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Palliative Care is the medical specialty focused on relief of the pain, stress and other debilitating symptoms of serious illness. Palliative care is not dependent on prognosis and can be delivered at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure you.

When you or your family members are facing a serious illness, you may feel overwhelmed by your condition and may feel confused about what options for care and support are right for you. The goal of palliative care is to relieve the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness, whatever the diagnosis or prognosis. It is for people of any age and at any point in an illness, and can be delivered along with treatments that are meant to cure you. At the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care, our providers work together as a team to try to relieve suffering experienced when you or your loved one faces a serious illness.


  • UAB and University Hospital

    In March 2006, the UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit was opened. This 12-bed inpatient unit was the result of significant gifts from our community and support from the UAB Health System. The unit has created a place for patients and families to face difficult times in a safe and supportive environment. Since opening, the unit has provided holistic, patient-centered care to over 2,000 patients and their families.

    The Art Project in the UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit is a focused taskforce bringing together members of the Palliative Medicine program at UAB, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Birmingham visual arts community to secure appropriate representative works by local Birmingham area artists or collectors for permanent display in the inpatient Palliative and Comfort Care Unit.

    UAB Palliative and Comfort Care Unit
    1713 6th Avenue South
    Birmingham, Alabama 35233.
    (205) 996-6870

    Referrals to the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic can be made by any treating physician or nurse or by patient self-referral. A broad range of insurance is accepted. Patient appointment scheduling is flexible and based on patient needs and other concurrent treatments.

  • UAB Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic

    Within UAB’s Kirklin Clinic, one of the busiest outpatient clinics in the nation, the Supportive Care & Survivorship Clinic takes an interdisciplinary approach to caring for patients with serious illness.  Designed by noted architect I. M. Pei, the Kirklin Clinic is a five-story 454,000 square foot outpatient facility that houses over 600 physicians in nearly every specialty of medicine.

    The Kirklin Clinic
    2000 6th Avenue South, 5th Floor
    Birmingham, AL 35233
    Existing Patients: (205)801-8624
    New Patients: (205)934-9999

  • Children's Health System

    In 2009, Children's Health System in collaboration with the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care, began offering palliative care inpatient consultation to patients and families. The Children's of Alabama Palliative Care Team is a specially trained team of physicians and nurses that provides support and compassion for children and their families with serious illnesses. We focus on enhancing quality of life while minimizing all levels of suffering including physical, social, emotional and spiritual.

    The Children's of Alabama Palliative Care Team works in collaboration with other healthcare professionals through our interdisciplinary team to promote each patient's comfort and well-being by maintaining hope, preserving dignity and easing the burdens of care-giving. We strive to help families make informed decisions while pursuing comfort-oriented goals concurrently with cure-directed therapy.

    The Palliative Care Team is specialized in providing assistance to patients and families to ensure comprehensive pain and symptom management from the time of diagnosis throughout the entire course of illness while remaining focused on patient and family-centered goals of care.

  • VA Safe Harbor Palliative Care Program

    In November 2005, the Birmingham VAMC opened the Safe Harbor Palliative Care Unit, a 10 bed inpatient palliative care unit located on the sixth floor. The Safe Harbor Palliative Care Unit is the culmination of a 4-year Safe Harbor Palliative Care Program developed to meet the needs of veterans. The Safe Harbor Program provides inpatient/outpatient palliative consultations, home hospice supervision, inpatient Palliative Care services on the Safe Harbor Unit, and continuing education for medical providers, nurses and other ancillary health care providers throughout the medical center. Home Based Primary/Palliative Care is an integral part of the overall Safe Harbor Program. Veterans are often referred to these programs from the Safe Harbor Unit or after palliative care consultation as appropriate. In addition veterans in HBPC are often referred to the Safe Harbor Palliative Care Unit when inpatient care is needed. The Safe Harbor Palliative Care Unit also serves as one of the clinical experiences for the Palliative Care rotation for residents and fellows.

    The Safe Harbor Palliative Care Program and Unit has been recognized as a center of excellence. The Birmingham VAMC is the first VA facility in the country to be appointed a Palliative Care Leadership Center (Joint Program with UAB) by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and was given a citation of honor by the AHA Circle of Life Award (Joint Program with UAB). The Birmingham VAMC has been selected as one of four Centers of Innovation by the VA nationally. The Safe Harbor Palliative Care Unit is an example of patient-family centered care highlighted at our COI.

    Safe Harbor Palliative Care Program
    LaKeisha Lockhart, Nurse Manager
    Birmingham VA Medical Center
    700 19th Street South
    Birmingham, Alabama 35233
    (205) 933-8101 ext: 5480

  • CAPE Program

    Community-based (Virtual) Access to Palliative Expertises - CAPE

    Successfully managing a serious illness is a complicated undertaking. Having access to skilled palliative and supportive care experts can make a huge difference in how patients and their caregivers cope with a serious illness and complex care plans.

    The UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care (CPSC) has long been a leader in providing palliative and supportive care to all categories of seriously ill patients. Those nearing end of life, those still undergoing curative therapies, and those transitioning to survivorship. At each of these stages, our physicians, nurses and interdisciplinary care team have traditionally interacted with these patients in our hospital and ambulatory clinic settings. Dr. Susan McCammon has recently joined the CPSC as the Assistant Director for Community Based Palliative Care and will oversee this initiative.

    We aspire to help not only those who can currently access our physical location in Birmingham, but also those who reside further out. We want to bring our expertise to bear in our surrounding communities to help provide the best outcomes for these patients and their caregivers. Through the contributions of a generous supporter of the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care, we will now be able to build the foundation for a telehealth program that extends our expertise into the community, both locally and in our state and region. Through CAPE we will now begin partnering with organizations such as hospices, house calls, home care and other providers to consider the potential benefit of having a “virtual” consult or presence of a trained palliative care provider. Whether a patient is in a remote physician’s office, a skilled nursing facility with hospice, a remote hospital, a county health department or maybe even at HOME, the CAPE program is building the infrastructure to bring our expert care directly to the patient and family.

    If you are a provider in a hospice or home care organization and may benefit from a virtual consultation once, or on an ongoing basis, we will have the ability in 2019 to provide those services as well. For more information about these telehealth related programs and research call (205) 996-5054.