Notre Dame Health Care Launches New Adult Palliative Care Program

A program giving more options to seriously ill patients

The leadership of Notre Dame Health Care Center’s At Home division is excited to announce an expansion in their continuum of care by offering additional services through a new program, Notre Dame Palliative Care. The program provides care for adults living with serious illness at all stages, with a focus on relieving pain or other distressing symptoms, and assisting with advanced care planning in order to clarify goals of care and improve the quality of life.

In simplest terms, palliative care is provided by a specially trained team to provide an interim layer of support based on the needs of the patient and not the patient’s diagnosis, thus eliminating unplanned emergency room visits which can overwhelm patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

“Hospice and palliative care are care delivery models that are truly near and dear to our hearts,” says Susan Keefe, Executive Director of Notre Dame At Home. “Hospice is palliative care, but palliative care is not hospice care. It can be difficult for people to understand the difference between the two care models. Individuals receiving palliative care, unlike in hospice, can still be seeking curative treatment. Our palliative care staff collaborates with medical teams already involved in the individual’s care to provide pain and symptom management while providing support and education to the individual and their family. This approach to care allows individuals to live the highest quality of life possible during difficult times.”

For over seven years, Notre Dame Health Care has offered Pediatric Palliative Care in a program called “Pedi Pals.” “We are the Commonwealth’s largest palliative care program for children funded by the Department of Public Health,” says Karen Laganelli, CEO of Notre Dame Health Care. “As a result, we consider ourselves to be quite well versed in the area of palliative care, and we are ready to use our expertise with this new program serving adults throughout the greater Worcester area.”

The Adult Palliative Care team at Notre Dame Health Care Center is available to care for individuals across Central Massachusetts. The team provides palliative services in personal homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, or wherever a patient calls home.

For more information visit or call (508) 852-5505.

About Notre Dame Health Care Notre Dame Health Care (NDHC) offers an array of programs and services to the community, including an Assisted Living Residence, an Educational Bridge Center, Adult & Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care, Post-Acute Recuperation, Short-Term Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing Facility for traditional long term care, and Specialized Memory Care at both residences. We embrace the individuality and unique needs of each member of our community, including residents, patients, families, students and staff. Notre Dame Health Care is proudly designated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and honored to carry on the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to care for the sick and vulnerable, and to educate for life through our NDHC Educational Bridge Center. Notre Dame Health Care is located at 555-559 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605 and can be reached by phone at (508) 852-5800. Learn more online at