Palliative Care

The Palliative Care Program welcomes patients and family members who are facing a serious or life- threatening illness, regardless of diagnosis or ability to pay. Services are provided to inpatients and outpatients. Our services are available to patients at any phase of a life-threatening condition, including right after diagnosis or during active treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. Services are also available to those living with a serious chronic illness or dealing with advanced stages of disease. In addition to helping with pain and symptom management, we help patients and families define their goals for care and make treatment choices. All services are coordinated with the other medical specialists delivering care.

If required, we can provide referrals for hospice care.

Our focus is on managing symptoms so that patients can enjoy their friends, families, and activities for as long as possible. Among the unique approaches we use to keep patients comfortable, active and alert are:

  • A combination of medications and lifestyle approaches that focuses on maximum comfort and that is tailored to the needs of each patient
  • Involvement of palliative care specialists early in treatment
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Home visits (for patients and families living near the hospital)
  • On-going bereavement support

Services vary depending on patient and family preferences, but may include:

  • Pain and symptom management, including nausea and fatigue
  • Individual and family counseling to support open communication between patient, family, and care team
  • Emotional and spiritual support, including attention to end-of-life concerns, offered with respect and concern for each individual’s needs and preferences
  • Help in planning for care after hospital release, including providing information about home care and other inpatient settings
  • Referrals to hospice care
  • Assistance with treatment choices and decisions, including clarifying the goals of care
  • End-of-life care to relieve pain and symptoms and to assist patients with advanced disease live life to the fullest with quality and dignity
  • Bereavement support and referral, including suggestions for community resources and one-page bereavement readings mailed to families during the first year after the death