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Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized, additional medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is centered around providing relief from the symptoms and stress of illness to enhance quality of life. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment. Palliative care is adjacent to hospice and end-of-life care, but it is not actual end of life care.

CHOC’s Palliative Care program aims to enhance the level of support and reduce the amount of suffering experienced by patients with complex medical conditions, as well as for the people who love them and the healthcare team that cares for them.

The Palliative Care Team supports patients by:

  • Providing initial consultations and follow up encounters in the hospital, OPI, and other clinics
  • Easing pain and managing symptoms and side effects
  • Fostering communication between families and health care providers
  • Identifying goals of and aligning all involved with the medical care plan
  • Delivering effective educational programs to healthcare staff

As the only children’s hospital in Orange County with a pediatric palliative care program, this team is available to provide care in the inpatient and outpatient setting, in partnership with other healthcare providers.

A palliative care consultation is appropriate for patients with serious illnesses who would benefit from enhanced symptom and, or pain management and an increased focus on improving quality of life and family support. During a consultation, families and members from our care team would discuss the goals of care, care preferences, advanced care planning and any spiritual and/or psycho-social distress.


The CHOC Children’s Specialists Psychiatry Division strives to provide the best possible care for children and adolescents with psychiatric conditions. We offer diagnostic evaluation and treatment, including psychopharmacology and psychotherapy.

The CHOC Psychiatry Division is unique in that we are part of a continuum of care delivery which includes comprehensive inpatient, intensive outpatient care, outpatient and emergency psychiatric care and consultations. Our team uses evidence-based interventions to help children, teenagers and their families overcome behavioral health issues.

We also have a Mental Health Inpatient Center that offers the very best patient- and family-centered care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The center is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of children ages 4-17 with mental illness who are in immediate risk of hurting themselves or others. It is the only inpatient facility in Orange County that can treat patients younger than 12.

What We Treat at CHOC Children’s Specialists Psychiatry

Services are complemented by the multidisciplinary are provided by other pediatric subspecialists, nurses, pharmacists, psychologist, therapists, clinical dietitians and social workers.