Improving Quality of Life for Both Patient and Family
Dealing with a serious illness can be a difficult and confusing time for children and their families, one that often is accompanied by physical and emotional suffering, discomfort and other complications.
The Pediatric Palliative Care Team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida is made up of experienced, compassionate professionals, skilled healthcare providers and community partners, who work closely with each patient and their family to relieve physical, psychological, social and spiritual distress.
Call us to learn more: 954-265-7728.
Our goal is to help relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for patients and their families through a variety of consultative services, including:
- Pain and symptom management
- Discussion of goals of care
- Coordination of communication between families and multiple caregivers
- Psychosocial and emotional support
- Spiritual care
- Sibling counseling
- Complementary therapies (massage, guided imagery, reflexology, aromatherapy, Reiki, art and music therapy)
- Identification of community resources available to families
Pediatric palliative care is most effective when offered early, generally at the time of diagnosis. This allows the palliative care team to provide services throughout the course of the patient's illness, while the patient is receiving curative or life-prolonging therapies.
Pediatric palliative care, for example, can be beneficial when a child is diagnosed with an illness that can limit normal life expectancy or significantly impact their quality of life, including:
- Advanced or progressive cancersBlood disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Congenital heart disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Genetic disorders
- Major organ failure
- Metabolic disorders
- Neurological conditions
- Neuromuscular diseases
- Sickle cell anemia
Led by Lynn Meister, MD, FAAP, who works closely with an interdisciplinary team of experienced healthcare providers and palliative care specialists, the team provides compassionate support to patients, families and their primary healthcare teams by easing pain (both acute and chronic), emotional suffering, discomfort and other symptoms. We also provide guidance and advice regarding both medical care and end-of-life decisions and can facilitate transition to hospice care, either in-patient or at the patient's home, if needed.
Every team member on our pediatric palliative care team has extensive expertise in palliative care and includes:
- A board-certified palliative care physician
- A palliative care counselor
- Nurse practitioners
- Child Life specialists
- An integrative therapy nurse licensed in massage and other mind/body energy therapies
- Two chaplains with extensive experience in palliative care
- A social worker/counselor
Team members work with the child's physician to keep the lines of communication open between families and healthcare providers so loved ones have the information they need to make informed decisions.
Our pediatric palliative care specialists, who establish strong relationships with the family members, can also initiate or participate in difficult discussions with a better appreciation for the family’s feelings and desires.
For more information on the services we provide, or to schedule an appointment, call 954-265-7728.