Services for the Body, Mind and Spirit

Our Palliative Care experts are an important part of the treatment team providing critical services to patients undergoing treatment for cardiovascular disease and cancer. The team takes a holistic approach to care that emphasizes the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients experiencing a serious illness.

The interdisciplinary Palliative Care team works closely with patients, their families and patients’ other health care specialists at any stage of serious illness, and provide services simultaneously with life-prolonging treatments. The team brings a unique perspective to care—and serves as an additional advocate on behalf of both patients and their families.

The goal of the team is to develop an individualized care plan to maximize comfort, reduce stress and allow patients to live as fully as possible despite their illness.

The team provides a variety of services, including:

  • Monitor symptoms through the course of the illness
  • Manage symptoms, such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping
  • Work with patients and families to identify goals from treatment and serve as a communication link to other health care providers
  • Provide support and counseling to patients
  • Provide counseling to families and other caregivers
  • Link patients and families to information and resources
  • Provide assistance with treatment choices and decision-making
  • Consult with other patients’ community physician
  • Provide information about options for care, whether in the hospital, in another inpatient setting, or in the home
  • Help patients and families make a smooth transition from hospital to home or other health care setting
  • When it is needed, make referrals to a hospice program in the patient's community
  • Provide support and end-of-life care if an illness progresses to an advanced stage

Helpful Links

  • Hunter Groninger, MD, FAAHPM; Director, Section of Palliative Care, talks about the value of palliative care. View video.
  • Read more about how Palliative Care enhances treatment for patients with advanced heart failure in Cardiovascular Physician.
  • Read more about the team’s work in national medical journals.
  • Our Palliative Care Team

Learn More

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