The Palliative Care team serves those who have been diagnosed with a serious or life-limiting illness such as: COPD, heart failure, liver or kidney disease and cancer. We provide holistic, patient-centered care that addresses a person’s unique and changing needs throughout the course of illness.
Palliative care is appropriate at any age, at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with treatment to improve quality of life. We focus on three main areas: symptom/pain management, supportive services and goals of care discussions.
Comprehensive, Patient Centered Care in a Clinical Setting
Denver Health’s Palliative Care Service has worked since its inception in the fall of 2013 to become a local resource and leader in the field of palliative care, with demonstrated leadership in compassionate clinical care, collaborative research, community outreach and training. Our team’s comprehensive approach to caring for people with serious illnesses focuses on whole-patient care. This care includes an emphasis on physical, emotional, social and spiritual support. Palliative care addresses symptoms and assists patients and families in setting goals for care, while preserving quality of life, dignity and respect.
At our nationally and internationally renowned medical center, palliative specialists strive to provide comprehensive, personalized care and are dedicated to meet each unique need of the patient and family. Denver Health is one of the first hospitals in the region to offer this level of care in an outpatient clinic setting. In this setting, there is easy access to physicians and nurse practitioners who have specialized training in palliative medicine, skilled nursing staff, a chaplain and a social worker as well as onsite diagnostic services such as lab and imaging.
- Making a plan of care to fit each individual
- Managing uncontrolled pain that is associated with advanced illness
- Managing other symptoms associated with serious illness; these symptoms may include: nausea, diarrhea, itching, constipation, loss of appetite, vomiting, shortness of breath, fatigue and stress
- Providing spiritual support
- Assisting with advanced directive information and future planning
- Social work resources
- Providing additional psychological support for families with children
The palliative care team works on a consult basis in the hospital. They help in the care of hospitalized patients to provide an extra layer of support and expert symptom management. The primary care team caring for the patient (and their family) can request for the palliative care team to be involved and help with the patient’s treatment plan.
Patients do not have to be hospitalized to receive care at the outpatient clinic. If the patient has a serious or life-threatening illness, their health care provider can place a referral for the patient to be seen at the clinic. Palliative care can be delivered at the same time as curative or life-prolonging therapy. Palliative care providers in the clinic setting provide expert symptom management, supportive care for patients and families, and assistance with determining goals of care.
Resources and Education
- Information and videos for providers, caregivers and patients from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
- American Cancer Society
- Center to Advance Palliative Care
- Get Palliative Care
- National Cancer Institute
- National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
For Referring Providers:
- Inpatient referrals: please contact the Palliative Medicine team – see on call daily schedule
- Outpatient referrals: please place a referral under EPIC: ambulatory referral to Palliative Care
- External referrals: please call the appointment line at 303-436-4949