What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a chance for people dealing with life-limiting illness to have relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of dealing with the illness and to have an extra layer of support. Unlike hospice, palliative care can be provided alongside curative treatment.The goal of palliative care is to provide symptom management, advance care planning, spiritual and emotional support if needed and overall quality of life.

Who benefits from Palliative Care?

  • Patients with advanced cancer who are still receiving curative treatments
  • Patients with advanced heart disease facing difficult decisions regarding treatment options
  • Patients with advanced COPD who are experiencing frequent hospitalizations
  • Patients with advanced dementia experiencing decline
  • Patients who suffer from pain or other symptoms due to a serious illness
  • Patients who experience physical or emotional pain that is NOT under control
  • Patients who need help understanding the situation and coordinating care

What can I expect?

  • A Physician or Nurse Practitioner specially trained in palliative medicine will evaluate your needs and develop a care plan to manage your care.
  • A social worker is also available as needed through your plan of care to assist you with community resources and advanced care planning.
  • A team approach to support you every step of the way.

Hospice of Kankakee Valley’s Palliative Care Team includes our board certified physician, Dr. Farhan Shams, nurse practitioners Bill Mattox and Mira Brosseau as well as licensed clinical social worker, Rachel Zajicek and chaplain, Dan Horton.

The Team

DrShams1Dr. Shams
Dr. Shams is board certified in hospice and palliative care as well as internal medicine. He has been practicing in hospice and palliative care since 2006. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and Hospice Medical Director Board Certified.

Mattox BillBill Mattox
Bill Mattox, RN, MSN, NP-C, received his Masters and Bachelors in Nursing Degrees from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Before receiving his Family Nurse Practitioner Certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2014, his prior nursing experience included primarily critical care. The critical care environment, coupled with Internal Medicine and Palliative Nurse Practitioner positions he has held fostered a desire to provide competent symptom management to patients.

Mira BrosseauMira Brosseau
Mira Brosseau, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, has over 30 years of Nursing experience including the hospital and outpatient setting, hospice, and teaching at the college level. Mira received her BSN from Olivet Nazarene University in 1979, her MSN from Lewis University in 1994, and finished her Adult NP from North Park University in 2005.

Rachel ZajicekRachel Zajicek
Rachel Zajicek, MSW, LCSW, has been a licensed social worker since 2009 and achieved her Licensed Clinical Social Worker designation in 2014. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Social Work through Aurora University.

Dan HortonDan Horton
Dan Horton, M. Div. serves on the chaplain team at Hospice of Kankakee Valley. He has provided chaplaincy services in the hospital setting, serving in ICUs from newborn through adult. He has a Masters of Divinity degree from the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.