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Rady Children's Specialists

Supportive Care/Palliative Medicine

Supportive Care/Palliative Medicine

Our Mission: To optimize the physical and emotional well-being of every child and family faced with serious illness through expert, compassionate, family-centered care.

Palliative care


The diagnosis of a serious medical condition or the occurrence of a significant trauma in a child is a turning point that can alter the course of a family’s life. The Supportive Care Program can provide an extra layer of support for your child and family through care designed to provide continuity, coordination and comprehensiveness that is customized for each patient and family.

Our Team

Our Supportive Care team consists of board-certified pediatric palliative medicine physicians, certified pediatric palliative nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors.

We work closely with your child’s primary physician and other providers who may be important to your child’s care, including physician specialists, psychologists, child life specialists, parent liaisons, teachers, physical, occupational and speech therapists, and dietitians.

Our Approach

Your child’s quality of life is the team’s main focus, with an emphasis on pain control and symptom management for your child, and emotional and spiritual well-being for your whole family. Specifically, the Supportive Care team can help you:

  • Explore treatment choices, helping you to weigh their burdens and benefits, and align therapies with your family’s goals of care.
  • Facilitate communication among your child’s treating team.
  • Navigate the complexities of the medical system.
  • Develop a treatment plan for any symptoms that are causing your child distress using a multidisciplinary approach.
  • Coordinate a more home-based care plan for your child.

It is our belief that even in the face of serious medical issues, children can live well, and their families can feel empowered and comforted.

Our Services

Our Supportive Care team works across all care settings, including the hospital, clinic and home.

In the hospital setting, the Supportive Care team is available to follow your child, providing symptom management recommendations and supporting you in considering treatment options for your child. If your child is admitted frequently, the team can be a consistent presence, providing you and your child with continuity.

In the clinic setting, children can be followed regularly to provide ongoing support and symptom management, as well as continuity and coordination of care.

In the home setting, through our Home Supportive Care Program, our nursing and social work services are available for some patients who have significant care needs and difficulty coming to be seen in the clinic setting. The nurse care coordinator functions as a hub for communication and care coordination. Click here for our Home Supportive Care Program brochure.

Our Promise

We recognize that it takes special people to parent a medically fragile child, and we believe that hope can sustain you through the difficult times. The Supportive Care team promises to hold that space of hope as we walk alongside your family, working to ease your burdens and help you navigate the journey through serious childhood illness.

Hospice care is also available through a joint program of Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and The Elizabeth Hospice.

Video: Learn about our family-centered Supportive Care Program

In the News

Support Our Program

One hundred percent of your tax-deductible gift benefits Rady Children’s.

To donate, click the link below and select Palliative Care from the Gift Designation Drop-down menu:

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