Palliative Care Program

About Pallliative Care

Palliative Care is a medical specialty focused on preventing, treating and relieving pain and other debilitating effects of serious and chronic illnesses. Palliative (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) care addresses the patient’s physical needs along with his or her emotional, social and spiritual needs, and also those of the family and other loved ones. The aim of Palliative Care is to promote optimal health by helping individuals manage the progression of a disease with education, support, symptom management and restorative care. With the goal of improving the quality of life for patients and families dealing with a condition that is chronic and/or advanced, palliative care provides education and support at any stage during an illness.

Patients who benefit from palliative care are likely to be coping with illnesses such as:

  • cancer

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • congestive heart failure (CHF)

  • liver disease

  • advanced dementia 

Palliative Care Focus

Palliative care focuses on the individual patient. The palliative care plans differ from one patient to another, depending on the needs and wishes of the patient, family members and loved ones. Based on the patient’s particular goals and the overall objective of improving his or her quality of life, a palliative care plan is designed to:

  • Provide relief from pain and other symptoms to reduce suffering
  • Integrate emotional, social and spiritual needs
  • Explain potential treatment options to ensure that the patient, family and loved ones have the information needed to determine goals
  • Support the patient and his or her family and loved ones in making the most appropriate decisions
  • Help the patient live as actively as possible
  • Prepare for the long term care needs of the patient and family
  • Assist with a smooth transition from the hospital to home, to another facility or to hospice care, depending on the patient’s care needs
  • Assure clear communication with other care providers
  • Assist the patient’s health care providers, if desired, with complicated decision-making regarding therapies and treatments
  • Develop patient/family support

For a consult, please contact:

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, MD
Medical Director
Shore Regional Palliative Care Program
410 822-1000

For all other questions or concerns, please contact:

Madeline Steffens, RN, BSN, CHPN
Program Coordinator
Shore Regional Palliative Care Program
410-822-1000, ext. 5041, or 410-708-4177