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Palliative Care

Palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care is specialized care focused on the relief of pain, stress and other symptoms of serious illness. Palliative care can be delivered at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure.


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Palliative care consultation is appropriate when:

  • The health care team, patient or family needs help with complex decision-making
  • Unacceptable level of pain or other symptom distress
  • Unresolved psychosocial or spiritual issues
  • Frequent hospital visits for similar problems
  • Longer than expected hospital stays
  • You are diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting illness like cancer, heart failure, COPD, or dementia


What will palliative care do?

  • Educate you and your family about treatment options that align with what is important to you
  • Work with your other health care providers to make sure you are as comfortable as possible throughout your treatment process
  • Advocate for gentle, thoughtful, respectful care for you and your loved one
  • Provide expert symptom management for your pain, shortness of breath, nausea, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and depression


How is palliative care different from hospice?
Hospice care is focused on terminally-ill patients who no longer benefit from curative treatments.


Our Physicians


Dr. Lucas McElwain


Lucas McElwain, M.D.
Dr. McElwain cares for hospitalized patients. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mississippi in Oxford with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, and completed a clinical fellowship in hospice and palliative care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care.


Dr. Lindsey Hinton

Lindsey Hinton, M.D.
Dr. Hinton sees patients at NMMC Hematology & Oncology who are undergoing cancer treatment. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Dr. Hinton received her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She went on to complete a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in palliative care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Dr. Hinton is board certified in internal medicine.


If you have any questions, call the Palliative Care Coordinator, Amber Griffin, RN, BSN at extension 3404, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays or call 1-800-THE-DESK (1-800-843-3375).