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Welcome to the Division of Palliative Care in the Department of Medicine 

Palliative care helps people living with any serious illness live better, feel more like themselves, and enjoy more of what’s important to them. As a supportive service, palliative care is most effective when involved in your care team from the time of diagnosis and continued through and alongside treatment. If your doctor suggests palliative care, it’s an opportunity to get more support as you continue to treat your illness. Research has shown that palliative care not only improves the quality of life for you and your family, but also longevity.  


The Division of Palliative Care is committed to relieving suffering and enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill patients in our diverse communities of Central Massachusetts through excellence in clinical care, service, teaching, and research.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our division members are change agents for social justice and humanism in medicine. We strive to practice cultural humility in our patient care, teaching, and scholarly endeavors. We are building community-based palliative care to better serve our diverse community and are looking for ways to improve our care approach to be more equitable and inclusive. We present at places of worship, libraries, senior centers, and other venues to listen and build relationships within our central Massachusetts community. Learn more.  

Clinical Care

Palliative care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness – whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family. Palliative care is provided by our team of doctors, APPs, social workers, nurses, and a music therapist who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness and can be provided together with curative or life-prolonging treatment. Learn more.


The Division of Palliative Care leads quality improvement projects to promote earlier access to palliative care, including for patients with stroke, heart failure, and cancer. We have designed and implemented better systems of documentation of serious illness conversations across settings of care. In addition, we track and analyze these conversations to promote best practices in aligning patients’ goals with their medical care. Learn more


Our division is a leader in medical student, resident, and fellow education. We offer required trainings in:  

  • Pain management
  • Safer opioid prescribing
  • Serious illness communication
  • Elective courses and rotations in palliative care  

We tailor our curricula to meet the longitudinal and developmental needs of 1st-4th year medical students, residents, and fellows from a wide variety of specialties. Learn more.  

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