New Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic helps children thrive
Mark Neumann, MD
Children with serious chronic or life-limiting conditions can now benefit from a new service offered at Gundersen Health System—our Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic.
"Palliative Care is whole person care, and it provides services to help support people with physical, emotional, social, spiritual or psychological distress related to complex illness," explains Mark Neumann, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist Services, who provides medical oversight of the clinic.
The Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic brings together a team of specialists, including a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain and child life specialist. The team focuses on four areas to optimize each child’s quality of life:
- Symptom management
- Coordination of care
- Care goals
"We as parents, and all of us as members of society, wish and strive for our children to thrive. When children are burdened with special needs, we are called upon to make an extra effort to promote their quality of life. Through Palliative Care, we strive to limit the burden of symptoms, to coordinate their care on all levels and to identify the goals of care that will achieve the desired quality of life for all children to thrive, even in the context of life-limiting conditions," says Dr. Neumann.
Your patients who may benefit from palliative care include those with:
- Serious illnesses that carry significant risk for early death if treatment is unsuccessful (e.g. cancer)
- Serious chronic conditions that require complex medical support (e.g. ventilator dependent lung disease, short GI tract condition)
- Progressive illness with a foreshortened life expectancy (e.g. spinal muscular atrophy, severe cystic fibrosis)
- Static conditions with serious neuro-physical limitations (e.g. severe brain injury or cognitive impairment, severe cerebral palsy)
Children will be seen by referral in Gundersen Pediatric Specialties. For more information or to refer a patient, contact Gundersen Pediatric Specialties via MedLink at (800) 336-5465. In La Crosse, call (608) 775-5465.