Palliative Care

Palliative Care Provides Extra Support to Seriously Ill Patients

Doctor comforting elderly patient

Approximately 90 million Americans are living with serious, life-threatening and chronic illnesses according to the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). That estimate is expected to increase substantially over the next 25 years as the "Baby Boomers" age (i.e., anyone born between 1946 and 1964). Palliative Care at Penn Medicine takes a customized approach to caring for all seriously ill patients at all stages of an illness.

About the Palliative Care Team

A highly-trained team of palliative care experts integrate supportive medical and non-medical interventions to address physical symptoms, pain and other psychosocial problems in collaboration with the patient, family and the patient's primary physician. The interdisciplinary team consists of physicians who are board-certified in palliative medicine, nurse practitioners, social workers, pharmacists, chaplains and other trained professionals. The team addresses physical symptoms related to an illness, side effects of treatment and the patient's and family's emotional and spiritual needs.


Penn palliative care services are available to patients in a Penn hospital or clinic, as well as any patients living at home, in assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. Some of the illnesses that benefit from palliative care include:

  • AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Renal failure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stroke

Learn more about Penn Palliative Care clinical services