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Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
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Children's Pain & Comfort Care Program

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Inpatient Pain & Comfort Care Consultation Service

Our Comfort Care (Palliative Care) team is dedicated to alleviating pain and other symptoms that children with complex and life threatening illnesses experience. Our overall goal is to provide the best quality of life possible for our pediatric patients and their families.

Services Provided & Approach

Our team provides pediatric palliative care (*), meaning we provide recommendations for many different types of treatments -both medical and non-medical- to help with pain, nausea, anxiety, and other discomforts associated with serious illness.

In order to provide holistic care (**) and support to your child and family, our team of medical, behavioral, and spiritual care clinicians will work very closely with your child's healthcare team.

(*) What is "pediatric palliative care"? Pediatric palliative care includes services and medical care that are intended to improve the quality of life and reduce symptoms, such as pain, in patients who have a life-threatening, complex medical condition.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports starting palliative care along with curative care, if appropriate, at the time of diagnosis of a complex condition. As part of palliative care, providers are encouraged to work with patients and their families to develop care plans that are consistent with patient and family wishes.

World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of palliative care appropriate for children and their families is as follows; the principles apply to other pediatric chronic disorders (WHO; 1998a): 

  • Mind and spirit, and also involves giving support to the family
  • It begins when illness is diagnosed, and continues regardless of whether or not a child receives treatment directed at the disease
  • Health providers must evaluate and alleviate a child's physical, psychological, and social distress
  • Effective palliative care requires a broad multidisciplinary approach that includes the family and makes use of available community resources; it can be successfully implemented even if resources are limited
  • It can be provided in tertiary care facilities, in community health centers and even in children's homes.

(**) What is "holistic care"? Holistic care is care that integrates all different aspects of a patient's needs: psychological, physical and social.

 

Physicians & Staff

  • Lonnie Zeltzer, MD - Program Director
  • Julianne Harrison, DO - Attending Physician
  • Elana Evan, PhD - Program Founder and Director of Comfort Care Research & Program Development
  • Michaela Nalamliang, RN, MSN, CPNP - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Gina Kornfeind, MSW - Bereavement & Support Coordinator

 

UCLA Team Affiliates

  • Rev. Aiko (Irene) M. Johnson MA, MDiv, BCC - Pediatric Chaplain, Department of Spiritual Care
  • Kellye Carroll, MS, CCLS - Director, Child Life/Child Development Program

 

Comfort Corner

The Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA Comfort Corner is a space for pediatric patients and families, and healthcare providers to come relax and escape the hectic hospital environment. We provide a serene environment, tea, hot chocolate, aromatherapy and a listening ear.

  • For parents: we provide resources on how you can actively help your child to deal with their symptoms.
  • For healthcare providers: We provide clinical consultation and informal debriefing opportunities.
  • Location: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Suite 3-3207, in front of the 3rd floor East elevators
  • Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm