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Palliative Care

“The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families.” —World Health Organization

Palliative care is a specialized medical care used to support the needs of people facing advanced illness. This unique interdisciplinary medical approach focuses on managing the patient’s symptoms and effectively enhancing the quality of life.

Palliative care may be provided at anytime during a person’s illness—even from the time of diagnosis—and may be given at the same time as curative treatment. This differs from Hospice care, which is focused on end of life care (the last six months) for patients who are no longer seeking treatment for a cure.

St. Joseph’s Palliative Care Consult Service is designed to provide symptom management while treating the whole person and allow patients the choice of receiving high-quality, personalized care. St. Joseph’s has designed a program that provides significant benefits for patients and families coping with advanced illness.

Goals of Palliative Care for Patient and Family: 

  • Provide meticulous pain and symptom control
  • Meet with patient and family to explore patients values, goals, and assist with decision making regarding future care (can be short and long term)
  • Promotes/assists with advanced care planning
  • Helps with communication among patients, healthcare providers-MD's, NP's/PA's, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, speech/swallow specialists, primary care physician
  • Engages a multidisciplinary team to meet the goals of the patient  (dietary, physical therapy, wound care,etc)
  • Assists with transition to appropriate sites of carey following hospitalization
  • Provides psychosocial and spiritual support for patient and family

Family Meetings

Family meetings are part of the Palliative Care Consult Service. Our goal is to contact and meet with the patient and family within 24 hours of the consult request.

  • Every attempt will be made to accommodate your schedule.
  • When feasible, we will meet in the patient’s room.
  • Conference calls are available for family members who live out of town.
  • All caregivers are encouraged to attend the meeting.
  • Referrals are made to Hospice and Francis House, if desired, when appropriate.

Family Meetings in the Intensive Care Units (ICU's)

Informative family meetings are scheduled for intensive care unit patients who have been in the ICU for more than three days and have serious, advanced illness. The ICU social worker facilitates these meetings. Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses, caring for the patient, meet with the patient and/or family to ensure everyone has the same understanding of the illness and to discuss the options for care while considering the patient’s preferences for medical care.

Palliative Care Unit (PCU)

The PCU is a four-bed unit providing palliative-oriented care for patients that are on Care of the Dying Pathway, are Hospice patients, or have advanced illness and are requesting a palliative approach to their care.  Patients must meet acute criteria for continued hospitalization.  Placement on the PCU does not necassarily eliminate the need for a discharge plan.  Any attending can request transfer of their patient to this unit.  A palliative care consult is not required, but social work and spiritual care support is routine.

Grief and Bereavement

  • Resource packet, with detailed community support services provided when appropriate.
  • Referrals made, at family request.
  • Counseling services available on a limited basis.

St. Joseph's Home Care Palliative Care Program

St. Joseph’s Palliative Home Care Program is designed to provide symptom management while treating the whole person, and allowing patients the choice of receiving high-quality, personalized care in their own home setting.

The Palliative Care Team

Our interdisciplinary team consists of a physician, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, licensed master social workers and a spiritual counselor.
  • Dr. Pamela Horst
  • Anthony Viglioti, MD
  • MaryRose Kott, MS, RN, ANP, CNN – Advance practice nurse and nurse practitioner. Graduate of St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing; BS, Boston College; MS, Syracuse University; NP, SUNY
  • Jennifer Mayo – RN, ANP. BSN, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.; ANP, SUNY Upstate, Syracuse, NY; ACHPN
  • Jennifer Barry, LMSW – MSW, West Virginia University
  • Elena Stipanovic, LMSW, ACSW - MSW, Fordham University
  • Kelly Taylor, LMSW, NYU
  • Rev Joshua Czyz
  • Rebecca Bender,RN; Palliative Care Coordinator

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