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URMC / Medicine / Palliative Care / Patient and Family Care / Adult Palliative Care at Strong Memorial Hospital


Adult Palliative Care at Strong Memorial Hospital

Sussman Palliative Care Unit

In the Hospital

Our team offers consultation for seriously ill patients who are anywhere in the hospital, including medical and surgical care units, Wilmot Cancer Center, the Intensive Care Units, and the Emergency Department. We also supervise the care of those seriously ill patients who are admitted to our 12-bed Sussman Palliative Care Unit, the only hospital-based palliative care unit in the region.  Here we manage complicated pain and other symptoms of serious illness, often, depending on patient and family needs, through the end of life.

In the Office and Community

Our team cares for patients and families both virtually (via Zoom, a secure audio-video platform) and in-person in multiple office settings:

  • The Palliative Care Clinic at Strong Memorial Hospital, located in Wilmot Cancer Center
  • Pluta Cancer Center in Henrietta, Interlakes in Greece, and Sands Cancer Center in Canandaigua
  • Neuropalliative Care is palliative care for people with neurologic disease

Although our offices are sometimes located in cancer programs, we care for people with serious illness of all kinds, not only cancer. 

A Brief History of UR Medicine Palliative Care at Strong Memorial Hospital

UR Medicine’s Palliative Care Program was established under the direction of Dr. Timothy Quill in 2001 with the enthusiastic support of UR leadership. It was one of the first academic palliative care programs in the country. From its modest start as an in-hospital consultation service, the Program has evolved impressively over the years:

  • The in-hospital program has grown from one physician and one nurse practitioner providing consultation at Strong for one or two patients on weekdays, to a 24/7 hospital-wide service at Strong and FF Thompson Hospitals which sees over 1800 patients yearly.
  • Our team has grown to include 7 NPs, 17 physicians, more than 30 nurses, 7 patient care technicians, a range of administrative and secretarial specialists, social workers, a chaplain, pharmacist, bereavement coordinator, massage therapist, harpist, and volunteer coordinator.
  • The Sussman Palliative Care unit at Strong was established in 2009 to provide expert symptom management to 12 seriously ill patients and their families. It remains the sole dedicated hospital-based palliative care unit in the region.
  • Our outpatient program has grown from seeing occasional outpatients in a shared office, to consulting on over 600 patients yearly in 3 satellite offices, and 2 advanced practice providers.
  • In 2011 our Program became the first academic medical Palliative Care Program in the country to earn The Joint Commission’s advanced certification recognition.
  • Our Program’s educational activities have grown from occasional lectures to a 3-fellowship specialty training program, and extensive formal and informal offerings for other fellows, residents, and students, as well as other UR Medicine and Rochester region learners and community members.
  • Our Program’s research mission has a growing catalog of internationally recognized palliative care scholars and publications, and in 2020 was formally named one of the few Palliative Care Research Centers in the country.