What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a special form of medicine where expert clinicians focus on the “whole person” to help address and alleviate symptoms of serious illness which are difficult to achieve through traditional medicine.

Palliative care specialists are board certified physicians, advanced practice nurses and other clinicians who provide comprehensive treatment of the anxiety, pain, discomfort and stress associated with life-threatening illnesses, help to identify goals of care, and provide clarity for patients and their families.

Palliative care’s main goal is to help align a person’s medical treatment they receive, with a plan that matches their unique goals, hopes and beliefs.  Palliative care teams work along side of curative treatments, other therapies and hospice options regardless of a person’s age or diagnosis.

The Institute of Medicine defines palliative care as “seeking to prevent, relieve, reduce or soothe the symptoms of a disease or disorder without affecting a cure. It attends closely to the emotional, spiritual and practical needs and goals of patients and those close to them.”

Palliative care specialists work with patient’s attending physician to deliver care in conjunction with other medical treatments, at all stages of an illness.

Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to medicine addressing all facets of a person’s care including physical, emotional, spiritual and psychosocial needs.