Darrell Owens, nurse practitioner, outpatient palliative and supportive medicine services, during home visit to a patient receiving palliative care at end of life
Palliative and supportive care is a specialized approach to providing medical care for people with serious, long-lasting or life-threatening illnesses. The goal of palliative and supportive care is to provide relief from symptoms, pain and stress, regardless of the patient’s age, the stage of their disease or their need for additional care.

Our team of nurse practitioners, physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual care providers and other specialists works closely with the patient’s other healthcare providers to address physical symptoms; practical aspects of daily living; and emotional, social and spiritual needs that may arise during serious illness. Our goal is to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care can begin as soon as a diagnosis (such as cancer, dementia or congestive heart failure) is made and is appropriate even while life-prolonging treatments are being delivered.

Northwest Hospital offers palliative and supportive care on an inpatient and outpatient basis.

The Inpatient Palliative Care Program at Northwest Hospital is a specialty service dedicated to improving the quality of life and easing the suffering of patients hospitalized with serious illness, as well as their families and caregivers. Palliative care provides another layer of support, with special attention to the relief of symptoms, pain and stress associated with a serious illness.

The Palliative Care Service can help patients, families and caregivers:

  • Live the best possible life
  • Connect to information and resources
  • Manage feelings that come with serious illness
  • Create stability when many different medical teams are involved with a patient’s care
  • Talk about complex medical issues and make important decisions
  • Match healthcare goals to medical treatments
  • Control pain and other symptoms
  • Make end-of-life decisions
  • Help build family memories and legacies
  • Navigate the grief process

The UW Medicine Outpatient Primary, Palliative and Supportive Care Program team can help patients manage difficult symptoms and support them in coping with their illness at home. They also can assist with referrals to other providers and coordination of medical appointments, answer questions regarding prescription refills and medical treatments, and help facilitate conversations with family and other healthcare professionals who are involved in the patient’s care. House calls are available in King and Snohomish counties for those who have difficulty leaving their homes.

If you don’t have a primary care provider, the Outpatient Primary, Palliative and Supportive Care Program can provide both your primary and palliative care needs. One of our providers is available 24 hours a day to help you to avoid a trip to the emergency department by assisting you with urgent medical issues. If you need to be hospitalized, we will continue to be involved in your care and will make sure that all your doctors know about your health needs and care preferences.

To learn more about the UW Medicine Outpatient Primary, Palliative and Supportive Care Program, please call 206.368.6749.