palliative care

Palliative Care: Enhancing Quality of Life at Every Stage of Illness

Palliative care services at MedStar Washington Hospital Center provide hospitalized patients with serious illnesses ongoing relief from symptoms and stress during and after treatment.

Our interdisciplinary palliative care team members are experts in this specialized field of medicine—and deliver an important level of additional support to our patients. The team takes a holistic approach to care aimed at healing mind, body and spirit.

Members of the team work collaboratively with one another, and hand-in-hand with patients’ other medical specialists and health care providers to help ease physical pain and other symptoms and promote patients’ emotional, psycho-social and spiritual health at any stage of illness.

The palliative plan of care respects each individual’s hopes, beliefs, values and traditions—and puts an emphasis on improving quality of life for patients and their families.

What’s special about Palliative Care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center?

  • Our interdisciplinary care team members are highly trained and experienced professionals who represent the full scope of palliative care services and include: fellowship-trained palliative care physicians, social workers, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, chaplains, and special volunteers.
  • The team provides services to hospitalized patients who are receiving complex care throughout MedStar Washington Hospital Center, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, and the Washington Cancer Institute.
  • Palliative care is provided by our team at any time during patients’ illness, even while they are undergoing complex treatment such as advanced heart therapies, chemotherapy or radiation.
  • Whenever possible, the team becomes involved in care even before treatment begins to develop the best approach to reduce pain and stress every step of the way, and to provide patients and families help during important treatment decision-making.
  • When needed, the team helps patients and families through the transition from hospitalization to home or hospice care and counsels them on critical end-of-life issues.
  • Team members not only provide clinical care, but are also involved in important palliative care educational initiatives within the MedStar Health system and across the U.S.
  • Our palliative care team members are nationally recognized experts in the field, and participate in cutting-edge research to enhance palliative care services—and to increase their use nationwide.
  • The division offers a highly sought after fellowship program training the next generation of palliative care physicians. 

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For more information on the Hospital Center's Palliative Care department, please call 202-877-7445.