ALERT

We are experiencing high call volumes in response to expanded COVID vaccination scheduling. Vaccine supplies in Idaho are limited. Please do not call St. Luke’s clinics directly regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Appointments are made through myChart as vaccine is available; we are not able to accommodate walk-ins. Unless you need to call for an emergency, you are encouraged to use myChart for questions and appointments at this time. Find additional information here.

toggle mobile menu Menu
toggle search menu

Site Navigation

Supplemental

Menu

Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care

Palliative medicine and supportive care is helping patients with serious illnesses live better lives. It is not hospice nor is it end-of-life care, but rather specialized care that optimizes your quality of life through support tailored to your individual needs. Our team of experts will help guide you and your family through any stage of a serious illness or health problem. 

Typically, palliative medicine and supportive care assists patients with serious, chronic illness affecting quality of life, including but not limited to cancer, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, dementia, end-stage liver disease, kidney failure, lung disease, and stroke.

Highlights & Resources

Palliative medicine and supportive care helps you live your life more comfortably. We can prevent or provide relief from symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Problems with sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional and spiritual distress

The palliative medicine and supportive care team provides support for you and your family and can improve communication between you and your healthcare providers. Early use of palliative care and supportive care services can provide:

  • Open discussion about treatment choices
  • Coordination of your care with your healthcare team
  • Emotional support for you and your family
  • Decision making and planning for the future
  • Help with managing your illness at home to avoid hospitalization
  • Connections to community resources that may benefit you and your family

Your first meeting may take place while you’re in the hospital or in an outpatient clinic. It’s never too early to start palliative care. We understand how your symptoms affect your energy or motivation to pursue the things you enjoy and can have an impact on your family. 

What You Can Expect

Our team—which includes a physician, an advanced practice nurse, social workers, chaplains, and other professionals—will support your individual goals. You may also encounter medical students and residents, as they learn from our experts. We're proud to be training the next generation of providers in palliative and supportive care.

You can receive palliative and supportive care at the same time you receive other treatments. Availability of palliative and supportive care isn't dependent on the state of any other conditions.

We work with a wide range of specialties, such as internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, pulmonology, hospice, and rehabilitation. 

Contact Information

We are here when you need us:

  • In the hospital: your attending provider can refer you or you can ask your medical team if this is a good option for you.
  • Outside the hospital: talk with your healthcare provider about a referral, or call us to learn more about our services.

Additional Resources

For more information about Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, visit Get Palliative Care.

The American Cancer Society also offers a number of trusted resources regarding palliative care for cancer patients.

Additional Support for Families