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Patient Services

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What does the program offer?

The primary goal of our program is to ensure that patients dealing with life-threatening illnesses are as free of pain as possible and have the mental and emotional stability they need to make important life decisions. Most importantly, we want our patients to enjoy their time with family and friends and be able to do the things they want to do.

Working in partnership with a patient’s primary physician and team, the palliative care team provides:

  • Expert treatment of pain and other symptoms
  • Close, clear communication
  • Help navigating the health care system
  • Guidance with difficult decisions and complex information
  • Detailed practical information and assistance
  • Emotional and spiritual support for the patient and family

We want patients and their families to address all the possible options and outcomes and do as much planning as possible, including advance directives. Based on our experience in caring for critically ill patients and their families, we have developed the Johns Hopkins Palliative Care Checklist for Patients. The checklist provides a list of questions for patients and their families to help ensure that important tasks get done and decisions made. Taking care of a patient while he or she still feels well and alert will help both patient and family to feel prepared to deal with the effects of the illness and its treatment.

Who will be involved in my care?

In addition to your primary care team, program staff members will work with you and your family as needed. Our team includes palliative care doctors and nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists and others.

How do I make an appointment?

If you or a family member is in need of palliative care services, ask a doctor providing care, a nurse or other health care provider to contact us.

Health care providers can call 410-502-2097 for more information.

Pediatric Palliative Care

The Harriet Lane Compassionate Care program specializes in the care of children with life-limiting or terminal conditions and their families. As with adults receiving palliative care, children receive pain and symptom control as well as psychosocial and spiritual support. Their families receive the same psychosocial and spiritual support. In addition, palliative care experts work with the patients and their families on advanced care planning and provide bereavement care.

Program staff members have developed a new model for pediatric palliative care, which:

  • Integrates palliative care into pediatrics from diagnosis onward.
  • Educates residents, trains palliative care specialists and teaches pediatric care providers to identify palliative care needs.
  • Incorporates research into clinical care to continuously improve palliative efforts.