Palliative Care

About Palliative Care at Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine is committed to providing comprehensive and holistic support to patients with serious illness and their families. Penn Palliative Care offers a clinical program that is patient-centered and family-focused to support patients at all phases of any serious illness. Penn also helps to build the future of palliative care by conducting innovative research and educating the next generation of leaders.


  • Profile of David J. Casarett, MD, MA
    David J. Casarett, MD, MA

    Associate Professor of Medicine,
    Chief Medical Officer of Wissahickon Hospice,
    Director of the Penn Palliative Care Program at Penn Medicine

  • Profile of Susan B. Kristiniak, DHA, MSN, RN
    Susan B. Kristiniak,
    DHA, MSN, RN

    Associate Director of Penn Palliative Care at Penn Medicine

  • Profile of Nina O'Connor, MD
    Nina O'Connor, MD

    Director, Palliative Care, Hospital of the University of PA
    Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Palliative Care — An Interdisciplinary Team Approach

Penn Palliative Care's interdisciplinary team includes board-certified palliative care physicians, as well as other professionals with advanced certifications in hospice and palliative care. Penn Medicine takes a leading role in educating future leaders in palliative medicine and advancing research. Medical students, fellows and others in training, accompany the interdisciplinary team to assess palliative needs of patients, families and the medical staff participating in the care plan, as part of their educational and medical curriculum.

Penn's interdisciplinary team includes:

  • Physicians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Chaplains
  • Bereavement counselors
  • Home health aides
  • Volunteers

Penn Palliative Care also offers patients access to health providers such as:

  • Physical, speech and occupational therapists
  • Complementary and alternative medicine practitioners

Palliative Care Partners

Penn Palliative Care collaborates with clinical and research partners within the University of Pennsylvania and its affiliates including:

Affiliate Partners