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Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative & Integrative Medicine

Seeing your child suffer is heartbreaking. And as a parent, you naturally wish there was something you could do to take the pain away.

The Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine can help, whether your child is living with a complex condition, facing a life-threatening illness, or preparing for a routine but uncomfortable procedure. We're dedicated to reducing children's pain and improving quality of life for our young patients and their families.

Drawing on a range of techniques – from the latest medical innovations to ancient healing methods – we work to relieve pediatric pain, distress and other symptoms while supporting healing and well-being. We care for children in UCSF's San Francisco and Oakland pediatric hospitals and in our outpatient clinics.

Our team includes experts from many fields:

  • Pediatric pain anesthesiologists, pain hospitalists (doctors who specialize in treating pain in hospitalized patients) and palliative care doctors
  • Integrative medicine practitioners, such as massage therapists and acupuncturists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Spiritual care providers
  • Grief support specialists

We're committed to doing everything possible to help your child live well while supporting your family every step of the way.

A note about our new Walnut Creek clinic: We plan to expand our offerings at this location in the coming months. Integrative therapies are available now, and we'll begin providing pain management and palliative care services in August 2023.

Our services

Pediatric pain management

We treat pediatric pain with a blend of child-safe medications, psychotherapy, mind-body methods like hypnosis, and physical rehab. We're experts at treating the discomfort of cancer, sickle cell disease and more, including amplified pain, which makes pain feel unusually intense.

Integrative medicine

To complement our advanced medical care, we offer healing practices not found in most U.S. hospitals, from acupuncture to massage, meditation and more for soothing children's pain and stress. Having many options empowers patients and families to discover what works best for them.

Psychological support

Our goal is to care for the whole child: mind, body and spirit. Methods include relaxation training, short-term therapy and biofeedback (to control the body's stress responses). Addressing mental health is key because anxiety, depression and stress can make pediatric pain worse.

Need more support?

Serious illness is challenging in so many ways, especially when it affects your child. We're here to help your family cope with those challenges, whether you're faced with important medical decisions, the grieving process, or identifying the goals of care that matter most to you.

Video: Inside our center

Making the pain go away

See how we blend techniques to control pain. Get to know our people and services. Hear from patients and families we've helped.

Our locations (3)

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    For visitors

    Before you head to the hospital, check out our guidelines for visitors and caregivers.


    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

    Learn more

    Your Child's Care Team

    Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other providers have special training to care for children. Meet your child's care team.

    Learn more

    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Learn more

    Support services


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.

    Staff superheroes

    It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a window washer! Dressed as a superhero to clean and brighten your day.