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About the Palliative Medicine Program

Founded in 2007, the Palliative Medicine Program provides compassionate, supportive care for patients and families receiving treatment from the members of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Palliative care has been growing as a special service at Johns Hopkins since 2000, when critical care nurse Rita Moldovan and a team of experts began seeing patients in the medical inpatient units.

Our staff of experts supports patients and families throughout their illness, providing them the type of care they need every step of the way. They manage symptoms, set medically appropriate goals and help people make the most of their time.

The degree of care is matched to each person’s needs and may include intravenous antibiotics, nutritional care, physical therapy and invasive pain management, such as spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal or epidural pain management. Johns Hopkins radiation oncology staff members can provide quick pain relief via a dose of radiation therapy, often the best way to relieve cancer pain.

Palliative Care Inpatient Unit

In December, 2016, we opened the palliative care inpatient unit for patients whose needs require more intensive treatment. The eleven-bed unit functions as a regular hospital unit while also creating a comfortable, homelike environment for patients and their families. Doctors, advance practice nurses, nurses, social workers and chaplains meet daily to help plan the best way to achieve the goals of the patient and family.


We have close working relationships with all local hospices, especially Gilchrist Hospice Care, Hospice of the Chesapeake and Joseph Richey Hospice.