The palliative care service is a multidisciplinary team that consults on the most medically complex patients in the children’s hospital. Our core team of two physicians, a nurse practitioner, and a social worker is complemented by the breadth of the hospital’s robust support services, including child life, medical ethics, psychology, pastoral care, and rehabilitation services. We provide consultation on children with complex chronic conditions and potentially life-limiting diagnoses to facilitate communication, engage in advocacy for the most medically vulnerable, provide an additional layer of support, and to offer expert pain and symptom management using advanced and unique treatment modalities. It is our mission to provide compassionate, comprehensive care, and to preserve the dignity and quality of life of our patients and their families.
Newly revived, the palliative care service is particularly engaged in an expansive educational campaign across the medical center. We host trainees from multiple disciplines, and have curated a primary palliative care curriculum that we teach to nurses, advanced practice providers, and physicians at this institution and others. Our service, led by our dedicated social worker, also offers critical incident debriefing and grief counseling to hospital employees. While research and QI are still under development in this nascent service, we have particular interest in novel therapies for pain management in adolescents transitioning to adult care, standardizing pediatric legacy building-projects at end-of-life, and in establishing New York City’s first inpatient pediatric hospice scatter bed program.