Programs - Palliative Care - Community-Based

Community-Based Palliative Care Program

Palliative care is a holistic, patient- and family-centered approach for those facing the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual challenges of life-limiting conditions. It is appropriate at every stage of the disease process and can serve patients and their loved ones whether seeking aggressive treatment or not. Palliative care services enhance comfort and quality of life by managing symptoms and increasing patient choice and access to information.

Good Shepherd Palliative Care provides consultative services to patients and families dealing with life-limiting conditions. Our skilled specialists work in partnership with your own doctor to provide an extra layer of support for you and your loved ones. We work closely with you to discuss your needs, evaluate options, and offer expert recommendations for symptom management, taking time to ensure you feel supported throughout the process.

If you think you think you or someone you know may benefit from our palliative consult service, please call (617) 969-6130 or speak with your provider. Our palliative care services are covered either fully or partially by Medicare, Medicaid (MassHealth), and most private insurers.

When to Consider Palliative Care

Good Shepherd specializes in Palliative Care for people with:

  • Frequent hospitalizations
  • Prolonged ICU stay
  • Poor symptom management
  • Lack of psychosocial support
  • Functional decline
  • New potentially life-limiting diagnosis
  • Rapid disease progression/ advanced illness
  • Goals of care discussion
  • Advanced care planning

Our palliative consult can provide you:

  • An initial home visit by a nurse practitioner (NP)  followed by additional periodic scheduled  NP visits which are determined by medical need
  • A better understanding of your diagnosis and prognosis;
  • Personalized review of your care and treatment options;
  • Comprehensive assessment and recommendations for symptom management;
  • A goals of care discussion with you, your family and loved ones;
  • Assistance with advance care planning;
  • Coordination with your provider(s) regarding recommendations for your care With enhanced clarity about options and goals, patients and families enjoy higher quality of life and experience decreased rates of unwanted interventions and hospital visits.


  • People with serious and life threatening illnesses regardless current treatments, goals of care, and plans for future interventions.
  • People of any age who may be appropriate for hospice but, for whatever reason, are not currently pursueing admission to hospice.
  • Common life-limiting illnesses seen by our Palliative Care service include cancer, congestive heart failure, COPD, renal  or  liver diease, Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, ALS, or AIDS.
  • People who want to focus of care on comfort measures such as controlling pain and alleviating distressing symptoms—this may be done at the same time as aggressive treatment for their disease.
  • All other ongoing services, including VNA, PT, chemotherapy, dialysis, etc may continue while receiving palliative care.
  • No medically appropriate person is ever denied care because of race, age, religion, diagnosis, sexual orientation, or inability to pay.