graduated from Delhi University and Maulana Azad Medical College in India. She completed a residency in internal medicine at SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse in Syracuse, NY, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Previously, Dr. Sharma was the hospice medical director at Gentiva Hospice in Piscataway, NJ, and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care in Livingston, NJ, where she lead interdisciplinary teams of clinicians in caring for a vulnerable adult population at the end of life.

“Palliative care plays an integral role in the comprehensive healthcare plan for anyone with a life-threatening or progressive illness,” says Dr. Sharma. “It is much more than just pain management offered to those with a terminal illness. It is a patient-centered, integrated care by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals adhering to evidence-based, best-practice guidelines. The treatment plan is driven by goals and decisions of the patient and the family. The purpose of palliative care is to help provide relief from symptoms, pain, and emotional turmoil that comes with serious illness. Palliative care can be provided concurrently with curative treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and even addresses side effects caused by these treatments.”

CentraState’s Palliative Care Program is comprised of a partnership between the patient, their healthcare team and family. The medical team, lead by the patient’s primary care physician, includes palliative care physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and mental health professionals. The palliative care nurse specialist acts as the central coordinator of services and is the primary point of contact for patients and families. Collectively, the team can suggest therapies and treatments to help lessen pain and minimize breathing issues, fatigue, nausea, difficulty sleeping and emotional issues. The clinical team’s goal is to provide the patient with an optimal quality of life throughout the course of the illness.

In addition to providing education and support to CentraState’s existing palliative care program, Dr. Sharma is available to perform palliative care consultations on individual patients when requested from the patient’s primary care physician.  For more information, visit centrastate.com or call CentraState’s palliative care nurse at (732) 303-5181.

CentraState Healthcare System is a non-profit community health organization consisting of an acute-care hospital, a health and wellness campus, three senior living communities, a Family Medicine Residency Program, and a charitable foundation. CentraState’s teaching program is sponsored by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.


CentraState Healthcare System

901 West Main Street | Freehold, New Jersey 07728 | 732-431-2000