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Palliative Care Program

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About Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is expert medical care for patients with serious illnesses, at any age, and at any stage of the disease whatever the diagnosis.  We value a patient-centered, team approach to help you achieve your goals, to improve your quality of life and work with you, your primary physician and your family.

We help patients who are currently receiving life-prolonging treatment as well as patients considering comfort-focused care by providing relief of symptoms and distress. We commonly deal with pain, nausea, depression, confusion and shortness of breath.  We also assist in discussions and decisions regarding treatment options and goals of care based on your values and preferences.

Palliative care is an outpatient and hospital-based service that provides care to both the patient and the family. Patients and families dealing with cancer of any stage, heart failure, chronic lung conditions, chronic kidney disease, dementia, cirrhosis, stroke and other serious illnesses can benefit from our services.

Would I lose my primary care physician once I am seen by Palliative Care?

You do not lose your primary physician when you are seen by the palliative care service. We closely collaborate with your hospital physician, your primary care physician and other staff members who are currently involved in your care. The palliative care team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, case managers and chaplain.

How is Palliative Care different from Hospice?

Palliative Care can be provided at any stage of the patient’s illness.  Palliative Care may be provided at the same time you receive treatments that are meant to cure your illness. Hospice is a form of palliative care traditionally provided within the last six months of a sick patient’s life.