Pain and Palliative Care Services

If you or someone you love has pain or other symptoms related to a serious illness, the Kennedy University Hospital Pain and Palliative Care program can help.

Kennedy’s Pain and Palliative Care program can be integrated into a patient’s care plan at anytime -- to manage pain symptoms related to treatments (such as chemotherapy), or for symptoms that linger or appear after a patient’s medical  treatment is complete.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a medical specialty that focuses on improving overall quality-of-life for patients and families facing serious illness. With palliative care, there is a strong emphasis on effective communication, pain and symptom management, and coordination of care.

Palliative care is provided by a team of professionals working together with the patient’s primary doctor. It is appropriate at any point in a serious illness and can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure.

Ensuring Quality of Life

Palliative care is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Patients who benefit from palliative care have an array of medical conditions and respond differently to different treatment options. A key benefit of palliative care is that it looks at the “whole person” in order to meet the individual needs of each patient and family.

Palliative care relieves symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  •  Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Constipation
  •  Nausea and/or loss of appetite

The benefits of palliative care are many: it helps patients gain the strength to carry on with their daily life, improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments, and helps them better understand their choices for care.

Palliative care benefits patients’ family members, too, offering support and keeping the lines of communication open. Kennedy’s Pain and Palliative Care team helps patients and families make medical decisions and choose treatments that are in line with their goals.

Kennedy Palliative Care Team

Together with Vitas Innovative Hospice Care®, Kennedy’s Pain and Palliative Care team works collaboratively to identify issues that have an impact on a person’s quality of life and works to eliminate or minimize these problems.

A multi-disciplinary team of healthcare providers – including a physician with specialized training in palliative care and pain management -- work to together identify each patient’s goals and develops individualized care plans.  This team works collaboratively with the patient’s primary medical care team to ensure seamless care.

Family members receive education and support to develop and strengthen coping strategies in the treatment and care of their loved one.

When appropriate, the Kennedy Pain and Palliative Care team provides referral services to visiting nurse agencies, hospice programs, physical therapy and support groups to meet all patient and family needs.

Is Palliative Care the same as hospice?

No. While hospice care focuses solely on a person’s final months of life, palliative care can be added to a patient’s care plan at anytime – during medical treatment or after treatment is complete for symptoms that linger.

If you or a loved on is a patient at Kennedy University Hospital and you are interested in having a Pain and Palliative Care consultation with our team, please let your doctor or nurse know, or call 856-762-1933.