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Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care concentrates on reducing the severity of symptoms caused by cancer and its treatments. It is a comprehensive approach that focuses on the physical, psycho-social, spiritual and practical needs of patients and their families. The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve the quality of life of people facing cancer.

Palliative care can be part of a treatment plan for patients of any age and at any time during a disease or treatment process. Our specialized multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other specialists work together with a patient’s primary oncologist to deliver an extra layer of support through their cancer treatment.

Our program aims to:

  • Improve the quality of life of patients with cancer
  • Respect the individual’s personal values and preferences
  • Provide education and support to patients and their families
  • Promote comfort and relieve pain and suffering

How does palliative care work?

Palliative care uses many approaches, depending on the individual patient’s symptoms, needs and wishes.

It might involve:

  • Medications
  • Pain management
  • Complementary techniques, including breathing exercises, massage or Reiki, acupuncture, art or music therapy
  • Mental health services and coping strategies
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Spiritual support and guidance
  • Nutritional support
  • Family support
  • Discharge planning

Our team provides the following outpatient services:

  • Cancer-related pain management, led by a fellowship-trained palliative care physician who utilizes a multimodal approach towards pain management with goals of maximizing function and quality of life
  • Management of other burdensome symptoms including nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, digestive issues, changes in mood and neuropathy
  • Psychological support to the patient and caregivers
  • Assistance in making difficult decisions, such as those related to treatment course based on values and preferences
  • Spiritual guidance and support

Our team works with the oncologist and the patient to reduce difficult physical or emotional symptoms, improve function, reduce disability, or integrate complementary therapies into the patient’s treatment. The palliative care team consists of:

  • Palliative Medicine Physician specializes in developing an individualized treatment plan unique to each patient by offering strategies to prevent and alleviate suffering while improving their quality of life. The doctor cares for patients holistically – body, mind and spirit –and collaborates with an interdisciplinary team focusing on the psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
  • Palliative Care Nurse Coordinator works with your oncology care team to schedule appointments at Park Avenue Medical Center or via telehealth. The nurse coordinator helps patients develop goals of care, assists patients with changes in symptoms, addresses concerns and arranges for home care services.
  • Palliative Care Social Worker provides mental health support to patients navigating life with a serious illness. The licensed clinical social worker helps patients with existing mental health diagnoses and those experiencing new anxiety and depression brought on by their illness or other life transitions.
  • Palliative Care Chaplain provides spiritual and emotional support to patients and their loved ones, regardless of religious affiliation. The chaplain creates space for people living with serious illness to explore concerns related to meaning, purpose, and connection.

Find out more about Support Services at Bridgeport Hospital

Find out more about Philanthropic Support

Fairway Suite At Bridgeport Hospital Milford Campus

The Fairway Suite at the Bridgeport Hospital Milford Campus offers a home-like bedroom with adjoining family room specifically designed for the care and comfort of inpatient hospice patients and their families. Partnering with local VNAs, the Fairway Suite provides personalized services in a caring environment and is committed to keeping patients in their community.

The Fairway Suite is made possible by the generous donation of Carol McInnis and her family in honor of her husband, Robert who passed away in October 2005.


Contact Us

Palliative Care
Nurse Coordinator


Palliative Care Services
Park Avenue Medical Center
5520 Park Avenue, Room 1-200
Trumbull, CT 06611