What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with chronic and/or serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age ant at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
The Sacred Heart Palliative Care Program was established in 2000 and was the first program of its kind in Pensacola, Florida.
Who provides Palliative Care?
Care continues to be provided by the person's primary doctor with the addition of the palliative care team. The palliative care team consists of board-certified palliative care doctors, advanced practice nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists focused on improving the person's quality of life.
How Does Palliative Care Work With My Own Doctor?
The palliative care team works in partnership with your own doctor to provide an extra layer of support for you and your family. The team provides expert symptom management, extra time for communication and help navigating the health system.
Meet Our Palliative Care Team
- Erin Bowers, ARNP-C
- Mary McWilliams, NP
- Katie Lilly, RN, BSN
- Ann Stimpfl, MSW, Social Worker
- Hayley Craft, RN, MSN, Manager
- Cortney Flores, Administrative Secretary
We currently have job openings for a Palliative medicine Physician/Medical Director and a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner.
What is the difference between Hospice and Palliative Care?
Palliative care and hospice are not the same. Palliative care is appropriate at any time during a person's chronic and/or serious illness. It can be provided at the same time the person is being treated for his or her disease.
Hospice provides care to people who have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of about six months or less and are no longer seeking life-prolonging treatment.
"The palliative care team was a God-send. They relieved my mother's distressing symptoms and spent so much time with my family explaining her care as well as comforting us. We are so grateful for this great team and service."
- Daughter of a patient who experienced the services from Sacred Heart's Palliative Care team