Find Provider Providers Find Locations Locations Care Services Services Patients Patients
Care Services

Palliative Medicine

two people holding hands to comfort each other

Why Choose Mount Nittany Health Palliative Medicine?

Choosing Mount Nittany Health Palliative Medicine is a decision rooted in compassion, expertise, and a commitment to enhancing the quality of life for individuals facing serious illnesses. With Mount Nittany Health Palliative Medicine, you can expect a comprehensive and patient-centered approach to your care.

Our team of dedicated professionals specialize in serious illness management which can include pain and symptom management as well as advanced and often complex discussions about progressive illness. Palliative medicine assists with advanced illness planning including healthcare directives such as a living will, healthcare power of attorney, or the Pennsylvania Order for Life-Sustaining Therapy (POLST) documents. Additionally, we help patients and families with legacy planning projects. We understand that every individual is unique, and we work closely with you to develop a personalized care plan that respects and aligns with your values, wishes, and preferences.

Our Approach

Palliative medicine is a holistic and compassionate approach to healthcare that prioritizes quality of life, with a focus on optimizing the well-being of serious illness patients who may have a life-limiting or life-threatening illness. Our providers have advanced training in complex medical communication. We offer a comprehensive approach which involves a multi-faceted strategy that extends far beyond just managing physical symptoms. It encompasses a range of services and support systems designed to address the diverse needs of patients and their families.

Emotional and psychological well-being is also a central focus. Serious illness patients and their families often experience emotional distress when dealing with a life-limiting illness. The Mount Nittany Health Palliative Medicine team uses a comprehensive and innovative approach to care that provides emotional support, clear communication, and knowledge that enables individuals to find the best balance during these vulnerable times. The team typically consists of specialists including palliative medicine providers, nurses, and care managers/nurse navigators, and if needed may include therapists, pharmacists, and nutritionists.

Quotation mark

You were so professional and caring and helped focus our fatigue, fears, and sorrow. Thank you for helping us.

Barb Family member of a Palliative Medicine patient

Palliative Medicine Conditions

At Mount Nittany Health Palliative Medicine we believe the core of comprehensive palliative medicine begins with effective pain and symptom management. Medical professionals work closely with patients to improve quality of life and alleviate physical discomfort, whether it be through medication, therapies, or other interventions. Palliative medicine is for anyone with a serious medical illness. It is appropriate at any stage of that illness and can be given along with curative treatment. Palliative medicine may be right for you if you are facing pain, emotional distress, and other symptoms due to serious illness.

Serious illnesses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Advanced dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other progressive neurological disorders
  • Cancer – link to Cancer Care pages
  • Advanced lung disease such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Advanced cardiac disease (heart failure, sever coronary artery diseases)
  • End-stage kidney disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS)

Palliative Medicine Treatments / Services

Palliative medicine is a specialized medical approach focused on enhancing the quality of life for individuals facing serious illnesses. Sometimes advanced serious illness may already be nearing end-stage and palliative medicine can help with that too. Here’s what you can expect from palliative medicine:

  • Symptom Relief: Palliative medicine teams are dedicated to managing and alleviating distressing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and sleep disturbances. Your care team will use a combination of medication, therapies and interventions to assist with symptom relief.
  • Improved Understanding: Your Palliative medicine team will work to ensure that you and your family have a better understanding of your medical condition. They provide information about your illness, treatment options, and the expected course of the disease. This knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions about your care.
  • Maintenance of Daily Life: Palliative medicine is designed to help you continue with your daily activities and routine’s as much as possible.
  • Enhanced Ability to Undergo Treatments: For individuals receiving curative or life prolonging treatments, palliative medicine can be complimentary. It assists in managing the side effects and challenges that often come with these treatments making it easier for you to complete your medical plan.
  • Optimal Quality of Life: The primary objective of palliative medicine is to help you achieve the best possible quality of life during a challenging period. They may involve not only physical comfort, but also interventions to promote emotional and psychological well-being, including legacy-planning projects as well as spiritual guidance and support for your family.

In summary, palliative medicine is a patient-centered approach that focuses on symptom management, improving your understanding of your condition, respecting your goals, and helping you maintain the best quality of life possible while dealing with a serious illness. It provides comprehensive support, addressing not only physical symptoms, but also the emotional and psychological aspects of care, ultimately enhancing your overall well-being.