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The Division of Palliative Care at Lenox Hill Hospital focuses on patients who have advanced or life-threatening illnesses with the goal of providing relief from suffering and control of symptoms. To achieve this, the division’s clinical staff provides a holistic focus on a patient that includes the body, mind and spirit. Advanced methods for symptom control are available, and palliative care providers are trained in working with patients and families on problems that arise in caring for someone who is sick.

The clinical staff will work with patients, families and primary care physicians to make a comprehensive assessment and plan. This includes an understanding for managing the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients and their loved ones. Physicians at Lenox Hill Hospital respect patient values and decisions while addressing spiritual and psychosocial needs. Practical support will also be available for all patients.

Benefits of palliative care

Patients with almost any illness can benefit from a palliative approach even if the illness is curable or a long term condition. Focusing on improving symptom management and the burdens for patients and families can improve quality of life for everyone involved.

Why choose us?

At the division, every patient receives compassionate care from a small team of professionals. The staff is dedicated to listening to patients and their families to address any concerns. The division’s physicians and nurse practitioners are experts in pain management and symptom control. Together, they make physical comfort, honest communication and caring attention their top priorities.

The Division of Palliative Care at Lenox Hill Hospital provides specialized care to help with:

  • Control of physical symptoms including nausea, shortness of breath, sleeplessness
  • Expert pain management
  • Coping with emotional reactions such as sadness, grief and anger
  • Advance directives or healthcare proxy issues
  • Reaching a better understanding of your condition and your choices for medical care
  • Making a plan for what to do after your hospital stay
  • Family communication

Other support and resources include pastoral and crisis counselors who are experienced in helping patients and families cope with the spiritual and emotional stress of hospitalization and illness. They are available to visit patients regularly.

Honoring cultural and religious values

The clinical staff knows the importance of respecting a patient’s desires. The division strives to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate palliative care, and emphasize cross-cultural issues in training and continuing education.

Support for your family

As palliative care professionals, the division always aims to support patients and their families. Families and loved ones can expect clear and honest communication from the palliative care team. The clinical staff conducts family meetings to discuss medical care and plans for the future. The staff also provides support and counseling for patients and their families, together or separately. It can be comforting to sit down with the team member(s) and have all questions answered, share a prayer with the pastoral counselor or discuss fears and concerns with a counselor familiar with the stress of a serious illness.

Frequently asked questions

Does palliative care mean that nothing more can be done for me?

Palliative care is a comprehensive way of treating a patient’s needs that can include helping a patient choose to continue curative care or not. The Division of Palliative Care at Lenox Hill Hospital can help care for a patient with physical symptoms caused by a disease. The clinical staff will work with a patient’s family to make important healthcare decisions and provide emotional support.

Is palliative care the same thing as hospice?

No, palliative care in the hospital is not the same as hospice. Hospice is a special form of palliative care that is focused on the last several months of a patient's life. Palliative care can be introduced early in the care of a patient’s illness, long before the end of life and it can be available at the same time as curative treatments.

When is the right time to start receiving palliative care?

It is always worthwhile to contact a program that provides palliative care when patients have a serious illness. Palliative care can be introduced early in the care of your illness and provided at the same time as curative treatments. Research has shown that palliative care starting early in disease treatment can improve a patient’s quality of life, reduce depression and extend life.

What if I don’t need to talk with anyone?

No matter how strong a patient has been throughout his or her life, dealing with a serious illness puts severe strain on the mind, body and spirit. Having support during this time is essential to helping a patient become as physically and emotionally comfortable as possible. Whether that support is present in family and other loved ones, our trained professionals are here to talk.