Resolution Care

Tracey Columns

A few years ago, a dear member of our extended family passed away from cancer. It was a tremendous loss for all of us. Quite simply, she was just one of those very special people in the world. Her kind heart, generous spirit, and wonderful sense of humor endeared her to so many people.

Throughout our relationship, I learned a great many things from her. And yet, it was how she approached her death that taught me perhaps the most valuable lessons of all. As was her way, she faced the end of her life with grace. She had a remarkable attitude towards what she once referred to as ‘the inevitability”.

As a woman who treasured her family, she asked all of us to be with her before she died. Relatives flew in from around the country. The highlight for me was when we  gathered around her in a large circle in her living room. Confined to a hospital bed, a couple of her grandchildren climbed onto the bed to snuggle with her. And then? We  sang every song we could possible think of! She had been raised with music and had old songbooks for all of us to share.This tender gathering struck me as exactly the thing she wanted and needed, not to mention the rest of us.

At her memorial, again at her request, my husband and I sang one of her favorite songs. (The punch line had the entire group in stitches!) It wasn’t my best performance. Keeping my heart in check clearly impacted my ability to sing the song as well as I wanted. But it didn’t matter in the slightest. We were honored to do this for our dear friend.

Then someone I had never met, Dr. Michael Fratkin, stood up to speak. Within the first few minutes of his message, I was carried away to a very peaceful place. His attitude and beliefs, all expressed so clearly and compassionately, were comforting, consoling. He gave me a gift that day, one I will always treasure.

So, you can understand how pleased I was to learn that Dr. Fratkin, with the support and help of others, has begun ResolutionCare, a “community-based and team-based palliative care service” that takes care of people in their own homes. I could not agree more with their mission to bring: “capable and compassionate care to everyone, everywhere as life approaches completion.”

I am struck by the wisdom and value of this project. ResolutionCare offers an experienced and well trained team approach. They will make sure pain is managed. What can sometimes be confusing treatment options will be discussed and carried out, thus avoiding exhausting trips into a doctor’s office. They’ll offer support and guidance to the individual and his/her family every step of the way. Finally, ResolutionCare will know when it is time for the individual to transition to Hospice care, a decision that is often understandably difficult to make.

There is no cost to consumers for all of these valuable services. Some insurance companies offer reimbursement for some of ResolutionCare’s services. If this is not available, a sliding scale donation can be made to ResolutionCare. However, if an individual simply lacks the ability to pay, services will still be offered.

Given both my professional and personal experiences, I am pleased this innovative program is available to all of us here in northern California. We could not be any more fortunate. These dedicated professionals have identified a glaring need and are moving heaven and earth to meet it. My thanks to Dr. Fratkin and his team!

But appreciation alone can’t make this happen. I ask that you first read their informative website, You’ll learn so much more than I’ve been able to cover here. Then, go to and make a donation because if each of us gives a little, so many will benefit.

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