Palliative Care Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Our mission is to relieve the suffering of patients and families struggling with a serious illness. We explore the meaning and impact that physical, spiritual, psychological and existential suffering has for patients, families, and caregivers alike. We create space for grief, help with complex decision making, relieve pain and symptoms, and help foster care plans that are consistent with our patients’ deepest values and goals. We do this using an interdisciplinary, specialized team that places the patient and family in the center of the illness experience.

We are also committed to advancing the field of palliative care through our innovative practices, commitment to education, and dedication to enhancing the quality of care both locally and nationally.


Outpatient Services

  Staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, we provide specialist level palliative care services at the Herbert Irving Pavillion for patients at home or in the community dealing with a serious illness, like cancer, advanced lung disease, neurologic illness, and other conditions that negatively affect quality of life.
Our palliative care clinicians manage the pain and symptoms associated with a serious illness. We also help support our patients and their families with coping and planning for the future. Our interdisciplinary team helps coordinate care and supportive services, including psychology, rehab medicine, acupuncture, yoga, and other modalities to alleviate the symptoms and burden of disease.

Hospital Consult Services

  Our inpatient consult teams provide specialist level pain and symptom management at the NewYork-Presbyterian Milstein Hospital at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Each inpatient consult team includes a physician, nurse practitioner and social worker, as well as dedicated chaplain to provide spiritual care. Our teams care for patients anywhere in the hospital and work together with patients’ other doctors and teams to provide holistic and comprehensive care.


Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program

  In 2010, Columbia received approval from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to formally establish the HPM Fellowship Program. The goals of the intensive one-year fellowship program are to: bolster the number of well-trained hospice and palliative medicine practitioners; improve the quality of care provided to a growing population of patients and their families coping with chronic illness or end of life care; and infuse the palliative medicine philosophy throughout CUMC’s clinical programs. In 2019, together with the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care at Weill Cornell Medicine, we established a Bi-Campus (Columbia and Cornell) HPM Fellowship Program

Education and Academic Projects

  The Palliative Care Service’s faculty and staff are engaged in a number of educational initiatives throughout the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), quality improvement projects, and collaborative research. Our mission is to improve the palliative care provided to patients across the life span by developing and implementing novel care delivery programs, training specialists in hospice and palliative medicine, educating health care providers in the principles and practice of generalist level palliative care, and collaborating in research to guide our interventions clinically and educationally. Most notably, we have initiated an Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Resource Champion (IPRC) Program, which is a one-year program offered to NYP and Columbia University Medical Center nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and social workers to increase their knowledge and skills in the area of palliative care. We also have a number of educational initiatives in the training programs of Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Family Medicine, and others. We have an elective and selective in Palliative Care for medical students and are part of the teaching faculty at the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons.

Use of Meditation

  Meditation practice has been shown to have many positive effects on patients, families and providers, mitigating the stress of illness and contributing to a sense of well-being and equanimity. We emphasize the importance of meditation in our services. Indeed, we offer meditation training and other forms of contemplative practice by our Zen Buddhist chaplain, Rev. Seigan Glassing.

Why consider palliative care?

  • Improves quality of care

  • Focuses on quality of life

  • Decreases symptoms, like pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression

  • Increases patient and caregiver support

  • Helps patients achieve a sense of control

  • Relieves burdens on family

  • Assist in complex medical decision making

  • Coordinates care among multiple providers
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