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Palliative Care

Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary program and is offered to help patients achieve the best quality of life. It is initiated at anytime during a patient’s hospital stay. The program focuses on the relief of symptoms at any stage of a disease process. It strives to help patients better understand choices of care and customize treatments to meet individual needs. It is not the same as hospice care.

Palliative Care addresses not only the physical needs, but also the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of life for patients and their families. It looks at the whole person, which also includes a patient’s family members. Regular family meetings are a vital component. While striving to achieve medical management of an acute, chronic or life threatening illness, Palliative Care addresses a person's symptoms and physical needs.

Palliative Care consultation will help you and your family:

  • Learn more about your illness, treatment and prognosis.
  • Clarify goals of care.
  • Support medical decisions.
  • Explore the alternatives to continuation of treatment.
  • Provide emotional support.
  • Identify spiritual or religious concerns.
  • Help with advance care planning.
  • Make referrals to community agencies.

What to anticipate during a Palliative Care consultation:

  • Initial introduction to Palliative Care for patient and family.
  • Follow-up patient assessment from Palliative Care practitioner.
  • Family meetings.
  • Assist with establishing individualized goals of care.

Palliative Care supports patients, family and healthcare providers. Palliative Care assessments are time intensive and offer emotional support to the patient and/or family members of patients with acute, chronic or end-stage illness.

Relief of Suffering - Suffering is often the combined burden of physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. Palliative Care works with a patient's attending physician and nurse to assure that the burden of symptoms are treated effectively and compassionately, with both traditional and complimentary pain management approaches.

Quality of Life - Quality of life is unique to each patient. It can be achieved only when a person’s symptoms and concerns are addressed and their corresponding treatments incorporated into an individualized plan of care.

Medical Decision Making

  • Review clinical diagnosis and explore treatment options.
  • Assess and initiate therapeutic management of symptoms.

Interdisciplinary Care

  • Our team of experts meets weekly to review and discuss all aspects of our patients needs and treatment.

Supportive Care

  • Individual goals of care focus on quality of life.
  • Regular family meetings.

The Palliative Care Program at St. Francis Hospital meets the highest standards, utilizing the clinical practice guidelines for quality Palliative Care set forth by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC).

For more information on Palliative Care contact the Palliative Care office at (516) 562-6192 or email