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The Palliative Care Service at Smilow Cancer Hospital

The Palliative Care Service at Smilow Cancer Hospital is dedicated to the care and comfort of seriously ill patients and their families and has been providing comprehensive interdisciplinary care to patients and their families in Connecticut and beyond since October 2007.

Palliative care focuses on symptom and pain management and quality of life issues for adult patients with complex, life-altering and life-threatening illnesses. The program is centered on the patient and their family, and deals with physical issues such as pain, fatigue, and nausea; and with psychosocial issues like depression, disruption of family life, and financial concerns.

The Psychological Medicine Service provides outpatient and inpatient psychological care to patients within the Palliative Care Service. Dr. Dwain Fehon, Chief Psychologist at YNHH, is a member of the Palliative Care team and he provides co-located evidence-based outpatient psychological consultation and intervention to adults living with advanced cancers of all types. Treatments are geared to help patients cope with life-threatening illness, depression, fears of cancer progression, cancer-related pain, addictive behaviors, and existential distress.

Psychology fellows within the Psychological Medicine Service’s Behavioral Medicine placement train within the inpatient Palliative Care consult service and carry a caseload of patients with the outpatient palliative care clinics as well.

Additional educational opportunities in Palliative Care are available through the service’s monthly case conferences, journal clubs and grand rounds presentations.