Palliative Care



The Bridges Palliative Care Program assists families and their children who have serious medical conditions. We offer pain and symptom management and help in making decisions about treatment options. Our mission is to provide support and improve quality of life for children and families faced with serious medical conditions.

Our Team



Our core team offers unique expertise in addressing the issues of serious illness in children. Our specialists include:

  • Doctors who specialize in recommending medication or treatments to help relieve symptoms
  • Advanced practice nurses (APN) with training in, symptom management and psychosocial support
  • A pediatric psychologist with expertise in nonpharmacological pain management and emotional adjustment to illness

We also work with an extended team of professionals, including:

  • Social Workers workers to assist with family issues, hospital discharge planning and coordination of school and community resources
  • Chaplains to offer spiritual and emotional support, counseling and coping strategies according to your faith
  • Child life specialists to enhance coping skills and meet the developmental needs of your child and their siblings
  • Pharmacists with in-depth knowledge about medications used to control symptoms
  • Art and music therapists to help improve the emotional well-being of patients and families
  • Volunteer parents whose children have experienced the conditions affecting current patients and who are available to inform and support families.

Approach



Caring for our patients and families means addressing more than immediate medical needs. We believe that comprehensive care includes addressing the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the child and family. We will work with you to determine how we can create the fullest life possible for you and your child.

Services



Our services are available as soon as the patient receives a life-limiting diagnosis. We collaborate with the patient's physicians to manage their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs, including:​

  • Improving the management of pain and other symptoms
  • Helping to make everyone's time together as pleasant as possible
  • Advocating for effective communication between the patient, family and healthcare team
  • Assisting patients and their families in decision-making that is reflective of their values and preferences
  • Providing emotional support when facing difficult circumstances
  • Coordinating care between the hospital and home-based palliative care services (visits by nurses, social workers, chaplains and, when available, art and music therapists when discharged at home)

Perinatal Palliative Care



Perinatal Palliative Care focuses on providing comprehensive care to families who are coping with a possibly life-limiting prenatal or neonatal diagnosis. Often there is no right or wrong way to proceed once such diagnosis is given and many families struggle with making difficult decisions. 

We communicate closely with all physicians involved in the care of a family, including the obstetricians and newborn specialists at Prentice Women’s Hospital/Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as pediatric sub-specialists at Lurie Children’s. In this way, we seek to collaborate with all providers and families in establishing goals of care at each phase of this challenging journey.

Appointments



If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®).

Philanthropy



Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org or call 312.227.7500.