Palliative Care

Pediatric Palliative Care

The Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital is home to a dedicated Pediatric Palliative Care Team that offers care and seeks to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic conditions. The team, known as the LifeLong Care Team, is an added layer of support whose mission is to enhance comfort and relief of symptoms by addressing the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of children and their families.

The team offers direct clinical services to children with serious illness, child-focused pain management, and medical education to patients and families, as well as consultative and bereavement services. We provide care to children and their families not only on an inpatient basis but also in ambulatory care settings. We also collaborate with the adult palliative care team when appropriate. Our bereavement programming responds to the needs of our patients and offers outreach for individual and family counseling, sibling support, parent support groups, and resources for all families.

Our trained child life specialists utilize interventions such as age-appropriate play therapy, music therapy, art therapy, and pet therapy to help children and their families during hospitalization. Our chaplaincy service provides spiritual support for all patients and families. Our team offers opportunities for self-expression and education, while also preparing children and their families undergoing medical treatments and hospitalization.

Mount Sinai’s Pediatric Palliative Care specialists include:

  • Physician: Joanne Hojsak, MD
  • Physician: Susan Zylbert, MD
  • Physician: Kathryn Scharbach, MD
  • Nurse Practitioner: Kathy Hoffstadter-Thal, CPNP, MSCR
  • Social Worker: Suzanne Miller, LMSW
  • Chaplain: Rev. Denise Welsh, BCC
  • Child Life Specialist: Abby Patch, MS, CCLS
  • Art Therapist: Jaclyn Damiano, MPS, LCAT, ATR-BC

We offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient consultations focusing on:

  • Customized care for patients with specific needs at any time during their illness
  • Hope and healing, comfort, and care for optimal quality of life
  • Collaboration with providers, community resources, and schools
  • Assistance with referrals to home care agencies or chronic care facilities
  • Help making difficult decisions
  • Ongoing support for patients and families on both an inpatient and outpatient basis