News

University Medical Center Launches Comprehensive Palliative Medicine Services

NEW ORLEANS, LA – University Medical Center New Orleans has launched a new Palliative Medicine outpatient clinic, which opened August 1 in the Ambulatory Care Building at University Medical Center. Inpatient palliative medicine services will begin a month later, Sept. 1, and will be fully staffed by Fellowship trained, Board Certified Palliative Medicine Physicians.

Palliative Medicine is an interdisciplinary subspecialty that provides comprehensive treatment of physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs related to serious illness or injury. The word palliate means “to ease;” the focus of Palliative Medicine is to ease the suffering that results from illness and to reduce caregiver stress.

“I am thrilled with the development of this new program, an idea that originated from our dedicated medical staff,” said University Medical Center President and CEO Bill Masterton. “It is a great example of how University Medical Center continues its evolution as a physician-led organization.”

Palliative Medicine services can benefit, though are not limited to, patients with the following diagnoses:

  • Advanced cancer (metastatic/recurring)
  • Advanced heart disease
  • Advanced lung disease
  • Stroke
  • Advanced renal disease
  • Advanced neurologic disease (including advanced Alzheimer’s disease with severe dementia and medical complications
  • Advanced liver disease
  • Advanced rheumatologic disease and HIV

Sonia Malhotra, MD, MS, FAAP, directs University Medical Center’s Palliative Medicine Services. Dr. Malhotra is a Board Certified Medical Physician in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Hospice/Palliative Medicine, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Tulane University and LSU Schools of Medicine. She believes the Palliative Medicine services at University Medical Center have the potential to “significantly elevate” patient care.

“University Medical Center’s Palliative Medicine services, operating in a large hospital system, will positively impact more lives, offer new services to those in need, and redefine the landscape for medical services for serious illness care in the Louisiana gulf region,” Malhotra said.

In addition to serving the chronically ill and seriously injured, the Palliative Medicine group will be the first Academic Palliative Medicine team in the region – educating medical students, resident physicians and physicians pursuing subspecialty training in various fellowships from LSU and Tulane Schools of Medicine.

Visiting medical students from around Louisiana and Mississippi will also have the opportunity to benefit academically from the Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care team. In addition to Dr. Malholtra, the team includes Rebecca Burke, M.D., ABFM, a Palliative Care Physician; Marcia Glass, M.D., Palliative Care Physician; and David Sheely, M.D., Clinical Operations Manager.

“In collaboration with our academic partner, Tulane University, we have built a team of highly talented and specialized physicians to offer this service to our community,” Masterton said.

For more information on palliative care services at University Medical Center, visit www.umcno.org/palliative or email umcpalliativemedicine@lcmchealth.org or Sonia.Malhotra@lcmchealth.org.

About University Medical Center New Orleans

Opened in August 2015, University Medical Center New Orleans is the academic medical center of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit health system. University Medical Center New Orleans serves as a key partner of LSU Health Science Center New Orleans, Tulane University School of Medicine and other academic institutions. University Medical Center is home to the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Academic Research Hospital, named in honor of the respected Civil Rights and community leader who served in the Louisiana Legislature for more than 20 years.