Palliative Care

Joint Commission logo

Advanced Certification
in Palliative Care

If you or a family member are facing a chronic or terminal illness, we can help you navigate challenging health conditions with comfort and dignity.

Our goal is to provide the best possible quality of life for both the patient and their family facing a serious illness. We know it can be difficult, and we provide compassionate emotional support alongside our expert medical guidance and treatment.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is specialized medical care that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of a serious illness by focusing on relieving pain, symptoms, and stress – whatever the diagnosis.

Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness. Our team includes doctors, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, who all work together to provide truly comprehensive support. A main focus is managing symptoms such as pain, nausea, and fatigue, as well as addressing the psychological and emotional aspects of the illness.

In contrast to Hospice Care, Palliative Care is not limited to end-of-life situations. It can help patients focused on recovery and be provided alongside other medical treatments aimed at curing or controlling the illness. When combined with curative treatment, Palliative Care can help patients live longer and spend fewer days in the hospital.

Learn more about the URMC Palliative Care program

Highland Hospital Gala

Join Us for the Highland Gala

This year's Gala is supporting a dedicated Palliative Care Unit at Highland Hospital.

Our Team

Photo of Chin-Lin Ching, M.D., Director of Palliative Care
Photo of Nicole A. Gise, M.D.
Photo of Rashmi Khadilkar, MD, HMDC
Photo of Morgan Muldoon, FNP-BC
Photo of Michelle Sterman, PA-C
Photo of Valerie Vetter, PA
Photo of Kathleen Viterise ANP-C, MSN
Photo of Brandon Wilcoxson, MD

Our team includes experienced doctors, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, who are all specially trained in palliative medicine.

Meet Our Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Palliative care can help patients navigate chronic illness and offers relief from the associated stress, symptoms, and pain. Read these FAQs to get a better understanding of what Palliative Care is and how it can help.

Palliative Care

  • For anyone with a serious illness
  • Can occur at any age and any stage of an illness
  • Can have it along with curative treatment
  • NOT dependent on prognosis​


  • Medicare (or other insurance) benefit for terminally ill patients
  • No longer receiving curative treatment for underlying disease
  • Prognosis of less than 6 months
  • Anyone who has a serious illness affecting quality of life or causing significant discomfort
  • Anyone who has questions about their treatment plan or needs additional support or help understanding their illness, options, and making decisions
  • Help you better understand your medical condition and medical choices and maintain the most comfortable, independent, and active life possible
  • Coordinate care and treatment with your doctors and care team
  • Treat physical needs and provide relief from distressing symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping
  • Provide answers, assistance, and emotional support (integrating psychological and spiritual healing) to you and your family when making difficult decisions
  • Improve your ability to carry on with daily life and ability to tolerate medical treatment
  • Identify services for patients during and after their hospital stay
  • Provide services to families who are coping during a patient’s illness or after a patient’s death
Palliative care helps during all stages of serious illness, including the earliest stages. In fact, it is best introduced early, alongside curative treatments.
  • If you are admitted, your primary physician can request a Palliative Care consultation, if appropriate. If so, a clinician from our inpatient Palliative Care team will see you during your hospitalization.
  • If you are not admitted, your primary physician (or specialist physician) can help you determine if you would benefit from Palliative Care. If so, a referral can be made to our outpatient Palliative Care team, available by:
    • Clinic visits (Professional Office Building at Highland Hospital)
    • Telehealth visits
    • Home visits (if your illness or functional status prohibits you from leaving your home)
Most insurance policies provide reimbursement for Palliative Care services. Please check with your individual insurance provider for further information regarding your coverage

Contact Us

Palliative Care

Highland Hospital
1000 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620

Get Map and Directions

(585) 341-0888
Fax: (585) 341-8305

Outpatient Palliative Care

Geriatric and Medicine Associates
990 South Avenue, Suite 207
Rochester, NY 14620

Get Map and Directions

(585) 341-0888
Fax: (585) 341-8305