Palliative care

Our palliative care specialists have expertise in treating pain or other symptoms of serious or life-threatening illness. Our interdisciplinary care optimizes quality of life so that treatment is better tolerated. Patients and their families can talk with the Palliative Care team about treatments, medications, troublesome symptoms or side effects, spiritual concerns, goals and dreams.

Our team

The team includes:

  • physicians certified by the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • advance practice nurses certified in hospice and palliative care
  • chaplain.

The staff is complemented by a host of support services including a social worker, pharmacist, dietitian and behavioral health counselor.

What services are available?

The Palliative Care team can help increase a patient's ability to cope with the rigors of therapy and maintain the best possible physical and emotional functioning. They can help find relief of symptoms such as:

  • pain
  • nausea
  • breathlessness
  • emotional and social challenges
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mouth sores
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • poor appetite
  • spiritual distress.

Palliative care specialists prescribe medications, do physical examinations and offer recommendations for a patient's care. They offer practical support by helping patients navigate the health care system and taking the time to thoroughly explain the illness and possible treatment outcomes. Palliative care specialists can provide guidance and support in deciding on difficult treatment choices.

How is palliative care different from hospice care?

Palliative care is provided throughout a patient's illness, in conjunction with active treatment such as radiation therapy or other medical therapy. Team members can help with the transition to hospice care, if needed.

Will a patient's physician continue to be involved?

Yes. The Palliative Care team will provide consultation to the patient's regular physician who will continue to manage the patient's care.

End of life care

If an illness progresses to an advanced stage, treatment to relieve pain and other symptoms continues. The Palliative Care team will remain closely involved with a focus on intensive caring. The goal is to help the patient live life to the fullest, with quality and dignity.