Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care

The pain, discomfort, or other changes caused by a serious illness can take a toll on your body, emotions and even your relationships with your loved ones. Palliative medicine is focused on relieving or reducing pain, nausea and other symptoms caused by serious illness or its treatment.

The Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care team at Stormont Vail Health provides an extra layer of care to you and your family at any stage of an illness.

Palliative medicine is usually provided at the same time you’re receiving other treatments. For example, if you or a loved one is recovering from a stroke and is dealing with headaches or pain elsewhere in the body, a palliative medicine specialist can recommend medication or other treatments that can alleviate the discomfort.

For inpatients and outpatients, the palliative medicine and supportive care team is directly integrated with your treatment team and other supportive care. Some of the most frequent collaborations occur with behavioral health, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition services and patient education.

It’s not just the patients we take care of. We understand the stress or confusion that families can undergo during the patient’s journey. Our social workers also work to meet the emotional needs of families and can connect them with important resources, such as financial aid or medical supplies  We also provide education, stress reduction guidance, spiritual support, and assistance with advanced care planning to patients and their families.

Conditions We Treat

We help patients of all ages, even newborns. Patients coming for care are usually referred by Primary Care, Oncology, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Neurology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine or community physicians. Some of the common diagnoses treated with palliative medicine and supportive care include:

  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Heart failure
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) and other lung diseases: COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes breathing difficult.
  • End-stage renal disease: when kidneys can no longer function normally to meet the filtering needs of your body.
  • Liver disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): a neurological disorder that can cause loss of ability to speak, eat, move or breathe.
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Congenital illnesses in children

Symptoms We Can Help With

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Neuropathy (numbness, weakness and pain from nerve damage)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sexual health and intimacy
  • Hot flashes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Treating the Whole Person, Not Just the Symptoms

No matter in which department you are getting treatments, our palliative medicine and supportive care providers communicate with your specialists constantly to get timely updates on your medications, surgeries, and details of your condition. They also keep your primary care provider up to date about the care you are receiving through Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care. We encourage you to keep in touch with your primary care provider, as well, to keep him or her apprised of your health throughout your treatment.

Availability

Inpatient Services:

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Outpatient Services:

Appointments available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meet Our Team

Our physicians have gone through fellowship training in palliative medicine and become board certified, meaning they have specialized medical knowledge and procedural skills to provide palliative medicine. They are also certified in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, or another subspecialty.

In addition to physicians, our team consists of advanced practice clinicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and pharmacists. They work together to provide compassionate care to you and your family.

Stephanie J. Arbaiza
APRN

Palliative Medicine

Brandy L. Ficek
M.D.

Palliative Medicine

Abra J. Friess
APRN

Palliative Medicine

Melanie L. Skelton
M.D.

Palliative Medicine

Our Treatments & Services

Palliative medicine can improve the quality of a patient’s life. In fact, early treatment with palliative medicine can reduce your:

  • Number of visits to the Emergency Department
  • Length of hospital stay
  • Need for critical care
  • Medical costs

We create a customized plan to each patient. You will have access to:

  • Medications
  • Acupuncture
  • Reiki therapy: a technique for stress reduction that involves light touch to the body.
  • Clinical hypnosis: a state of highly focused attention that can be used to help you relax and reduce physical discomfort.
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Support and education groups
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Advanced care planning

Next Steps For Patients

Make an Appointment

  • For an inpatient Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care consultation, contact Health Connections at (785) 354-6992 and ask for Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care.

See a Primary Care Provider

  • Call (785) 270-4440 to schedule an appointment with your Stormont Vail primary care provider.
  • Not a Stormont Vail patient? Call (785) 270-4440 to set up your first appointment with one of our primary care providers.

Check With Your Insurance

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to learn about coverage. Click here for a list of Kansas Insurance Company phone numbers and websites.

MyChart

You can stay connected to Stormont Vail through our online portal, MyChart. The portal lets you schedule an E-Visit or appointment, renew prescriptions, view your medical records and test results, and contact your care team.

MyChart Login Learn More About MyChart

Next Steps For Referring Providers

  • If you are a Stormont Vail provider, refer your patient via the Epic work queue.
  • If you are an outside provider, call (785) 354-6992 to refer your patient.