About Palliative Care

Accessing Services

Patients are referred to Palliative Care by their attending physicians. The Palliative Care Unit accepts patients from clinic, the emergency room, or on transfer from another unit.


Related Information

Patient Education Resources

UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin is committed to providing excellence in health care, including the provision of palliative care medicine.
Palliative care treats the whole person, aiming to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
Though palliative care is most often associated with end-of-life care, it can be part of the treatment of any person with a serious or life-threatening medical condition for which a patient-centered approach, pain and symptom control, family involvement and compassionate care are needed.
Ideally, palliative care begins early in the course of a life-limiting illness. We are dedicated to caring for patients, regardless of age, who may be suffering from a serious progressive illness such as:
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Alzheimer's
Palliative Care
View a brief slideshow about
Laurie Medenblik, social worker,
as she explains how the Palliative Care team works with patients
Goals of Palliative Care 
  • Reducing symptoms caused by both disease and its therapy
  • Supporting patients and families at times of illness, transition and loss
  • Helping family members provide support to patients and each other
The Essence of Palliative Medicine
The Palliative Care Team at UW Health brings their combined expertise from multiple areas to treat the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families in a comforting environment.
In providing palliative care, the team brings a model of care based on six major skill sets. These skill sets, according to the Institute of Medicine, are the essence of palliative medicine.
  • Communication
  • Advanced care planning
  • Management of the complications of treatment and disease
  • Symptom control
  • Psychosocial care of patient and family
  • Care of the dying
The Palliative Care Unit
The Palliative Care Unit at UW Hospital is focused on treating the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families.