Palliative Care


An extension of your cancer treatment

Palliative care is specialized medical care that provides symptom relief and coping strategies to ease the stress of a serious illness such as cancer with the goal of improving your quality of life. In collaboration with your oncologist and other health care providers, our palliative care team provides an extra layer of support addressing your concerns and helping you manage and relieve the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of your treatment.

Palliative care can be introduced at any age or stage of your treatment plan. It helps to manage your symptoms from the illness and treatment regimen, plan for the future, clarify your goals and wishes and maintain your quality of life. Palliative care should not be confused with hospice care. Hospice care focuses on end-of-life care.

Why choose palliative care?

Palliative care improves your quality of life. The team works closely with you and your family to provide:

  • Pain management, both physical and emotional, associated with your cancer treatment, including loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping
  • Support to your friends, family, and caregivers by explaining your illness, treatment, and medications; through coping strategies; by connecting them to resources and support groups; and helping with access to community resources
  • Coordinated care and communication with your cancer care team
  • Guidance to address your practical concerns, including the cost of care, family and living expenses, caregiving and at-home support, employment, legal and financials
  • Referrals to resources to address spiritual questions or concerns
  • Guidance in navigating and completing advance directives, do not resuscitate (DNR) and physician orders for life-sustaining treatment forms

At New York Oncology Hematology, we offer in-person or telehealth palliative care appointments. Our team of social workers and nurse practitioners work together with your provider to ensure continuity of care and can directly provide pain symptom management interventions.

Be sure to speak with your provider as soon as you receive your cancer diagnosis to whether palliative care is right for you and your family. Most insurances, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover palliative care.

Palliative care is offered at NYOH's Albany, Troy, Hudson, Clifton Park, and Amsterdam Cancer Centers. Speak with your NYOH provider today if you are interested in learning more about palliative care.

NYOH Palliative Care Team

Ellen Gokey, ANP-BC; ACHPN
Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Director of Palliative Care

Christine Webber,  LCSW, ACHP-SW, OSW-C
Palliative Care Social Worker

Meg Guzda, FNP
Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

Catherine Markey, LCSW, ACHP-SW
Palliative Care Social Worker

Frances Ford, LCSW
Palliative Care Social Worker