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We're here when you need us
Our experienced team is here to offer palliative care for you or a loved one during a hospital stay. We can help you and your family with difficult decisions regarding care while providing emotional, social and spiritual support in your time of need.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is supportive care that is offered to any patient facing a serious illness. Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care can be given at the same time as treatments meant to cure or treat a disease. Patients may receive this care when the illness is first diagnosed, throughout treatment, and during follow-up. The palliative care team works as partners with the patients’ other doctors to provide an extra layer of care for patients and their families.

Patients with serious illnesses often experience pain in addition to other physical discomforts such as shortness of breath, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Palliative care can help with discomfort and symptom management, as well as assisting in making decisions about your overall care plan. The focus of palliative care is to decrease the burden of being diagnosed with an advanced illness and to strive for the best quality of life for you and your family.

Is palliative care right for me or my loved one?

If you or a loved one have experienced any of the following, palliative care may help.

  • Frequent emergency room visits
  • Multiple hospital admissions with the same diagnosis
  • Illness diagnosis with limited treatment options or complicated hospital course
  • A progressive illness despite medical treatment

Palliative care is for people of all ages who have a serious or life-threatening illness. Our dedicated staff helps manage your or your loved one's disease symptoms and treatment side effects. The goal is to improve quality of life and promote better healing.

Palliative care may be helpful when treating:

  • Cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Sepsis/life threatening infection
  • Frail elderly
  • Dementia
  • Stroke

Common symptoms managed by palliative care include:

  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

The Staten Island University Hospital palliative care team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers and pastoral care providers.

Our staff

Frank Forte, MD FHCP FAAHPM
Director Hospice and Palliative Care
Director Emeritus Medical Oncology Hematology

Nina Loghmanieh, DO
Associate Director, Attending Physician

Kathleen O'Connor, RN BSN CHPN
Palliative Care Coordinator

Barbara Curd, RN BSN CHPN
Palliative Care Coordinator

Erin Vanderwerken, LMSW
Palliative Care Social Worker

Terese Gianfagna, LCSW
Palliative Care Social Worker