Supportive care (also known as palliative care) focuses on providing patients with relief from pain and stress related to a medical diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening illness. This medical specialty provides comfort for patients and their families. Studies have shown that patients who receive supportive care early in treatment live longer with an improved quality of life.
Your Support Team
Supportive care professionals help with pain, offer resources, alleviate stress, and offer emotional assistance. The supportive care team at UT Heath Northeast works together to add an extra layer of healthcare. Our team includes a:
- Board certified palliative care physician
- Social worker
- Psychology interns, who collaborate with a patient’s primary physician, specialists, and other healthcare providers
Supporting Your Health
Supportive care can benefit people of any age during any phase of their chronic illness and treats patients suffering from every health discipline, including:
- Liver disease (cirrhosis)
- Cardiac disease (cardiomyopathy)
- Lung disease (COPD, emphysema)
- Kidney failure (dialysis and non-dialysis)
- Infectious disease (HIV/AIDS)
- Neurological disease (dementia, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s)
Areas within Supportive Care
- Uncontrolled pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Emotional or spiritual distress
Supportive care specialists communicate clearly and compassionately. Social workers, nurses, and chaplains support physicians and nurse practitioners in providing services. The team offers significant physical and emotional support to patients and their families.
Advance care planning
Supportive Care offers assistance to patients and their families when they need more information about issues surrounding disease progression, and in making their treatment wishes known. When appropriate, the supportive care team offers knowledge related to end-of-life resources, including assistance with completing the appropriate forms.
Back row from left to right: Paula Brandon, RN, MSN, FACHE (Supportive Care Program Director); Cindy Broadway, LBSW; Jack Voss, Chaplain; Sean Seelbach, RN, CHPN (Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse); Kit Covington, CHW (Supportive Care Program Specialist) and Brittney Nichols, LPC-S. Seated are Amy Swan, DO (Supportive Care Physician, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Physician), Chiagozie Nwasuruba, MD, FACP, FHM (Supportive Care Physician, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Physician)