Children's Hospital Supportive Care

What is Supportive Care?

Supportive Care, also referred to as palliative care, addresses the total care of your child’s body, mind and spirit. This form of care provides an extra layer of support for your family. We work in conjunction with other medical providers to deliver the best care possible to your child and family.

Supportive Care focuses on the relief of symptoms as well as other non-medical and psychosocial needs experienced during times of serious illness. Supportive Care is offered, along with other medical treatment, at any stage of illness.

Who benefits from Supportive Care?

The Supportive Care program helps children and families who are dealing with the effects of a serious illness or condition, such as frequent hospitalizations or medical appointments, stress associated with life changes, symptoms such as pain or anxiety, or understanding a new diagnosis or treatment. We work with children, family members and healthcare providers to reach the goal of a fulfilling life for every child.

How does the Supportive Care Team help?

The Supportive Care Team provides …

  • Assistance with understanding medical information
  • Emotional support and education for the child and family members, including siblings
  • Spiritual care
  • Symptom management, including pain
  • Referral to community agencies
  • Guidance in bringing families and providers together to discuss your child’s plan of care

Is Supportive Care the same as hospice?

No. While hospice care is available for those who are expected to live less than six months, Supportive Care helps your child and family through any or all stages of a serious illness.

Your child may receive Supportive Care at the same time he or she is receiving other medical treatment.

For what conditions does the Supportive Care Team provide assistance?

The Supportive Care Team helps children with these and other conditions:

  • Brain malfunctions
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chromosome disorders such as trisomy 13 and 18
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Genetic disorders
  • Hypoxic/anoxic brain injury
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Osteogensis imperfecta
  • Prematurity

How can my family begin receiving Supportive Care?

Talk with your doctors or nurse. You will need a referral from your physician for Supportive Care.

Will my insurance pay for it?

Most insurance plans cover all or a portion of the Supportive Care treatment received in the hospital, similar to other hospital and medical services. This also is true of Medicare and Medicaid. If you have questions or financial concerns, please talk with a social worker or the GHS Children’s Hospital business office.

Who are the Supportive Care Team members?

Our caregivers form a special team with advanced training, skills and experience who work together to meet your child’s needs. The team includes a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse, child life specialist, chaplain and social worker.