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Palliative Medicine

What is Palliative Medicine?

Palliative medicine serves patients and loved ones facing the symptoms and stresses of complex and serious illnesses. 

The palliative medicine team will have conversations with you and your loved ones about your health and your values, goals, and options. We will work with you to design a care plan that helps you to maximize the quality of your life.

The palliative medicine team can help you to:

  • Understand your options
  • Manage your symptoms, including pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue, as well as anxiety and depression
  • Address your emotional and spiritual needs
  • Develop care plans and advance directives that respect your choices
  • Support your family and friends
  • Coordinate your care with other providers and services in the hospital and in the community
Who can benefit from palliative medicine services?

Palliative medicine services can help patients of all ages with complex serious, chronic, or terminal illnesses, including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other dementias

These services can benefit patients who are experiencing repeated emergency department visits or hospital admissions related to their health conditions.

Palliative medicine services can also support a patient’s loved ones as they navigate a patient’s illnesses. 

When do palliative medicine services help?

Palliative medicine services offer a continuum of care and can benefit patients at any stage of a serious illness. Ideally, they are introduced soon after a diagnosis. They can be provided with or without treatments meant to improve health. Palliative medicine services can include hospice care, which supports patients in the last months of life when curative and restorative treatments are no longer appropriate or no longer desired.

Who provides palliative medicine services?

At UHS Hospitals, the inpatient palliative medicine team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers.  The team works closely with other disciplines, including nursing, pharmacy, care management, and spiritual care, to care for patients and their loved ones. 

Depending on an individual’s plan of care, the inpatient palliative medicine team may place a referral to an outpatient palliative care program or a hospice program.

Most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover palliative medicine services.

How can someone receive palliative medicine services?

Ask your provider about speaking with the palliative medicine team.

If you have questions, please call the palliative medicine team at 607-763-6982.

Palliative Care Unit

Comfort-focused end-of-life care in a calm, compassionate environment

Located on Krembs 6 at UHS Binghamton General Hospital, the Palliative Care Unit (PCU) aims to meet the physical and emotional needs of patients receiving comfort-focused end-of-life care and their loved ones.

The PCU has six private patient rooms with extended visiting hours, as well as common spaces for loved ones to rest and recharge. It is designed for patients who transition to comfort-focused care during a hospitalization at UHS Wilson Medical Center or UHS Binghamton General Hospital whose symptoms require hospital-level management. It also serves patients who will transition home or to a hospice or skilled nursing facility.

Patients and their loved ones will receive regular visits from physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers from the palliative medicine team. They will receive care from nurses, aides, and other healthcare professionals with interest and skills in providing end-of-life care. 

View photos of our Palliative Care Unit.

UHS Palliative Care Unit Photo Tour

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