Palliative Care Program

The Palliative Care team within the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation works with each child and family in our care to help manage the symptoms of their illness, including stress, pain, and other factors, and to improve quality of life through helping them understand and face serious illness.

What Makes Our Program Different

A Truly Integrated Approach From Day One

Unlike past definitions equating palliative care with hospice care, today’s palliative care providers work with patients and families dealing with a serious illness from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their journey with the disease.

“Families in our Division have the potential for tremendous distress,” says Dr. Elisha Waldman, Director of Palliative Care, “Through this program, we have the potential to ease their suffering.

Speaking with patients and families early in their care makes what can be a rough ride a little smoother. “This is important, because most children with cancer and nonmalignant hematologic disorders do survive,” concludes Dr. Waldman.

Our Approach to Care

Personalized Care Tailored to Each Family

The palliative care team speaks with parents and children about their understanding of the disease and their goals.

In the words of Jennifer Granison, a palliative care social worker who works closely with Dr. Waldman, “We want to help them get through their ordeal as comfortably as possible.”

Services range from relief of physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual support. Social workers like Ms. Granison interact with patients and their families throughout their therapy.

The Palliative Care Program is focused on helping patients and their families face serious illness. Our comprehensive approach includes providing relief of symptoms such as pain and nausea, as well as helping provide educational and emotional support to help patients understand and live with their illness.