Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is medical care focused on relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. It is delivered alongside any and all effective medical treatments.

The goal is to help people live comfortably and to provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.

With palliative care, patients have access to the best possible options for managing their specific symptoms at the same time they are receiving the best possible management of their underlying disease. Our specialists also meet with patients and their families to discuss their goals for treatment. We consider the illness as well as each individual’s personal values and priorities.

Services are delivered in collaboration and close communication with the patient, family, physicians, and health care team. All share the common goal of providing the best possible disease management and simultaneously enhancing comfort and quality of life for the patient and family.

Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care may be provided at any time, often beginning at the time of initial diagnosis. Palliative care is often given at the same time as curative treatment. Hospice care, on the other hand, is focused on patients who are no longer seeking active treatments of their disease and want all treatments delivered for their comfort and quality of life. Palliative Care Clinicians can also provide hospice care for the patients and their families who desire that approach.

Our Services

Palliative Care services begin with a consultation. Once a consultation request has been received, treatment coordination begins.

Our Consultants will review your medical record, and talk with your main doctors and other members of your treatment team.  We then undertake a very thorough assessment of your medical situation.  We will meet with patients and families to review medical issues, discuss options and develop a plan of care based on patient goals.

A main characteristic of palliative care consultation is that, depending on your clinical situation and personal preferences, we can help you access professionals from a wide range of disciplines. Our multi-disciplinary team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers and chaplains.

Who Can Benefit?

All patients with a serious illness are eligible to receive palliative care. For most patients, palliative care complements the active treatments they receive for their underlying illness.

Some of the indications that palliative care might be beneficial include:

  • Uncertainty about treatment options, goals of care or simply navigating the healthcare system
  • Pain or other distressing symptoms that often accompany chronic progressive illness such as shortness of breath, fatigue, poor appetite, etc.
  • Psychosocial, emotional, and/or spiritual distress
  • Need for coordination of care

Initiating A Palliative Care Consult

A request for a Palliative Care consult can be initiated by a physician (attending or consulting), nurse, patient or family member.  We will always contact the attending physician prior to making contact with the patient or family.

If you are a patient or a patient’s family member interested in a palliative care consult (referral), please speak with the patient’s nurse or physician who can initiate the consult request.

The Difference Between Palliative Care, Hospice Care And Comfort Care


The Palliative Care Team

Physicians: Anthony Vigliotti, MD, Director, Palliative Care Board Certified 
Mary-Ellen Edmiston, DO  
Nurse Practitioners: Jennifer Mayo, ANP-C, ACHPN, Palliative Care Certified 
Colleen Zogby, FNP-C  
Social Workers:   Brendan Tanner, LMSW, ACSW, ACHP-SW, Palliative Care Certified 
Jenny Schaffer, LMSW    
Chaplain: Sr. Adelbert Durant, SOSF  
Volunteers:   Mary Rose Kott (Retired NP) 
Joan Payne (Retired NP)