When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening or life-limiting condition, even before birth, families face complex decisions and unimaginable demands on time, energy and resources.
Compass Care, the pediatric palliative care program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, works closely with your child's medical team to optimize his or her quality of life, while providing cutting-edge medical care and support. Our mission is to help your child live as well as possible for as long as possible.
This includes more than physical wellness. We provide emotional, social and spiritual care to enhance your family's strengths, capacity to cope and quality of time together.
We care for children with many complex medical conditions, diagnosed prenatally or after birth, including cancer, cystic fibrosis, seizure disorders, heart disease, genetic or metabolic illnesses and disorders related to prematurity.
You and your child may benefit from palliative care if:
Care: We provide physical, emotional, social and spiritual care, with the goal of improving your child's quality of life and relieving suffering. This includes pain and symptom management and, when necessary, specialized care at the end of life.
Hope: Maintaining hope is a powerful tool for coping with a medical crisis and uncertain outcomes. Regardless of whether your child's medical goals involve curative, life-prolonging or end of life comfort-directed therapies, we strive to honor your family's wishes. These may change over time and we support you at each point of your difficult journey.
Resources: We help you take full advantage of UCSF and community resources that may be helpful to your family. We work closely with your child's doctors, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, spiritual care staff and pharmacists to maximize available resources.
Choice: We are committed to helping your family make difficult decisions. This means providing honest information about treatment options and exploring choices that honor your family's personal, cultural and religious beliefs.
Our specialized team works closely with your child's health care providers to ensure that we meet your child's physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs at all stages of care.
Dr. Audrey Foster-Barber
Medical Director, Compass Care
Co-Director and Coordinator, Compass Care
Advanced Practice Nurse, Pediatric Oncology and Palliative Care
Perinatal Palliative Care Coordinator, Compass Care
Advanced Practice Nurse, Obstetrics, Labor and Delivery and Palliative Care
Bereavement and Staff Support Coordinator, Compass Care
Program Analyst, Compass Care
Our services are available to every patient who may benefit from palliative care, including pregnant mothers, children, young adults and their family members.
We can help you and your child with:
Our Family Support Program is for families whose children are in the hospital. Weekly activities include:
Please see our schedule of weekly activities.
In the unfortunate circumstance that a family experiences the loss of their unborn baby or child, we offer grief support and bereavement services. While you are in the hospital, we provide:
Once you return home we offer:
Caring for children with life-threatening conditions poses unique challenges for caregivers.
We help health care providers develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote optimal palliative care for their patients. We provide extensive education and training to UCSF staff, as well as local, regional and international health care providers.
For more information or to make a donation, please contact:
505 Parnassus Ave. Room M-631, Box 0106
San Francisco, CA 94143-0106
Phone: (415) 353-1328
Fax: (415) 353-3729
See our online bookstore for books written or recommended by our hospital staff.