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Palliative Care patientPalliative Medicine or Palliative Care is specialized medical care that helps patients and their families live as well and as long as possible when facing a serious illness or injury.
Our Palliative Care team, led by Dr. Vanessa Gallegos, works in collaboration with your primary doctor or specialty doctor. We use all available treatments to alleviate your suffering and improve quality of life, at any stage of a serious illness or injury, including during curative treatments (such as chemotherapy). In this way, palliative care is different from hospice, which focuses on home care and stopping life-prolonging treatments for patients expected to live six or fewer months. 


Treatment to relieve pain and other symptoms
We provide expert management of distressing symptoms that can be associated with illness or injury (i.e. pain, shortness of breath, nausea, anxiety, constipation, etc.). Working along with other therapies intended to cure and prolong life (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy), we can engage early in your illness to optimize symptom management throughout the course of treatment.
Patient and family support
How an illness or injury personally affects the lives of the patient and family is important. We offer support that is personalized to the needs and preferences of each individual and family. Our team can assist with complex medical decisions, navigating treatment choices, and ongoing discussions of goals for care. We offer a holistic approach to care with integrated psychological support. We can explore support systems to help you live as actively and independently as possible, while maximizing dignity and quality of life.
Planning for medical care in advance
Planning ahead is important. An advance directive for health care allows you to express your wishes in advance in case something should ever happen to you. Let us help you identify someone who can speak on your behalf (a healthcare surrogate) if you become unable to do so. It is important to discuss a plan for medical care in advance so family and friends know your wishes. See Advance Health Care Planning for more information.

To learn more about Palliative Care, see our Frequently Asked Questions, talk to your doctor or nurse, or visit the Center to Advance Palliative Care.
Dr. Gallegos has special training in both Palliative Medicine and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. She is an expert in partnering with your medical care team to help optimize your quality of life and improve your independence. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gallegos, call 701.712.4501 or 855.530.6001. For more information, call 701.712.4607 or 800.472.2113 ext. 4607.

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