PANDA Palliative Care
The PANDA Palliative Care Team at Children’s National is a team of medical professionals who work with primary health care team members to provide extra support for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with serious illnesses and their families. We work to prevent, reduce and soothe suffering, and help children and their families cope with the stress of managing complex medical care.
The Palliative Care Team
Palliative care services are available for children prenatally through young adulthood with any life-threatening condition and their families. Families may request assistance from the PANDA Palliative Care Team at any time during their child’s illness, even if their child is not currently in the hospital.
The Palliative Care Team includes professionals from many disciplines:
Palliative Care Services for Patients and Families
The goal of the PANDA Palliative Care Team is to partner with patients, families and the primary medical team to develop a collaborative plan of care that will meet the needs and goals of the child and their family. The team focuses on comfort and quality of life for children and works alongside the primary medical team while they focus on treating the underlying illnesses. We support you and your family by:
- Achieving optimal quality of life
- Supporting effective communication between the child, family and members of the primary health care team
- Helping families understand a child’s prognosis and treatment side effects
- Recognizing and treating symptoms early
- Relieving discomfort and suffering from pain and other symptoms
- Determining discharge options and planning for care at home
- Coordinating integrative and complementary therapies such as Healing Touch, massage, acupuncture, acupressure and aromatherapy to improve discomfort and manage symptoms
- Assisting with spiritual and ethical concerns
- Supporting siblings and extended family members
Palliative Care Resources
Contacting the PANDA Palliative Care Team
To speak with a member of the PANDA Palliative Care Team, ask your doctor or nurse to make a referral, or we can be reached by phone at 202-476-4256 or via email.
- David Steinhorn, M.D., FAAP
- Melanie Anspacher, M.D., FAAP
- Laila Mahmood, M.D., M.P.H.
- Debbie Lafond, DNP, PNP-BC, CPON, CHPPN, FPCN
- Elizabeth Bettini, Ph.D, APRN, PCNS-BS, CHPPN
- Deborah Fisher, Ph.D., RN, PPCNP-BC, CHPPN
- Marsha G. Smith, RN-BC, CCM, CHPPN
- Risi Idiokitas, L.Ac., DAcOM