Palliative Care

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Improving quality of life

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is specialty care which addresses the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of patients dealing with serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life, emphasizing care of the whole person, including family and loved ones. Palliative care is provided at University of Louisville Hospital by a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and others who work together with a patient’s other health care providers to give individualized care and an extra layer of support. 


During a hospital stay, patients and their loved ones may face many difficult decisions. The palliative care team can help patients and their families sort through treatment options. We focus on improving communication among patients, their loved ones and members of the health care team.

Working to incorporate a patient’s values and hopes into a treatment plan, we relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea, anxiety and shortness of breath. Our approach focuses not only on physical symptoms, but also on spiritual and emotional health.

The palliative care team can assist with:

  • Managing distressing symptom
  • Clarifying treatment options
  • Providing spiritual and psychological support to patients and their loved ones through all stages of illness
  • Facilitating communication among patients and those who care for them
  • Establishing advance directives

How to access Palliative Care

A palliative care consult is available to anyone who is admitted to University of Louisville Hospital. Anyone can suggest a palliative care consult, but a patient’s primary physician must write an order for the service. The palliative care team works alongside a patient’s existing medical team in order to put the treatment plan into action.

  • Daniel Dierfeldt, D.O., Palliative Care Physician
  • Kim Pate, M.D., Palliative Care Physician
  • Emily King, APRN, ACHPN, Nurse practitioner
  • Kerstin Knopf, Dr. rer. nat., Psychologist
  • LJ Jackson, MDiv, Chaplain
  • Mona Schuler, Administrative assistant 

For more information, please call 502-561-8800.