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Pastoral care

UF Health's pastoral services provide spiritual support for patients and their family members.

Social workers

Palliative care social workers are available for counseling and education on what to expect and to prepare for.

Support programs in the hospital

Animals Heal Hearts

UF Health offers a pet therapy program where volunteers bring their own dogs into the hospital to visit patients. Participating dogs have been approved by Volunteer Services and are well-behaved, healthy, vaccinated and clean.

Arts in Medicine

The Arts in Medicine Program (AIM) provides art-related activities that help stimulate the imagination. The Artists-in-Residence are available to work with you and your family through music, dance, painting, creative writing and more.

Streetlight

Streetlight is an adolescent and young adult support program at UF Health for people aged 13-25 living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, and other chronic and life-limiting illnesses. The Streetlight team focuses on building friendships through peer companionship.

No One Dies Alone

No One Dies Alone (NODA) is a volunteer program that provides the reassuring presence of a volunteer companion to dying patients. With the support of the nursing staff, companions are able to help provide patients with a most valuable human gift: a dignified death.

Caring Bridge

A tool for patients and families to communicate and “share their story” with others. Sometimes it is challenging to keep others in formed of what is happening to you or your loved one with their illness.

Palliative care for children

Palliative care can help any child at any age or stage of a serious illness, starting from diagnosis.

Receiving palliative care occurs alongside curative, medical treatment and focuses on alleviating the burden caused by illness and its treatments. We function as an extra layer of support, in addition to your primary medical team, with the goal of maximizing quality of life for your child and your family while minimizing symptoms caused by illnesses or their treatments.

Care for your child and family can begin when your child’s health care provider refers you to palliative care services. It is available at the same time as any other treatments your doctors may prescribe. You may also request a palliative care team visit. Please note, UF Health only has inpatient pediatric palliative care. There are no outpatient services at this time.

How can we help

  • Clarifying goals of care during treatment
  • Helping you understand the illness or injury
  • Refractory symptom control
  • Connecting you with community resources
  • Supporting good communication between you, your child and the health care team
  • Assisting with spiritual and ethical concerns
  • Supporting siblings and extended family members

UF Health supportive oncology program

The UF Health Supportive Oncology Program is designed with you in mind. By combining integrative medicine and palliative supportive care with conventional oncology, we offer a holistic approach to cancer care that focuses on improving quality of life for you and your family

Palliative Pediatrics Team

  • Palliative Medicine Specialist, Pediatrician (Kids / Children Specialist)
    Celine M Cattier

Planning for what comes next

Advance directives

You have the right to make decisions about your own medical treatment. These decisions become more difficult if, due to illness or a change in mental condition, you are unable to tell your doctor and loved ones what kind of health-care treatments you want. That is why it is important for you to make your wishes known in advance.

Cancer Center providers around a patient

Hospice care

For many people who are faced with learning how to live with a terminal illness, hospice care can be the answer.

Social workers

In Gainesville: (352) 265-0224

Living with a chronic or terminal illness often has a major impact on one’s daily lifestyle. It can significantly change one’s quality of living in areas such as family life, employment, financial stressors, anxiety and spiritual beliefs. For many, adjusting to a new diagnosis and the lifestyle changes that often accompany it is highly challenging. There are several emotional stressors that can accompany the impact of a physical illness. It is important to recognize the impact your daily stressors have on you as well as to develop effective coping tools to enable you to work through difficult times. The Palliative Care Social Worker helps patients and their families cope with stressors during such challenging times.

The specialized areas of clinical services offered include the interventions listed below.

  • Clinical counseling focused on adjustment to prognosis and illness
  • Counseling and education focused on life adjustment to living with chronic or terminal illness
  • Advance Care Planning; counseling and teaching on completing living will and health care surrogate documents
  • Anticipatory grief counseling
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Teaching legacy building
  • Counseling surrounding quality of life versus quantity of life issues, including discussion on end of life goals and planning
  • Counseling on the importance of developing coping skills and utilizing support systems
  • Dialogue and education surrounding end of life wishes, funeral home/crematorium options and celebration of life/memorial planning
  • Developing skills for coping with loss of independence throughout the course of the disease
  • Teaching self-advocacy and empowerment around options and choices presented by the medical team
  • Initiating open dialogue on goals of care discussions to enable educated decision making
  • Education on end of life signs and symptoms with intent to decrease fears and anxieties over common physical and mental changes that often accompany disease progression
  • Empower, enhance and support patient and family participation in medical decisions and quality of life choices