• About Palliative Care

  • Palliative care can offer relief from suffering.

    Centura Health’s palliative care program specializes in the relief from pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness, no matter the diagnosis. We’re here to prevent and relieve suffering and provide the best quality of life for patients and their families. 

    Palliative care is provided by a team of professionals that coordinate care to address a patient’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs, and help them cope with the pain and anxiety that come with major health changes. This care may be provided along with other medical treatment. 

    The palliative care team works with a person’s doctors, nurses and other care providers to provide compassionate care at times of critical need. The team helps patients and families identify goals of care, provide guidance for difficult treatment choices and assists with advance care planning. 

    Palliative care is different from hospice care. 

    Hospice is only one aspect of palliative care and is meant for those nearing the last stages of life. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness such as a progressive, chronic, critical or life-threatening illness. It includes but is not limited to patients with:

    • Cancer 
    • Heart failure 
    • Severe diabetes 
    • Stroke 
    • Kidney failure 
    • Advanced Alzheimer’s disease 
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Patients with a lack of response to curative therapies 
    • Spiritual and/or emotional distress


    Patients receiving ongoing treatment for their illness are eligible for palliative care. 

    Palliative care services 

    The following are some of the services Centura Health palliative care offers: 

    • Managing difficult symptoms associated with illness.
    • Managing side effects associated with current treatment. 
    • Addressing changing care goals.
    • Helping patients consider care options and make decisions about quality of life. 
    • Helping interpret the benefits/burdens of care (tests, surgeries, chemo, radiation). 
    • Enhancing patient and family support.
    • Providing spiritual and emotional support. 
    • Assisting with advance care planning (living wills and appointing a decision-maker). 
    • Assisting with discharge planning, home care, extended care or hospice.
    • Grief counseling and bereavement support. 


    Accessing palliative care services

    To request a palliative care consultation, discuss your wishes with your physician to obtain a referral.

    Centura Health hospitals with a palliative care program include:


    The Butterfly Program

    The Butterfly Program, sponsored by The Children's Hospital and Porter Hospice of Centura Health, has filled a unique and relatively empty niche in the Denver metropolitan community since 1999. The program provides comprehensive pediatric palliative care, serving families with children who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and who are likely to have less than 12 months to live.

    Butterfly patients receive palliative and comfort care, either at home or in the hospital. We provide services to any child with a potentially life-limiting or potentially terminal illness regardless of the current goals of their care, the setting within which the care is provided or the family's ability to pay for services.