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Palliative Care

Palliative Care is an integral part of “making lives better” at all stages of illness. It is a consultative service that assists to define values and preferences for individuals living with a serious chronic illness. We support providers, patients and families by listening to our members’ wishes and developing a visible plan of action to meet those needs at every stage of illness.

Palliative Care Services are provided by a team approach for education, resources and consultations to patients and families. Our team is also available to assist in the completion of advance directives and POLST (Physician Orders For Life Sustaining Treatment) forms as well.

Palliative Care is a multi-disciplinary medical specialty for patients and their families facing serious and advanced illness. The mission of our Palliative Care team is to achieve the best quality of life for our patients through relief of suffering, control of symptoms, and restoration or maintenance of functional capacity for as long as possible while remaining sensitive to personal, cultural and religious values, beliefs, and practice and providing education and support to family and caregivers.

What does Palliative Care do?

  • Focuses on improving quality of life, reducing severity of symptoms and alleviating physical, mental and spiritual suffering.
  • Assists patients and families with complex decision making by providing and clarifying appropriate health care information and by providing emotional and spiritual support and options for care.
  • Assists patients and families with coordination of care and navigating a complex medical system across continuum.
  • Provides care alongside initial and curative treatments, but also provides terminal treatments when appropriate.
  • Palliative Care services can be provided in many settings including hospital, clinic, home, and in nursing facilities.

Is Palliative Care the same as Hospice?

No. Hospice is a separate department and service. Hospice is a philosophy of care that focuses on patient comfort and quality of life rather than curing the patient’s disease. Hospice is generally appropriate for individuals with a terminal illness and life expectancy of six months or less, when patient and family are agreeable with the above philosophy.