Palliative Care / Hospice Care - Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center
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Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center


Palliative Care / Hospice Care

Palliative care is a medical specialty that helps patients and families live as fully as possible when faced with a serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering through pain and symptom management, communication, and coordination of care. Palliative care is not necessarily end of life care or hospice. Palliative care services can be provided at any point of a serious illness and can be offered along with curative treatments.

Hospice care is a type of palliative care offered to patients who have decided to discontinue treatments meant to cure them. Hospice care is intended for patients in the last six months of life. While the goals of hospice are the same as palliative care (to relieve suffering through pain and symptom management, communication, and coordination of care), transitioning to hospice can  be overwhelming for some. However, acceptance of hospice focuses on improving quality of life and living as fully and as comfortably in the life’s last stages.

Inpatient Consultation: Consultation is available for patients admitted to the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center by physicians placing a palliative care consult. The palliative care team consists of a physician, nurse practitioner, nursing, emotional and psychological support, and spiritual support. Ask your physician if a consult would benefit you.

Inpatient Palliative Care/Hospice beds: Four beds within the Community Living Center are dedicated for palliative care and hospice. Care is provided by a team of physicians, a nurse practitioner, nurses, social workers, dietician, recreational therapist, occupational therapist, and volunteers. Priority for admission is given to hospice patients. Please contact Selena Okler, RN, Palliative Care Coordinator (906)774-3300 extension 34504 or Patricia Staller, MSW (906)774-3300 extension 34514 for more information or to coordinate admissions.

Outpatient Consultation: If you are not an inpatient but would like to learn more about palliative care or hospice, please discuss this with your primary care physician.  The Oscar G Johnson VAMC has the capability of partnering with hospice agencies in the community to provide hospice care for our veterans at home.   There is also the ability to coordinate home care with a palliative focus.


Contact Info


  • Iron Mountain VAMC

Contact Number(s)

  • 906-774-3300 Ext. 34514
  • 906-774-3300 Ext. 34504

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm