Life-Enhancing Care with Samaritan

“When we coordinate care for the patient, they have a true understanding of their options and their journey becomes less complicated.”

In a world often defined by the rush of daily life, Samaritan is a beacon of solace. The nonprofit healthcare provider brings welcomed relief and much-needed connection to people during their most vulnerable times. Their care reaches deep into the heart of the human experience.

Founded in 1980, Samaritan was one of the first hospices in the country. And while families continue to seek out Samaritan for help navigating the precious last months of life, the organization now offers so much more. Its circle of services includes home-based primary care, palliative medicine, hospice care, grief support, social connections, education and advocacy in homes and facilities throughout South Jersey.

Sara Pagliaro, DO

“People are living longer and better thanks to advances in medicine,” says Sara Pagliaro, DO, Chief Medical Officer at Samaritan. “As they age, they may have one or more medical conditions that limit their life in some way. This may impact activities that are important to them and might change their ability to have a meaningful quality of life. We provide care that helps them navigate their healthcare journey, whether that’s symptom management or social and spiritual support – and it’s empowering. When we think about advanced care for serious illness, it’s disease-specific, coordinated care where a patient has ‘graduated’ from treatment in a typical primary care setting. This is a very specialized and personalized approach.”

Samaritan’s interdisciplinary care team includes a physician, a nurse, social worker, spiritual support counselor and home health aide. For families of homebound seniors, that means their loved ones can get care in the home or facility where they reside, including lab services, radiology and other specialty services. To enhance their quality of life, patients can enjoy music therapy, massage therapy and pet therapy, as well as friendly visitors and callers. When further support is needed, Samaritan provides palliative medicine and hospice, and grief counseling for families. A dedicated nurse care coordinator works with the patient and family to coordinate services based on the patient’s needs and preferences.

“When we coordinate care for the patient, they have a true understanding of their options and their journey becomes less complicated,” says Dr. Pagliaro. “Once they express their goals of care and make plans, often patients and their families feel a weight lifted. The unknown can be frightening. We help them navigate to a place where they and their family have never been before.” 

“Healthcare today is ever changing,” adds Dr. Pagliaro. “It is becoming more challenging and complicated for patients and their loved ones to know what services are available and how to access them. Samaritan experts have worked for decades in delivering person-centered care. Every member of our healthcare team has a high level of expertise and knowledge. This is the best way to develop the right plan for our patients. We put them at the center of their own care.”

Services are mostly provided in the comfort of the patient’s home, but Samaritan does see patients in acute care settings like hospitals and rehab centers. They also have inpatient hospice facilities in Voorhees and Mount Holly, predominantly for short stays.

“I think most people would agree that it’s important to talk about advanced illness care and end-of-life care, but most people are not comfortable doing that,” explains Dr. Pagliaro. “That often means that hospice is elected too late, in the last hours, days or weeks of somebody’s life, and they won’t necessarily get the full benefit of the services available to support their best possible quality of life. Ideally, we want to give our patients and their families the time and space to process information before there is an acute need. That way, they can make decisions out of love and not fear.”

Dr. Pagliaro encourages families to call Samaritan with questions. “If your loved one has needs above and beyond the care they’re receiving, or you have questions about coordinated care, call us. We can help you navigate the right services for now, and then anticipate what you might need in the future.”  


800-229-8183 |