Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a specialty of medicine focused on treating complex symptoms and stress of serious illness for patients and their families.

Our multidisciplinary team includes physician, nursing, social work and pharmacy disciplines and volunteers. As an inpatient consult service, we work with medical and surgical teams to provide an additional layer of support and continuity. We also partner with our colleagues in hospital chaplaincy, nursing, social work, and arts and humanities program to provide an integrative and individualized approach to patient care. Palliative care is available to people at any stage of serious illness and can be provided alongside of curative treatment. Central to this care is the communication and coordination of treatment options to maximize quality of life, to care for the patient and family as a unit and to provide treatment consistent with patient’s values and beliefs. Further information about the palliative care specialty is available here.

Multidisciplinary Palliative Care

Whole person care is central to the philosophy of care provided by the Medstar Georgetown University Palliative team. An inpatient consult service provides care to hospitalized patients with serious illness. Our services include:

  • Specialized management of pain and other symptoms of serious illness (shortness of breath, nausea, anxiety, etc.)\
  • Integrated communication between your care team members
  • Guidance navigating difficult and complex treatment decisions
  • Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family
  • Assistance coordinating transitions of care
  • Communication about what to expect during serious illness and resources to support patients and families in multiple care settings

Learn more: 

Information for MedStar Palliative Care Fellowship Applicants

The Medstar health system is proud to offers an interdisciplinary palliative medicine fellowship, based at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

Contact the Palliative Care Division

For more information on the Palliative Care division, please call

(202) 444-2611

Inpatient Palliative Medicine Consult

Ask your inpatient primary medical team to consider calling Palliative Medicine.

Palliative Care Specialists

  • Rachel Adams, MD
  • Beth Orrell, NP
  • Yordanka Kirkova, MD
  • Cheryl Hughes, LICSW
  • Tara Coles, MD
  • Jennifer Ku, PharmD
  • Carolyn Kyle, NP