Palliative Care

Palliative care, also known as palliative medicine, is specialized medical care for people living with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, spiritual care providers and other specialists who work together with a patient’s care team to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative or life prolonging treatment.​

Patient Care

Mission Statement

The mission of the Palliative Care Section is to improve the quality of care for UW Medicine patients and families living with serious illness by educating and collaborating with health care professionals to provide the best possible patient and family centered care to the patients we serve.

DFM Palliative Care Faculty

Our core faculty include both physicians and advanced nurse practitioners

Jim Fausto, MD, MHA, FAAHPM
Section Head

Josie Amory, MD

Melissa Bender, MD

Carolina Collison, MN, ARNP

Cathleen Daly, DNP

Phil Myers, MN, ARNP

Jaqueline Raetz, MD

Nimmy Simon, MD

Meegan Wolczyk, MN, ARNP


Our palliative care program uses a narrative approach, believing that patient values and needs are best understood after eliciting the patient story and clarifying the patient’s understanding of their illness and situation, asking what is most important and worrisome to them, and how we can be most helpful to them in navigating their medical, emotional and spiritual journey, together with their families and important others in their lives.​

DFM Palliative Care Faculty are core to multiple subspecialty and primary palliative care education activities at the University of Washington and UW Medicine​

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship  ​

UWSOM – Palliative Care Medical Student Elective (Net ID required)

Palliative Care Intern/Resident Elective – UW Residents Only

The Palliative Care Graduate Certificate

Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacy Residency

Palliative Care Research Fellowship

Research in Palliative Care

Our faculty lead and collaborate in multiple research activities related to palliative care nationally and locally. Please visit faculty profiles for their most up to date publications and please visit the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence for additional palliative care educational and research activities at UW Medicine.

Other Resources

​Palliative Care Resources Page (NetID required)​

The Center for Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work at the UW School of Social Work

Center to Advance Palliative Care (Resource for UW Clinical Employees)

Excellence in Palliative Care Education

Melissa Bender, MD, is the holder of the Stuart J. Farber, M.D. and Annalu Farber Endowed Professorship in Palliative Care Education. The purpose of the Endowed Professorship is to enhance the University’s ability to recruit, retain, and/or provide opportunities for professional development for distinguished faculty in palliative care education. In creating this endowment, it is Stuart and Annalu Farber’s intention to improve both the quality and quantity of palliative care education for current medical students and trainees – as well as for practicing clinicians. This permanent faculty fund honors Stu Farber’s life-long contributions as a pioneer in palliative care as a specialty locally, regionally and nationally. If you are interested in supporting this work, please make a gift.