Palliative Care

Living with a serious illness brings unique and complex needs. You and your family have an extra layer of support at The Christ Hospital with our Palliative Care Team.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both you and your family.

Palliative care is based on your needs, not your prognosis. It is appropriate any age and any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.

How does palliative care work?

Our palliative care team works alongside your primary medical team to ensure the best possible quality of life for patients receiving treatment for serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, dementia, and more.

Our team is specially trained to focus on your needs by helping to relieve pain and symptoms and supporting your ability to cope with your illness.

The palliative care team also spends the time it takes to help you match your treatment choices to your goals. They will also make sure that all your doctors know and understand what you want. This gives you more control over your care.

Members of The Christ Hospital Palliative Care Team that patients and families will work with include:

  • Doctors

  • Advanced practice nurses

  • Pharmacists

  • Social workers

  • Chaplains

What types of care can be provided?

The first thing our team will do is get to know you and your family better. After talking with your doctor and reviewing your medical records, they will meet with you and your family to better understand your needs and your goals for care.

From there, they will make recommendations for your plan of care. These recommendations will be reviewed with you and your family so you can make informed choices.

Pain and symptom control

The palliative care team will identify sources of pain and discomfort. These may include problems with breathing, fatigue, depression, insomnia, or constipation. The team will make recommendations for treatments that can offer relief. These might include medication and/or ways to control pain and symptoms without medication.

Communication and coordination

Palliative care teams are very good communicators. They put great importance on communication between you and your other doctors to ensure that your needs are fully met. These include establishing goals of care, help with decision-making and coordination of care.

Emotional support

Palliative care focuses on the entire person, not just the illness. The team members will address practical, emotional, and spiritual stresses that many people living with serious illnesses face.

Family/caregiver support

Caregivers bear a great deal of stress too, so the palliative care team supports them as well. This focused attention helps ease some of the strain and can help with decision making and finding extra support.

How can I get palliative care?

You may request palliative care through The Christ Hospital Health Network if you are staying in one of our hospitals, or if you are undergoing cancer treatment at one of our outpatient clinics.

If you'd like to receive palliative care services, simply tell your doctor or another member of your care team. He or she will help you set up a consultation with our palliative care service. You can also contact us for more information.

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover palliative care. If you have questions about your coverage, our financial counselors can help you understand your insurance benefits and costs of your care.

Why choose The Christ Hospital Health Network?

  • The Christ Hospital was the first Greater Cincinnati to earn The Joint Commission's Advanced Certification for Palliative Care. This Gold Seal of Approval confirms we offer people with serious illnesses a level of patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life.

  • We have joined the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) to ensure the highest quality of care for our patients and their families. CAPC is a national leader in providing healthcare professionals with continuing education and best practices in caring for people living with serious illnesses and their families.

  • Our accredited Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program was the first of its kind in Cincinnati. It provides in-depth palliative medicine training to physicians who are passionate about supporting patients' physical, emotional and spiritual needs.