Palliative Care Services

UAB Medicine’s Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care delivers world-class care to older adults and patients with advanced or life-threatening illnesses as well as survivorship care and dignified end-of-life care. Our palliative care services are offered for both inpatients and outpatients, depending on the patient’s circumstances and preferences.

Our Services Include:

Inpatient

The 12-bed inpatient UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit seeks to decrease the stress of the hospital setting with large rooms and hotel-like features that give patients and families the space they need to maneuver through difficult times. Opened in March 2006, the nationally-renowned center treats patients with advanced or life-threatening conditions, and it has provided care to more than 2,000 patients and their families since its inception. Some of the conditions commonly seen include cancer, heart failure, HIV, anorexia or other severe weight loss, trauma, genetic disorders, burns, sickle cell anemia, organ transplant, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Focusing on the whole person, the treatment team goes beyond physical suffering to address emotional, social, family and spiritual needs. Even the family pet can play a part in healing and comfort.

A team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, counselors, and massage and art therapists works respectfully with the patient to help preserve dignity and quality of life. Through compassionate care, the palliative care team guides patients from first diagnosis through every stage of illness. All along the way, we help them make decisions about fulfilling their needs for comfort and quality of life.

The center also serves as a research and training facility to advance the treatment of patients who are suffering. Our areas of focus include:

  • Medical excellence
  • Ethics and spirituality
  • Communication between medical professionals and patients
  • Caregiver and family support
  • Bereavement and grief support
  • Survivorship, especially for breast and head and neck cancer survivors

Outpatient

Our staff helps outpatients address symptoms they may experience, set goals for care, and live as well as they can for as long as they can. Using an interdisciplinary approach, our physicians, fellows, physician assistants, psychologist, social worker, and nutritionist work together to develop an individual plan of care for each patient to meet their need for comfort and quality of life. The team not only assists patients with pain management, but also with their emotional, social, family, and spiritual needs. The clinic also refers patients to complementary providers who may help ease symptoms with treatments such as massage, hypnotherapy, and acupuncture.

The health professionals at the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care clinics also help patients manage the side effects associated with conditions such as cancer, advanced heart failure, HIV, and advanced lung disease. Unlike hospice, the Palliative and Supportive Care clinics staff work with patients at any time during the course of their treatment, including while treatments intended to help cure them are being administered.

The center also serves as a research and training facility to advance the treatment of patients who are suffering. Areas of focus include:

  • Optimal health care delivery for complex and advanced illness
  • Ethics and spirituality
  • Communication between medical professionals and patients
  • Caregiver and family support
  • Symptom support
  • Survivorship care, especially for breast, head and neck, and cancer survivors

The UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit is located at 1713 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35233.  Enter the UAB Center for Psychiatric Medicine Building and take the elevator to the third floor.  Upon exiting the elevator, turn right and enter the lobby through the door.  For more information, please call 205.996.6870 to reach the nurses station.

For additional information about the UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit, please see this article in Health Facilities Management magazine.

PHYSICIANS

Clinical Trials

UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Palliative Care. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information on clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.

View Clinical Trials