Palliative Care

Patient and Family-Focused Pediatric Palliative Care—With Unconditional Love

The first program of its kind in the nation, St. Mary’s palliative care program has one goal: To minimize discomfort—and maximize the quality of life—for children with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness.

Palliative care prioritizes comfort and quality of life for the child and his/her family. It typically starts as soon as a diagnosis is confirmed and usually at the same time treatment begins. One of the greatest misconceptions regarding palliative care is that it is the same as hospice care.

What is Pediatric Palliative Care?

It is specialized care for our patients with serious, long-term health conditions. It provides our patients with solutions for their illness’s pain, symptoms, and stress. It also applies to the treatment provided to manage their disease. Palliative care can take place at the same time your child is undergoing curative treatment for their illness, and doesn’t depend on the stage of your child’s illness.

Our Palliative Care Program offers Complementary care services, providing a range of modalities that complement or enhance the care your child is receiving. Complementary care supports the body, mind, and spirit to aid in recovery, promote health, manage pain, and reduce stress. A variety of healing techniques, such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Massage Therapy, and Aromatherapy, are available to children and their families.

These services are delivered by an integrated, caring team that includes experienced professionals in medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, rehabilitation, nutrition, chaplaincy, therapeutic activities, and trained doula volunteers.

Our pediatric palliative care team is there to assist with end-of-life preparations, remembrance rituals, and the grief process through the St. Mary’s C.A.R.E.S. bereavement program.

Contact Information

 If you believe that palliative care would be beneficial to your child and your family, please contact:

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children
Marianne Muzic, LCSW, APHSW-C, PMH-C
St. Mary’s Palliative Care Program Manager

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