• NorthBay bridges Palliative Care

    A Vital Link for Seriously Ill Patients and Their Families

    NorthBay Bridges palliative care program uses a comprehensive approach to care for patients with serious illnesses. The goal is to relieve pain and other distressing physical symptoms, and to optimize the quality of life for patients and families by addressing emotional, spiritual and social needs.

    Palliative care is active medical care that relieves or soothes the symptoms of a disease, without primarily aiming to cure. Care is planned to meet the patient’s unique goals. Palliative care can be provided concurrently with life-prolonging, curative treatment, or as the main focus of care for someone with a life-limiting illness.

    Medical Director Terrell Van Aken, MD, works with the patient’s physician and hospital team, helping to ensure consistent care as a patient moves from the hospital setting to skilled nursing or home care.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Can Palliative Care Benefit Me?  

    Who Provides NorthBay Bridges Palliative Care?  

    When Should Palliative Care Begin?  

    Are Palliative Care Services Covered by Insurance?  

    How Do I Start Receiving Palliative Care?  

    Q. How can palliative care benefit me?

    A. If you’re coping with a serious, life-threatening illness that is limiting your ability to function on a daily basis or preventing you from doing the things you enjoy, a consultation regarding palliative care may help enhance your quality of life. In addition to better symptom management, benefits may include a better understanding of your illness and its progression, and may help you avoid frequent, costly hospital stays and emergency room visits.

    The NorthBay Bridges team helps patients and families dealing with a serious illness manage distressing symptoms such as:

    • Chronic, uncontrolled pain
    • Nausea and other digestive disorders
    • Shortness of breath
    • Anxiety, depression or delirium
    • Weakness or fatigue

    NorthBay Bridges team is trained and skilled in providing additional assistance including:

    • Helping patients and families establish health care goals, and developing an appropriate treatment program designed to meet those goals.
    • Coordinating care from different health care providers and easing transitions from hospital to home, rehabilitation or assisted care.
    • Help patients and families sort through complex treatment options in order to make informed medical decisions
    • Spiritual support and counseling
    • Identifying appropriate community resources
    • Advanced care planning

    Q. Who provides NorthBay Bridges palliative care?

    A. A multidisciplinary team is trained and dedicated to meeting your unique needs. These health care professionals work closely with your primary care physician to monitor your health and adjust care and treatment to meet your individual goals.

    Medical Director, Terrell Van Aken, MD, is joined by a team of trained nurses, social workers and chaplains. The NorthBay Bridges team coordinates services provided by other professionals such as rehabilitation specialists, pharmacists and nursing assistants.

    Q. When should palliative care begin?

    A. Palliative care can be initiated at any stage of a serious chronic or progressive illness. Unlike hospice care, NorthBay Bridges palliative care is not limited to those considered to be terminally ill.

    Q. Are NorthBay Bridges palliative care services covered by insurance?

    A. Palliative care services are covered by most insurers including Medicare.

    Q. How do I start receiving palliative care?

    A. Talk to your doctor about a consultation with NorthBay Bridges Medical Director, Terrell Van Aken, MD. Your primary care doctor or attending hospital physician can make arrangements.