Oncology Hospice Program

Specialized expertise and holistic care for the unique needs of patients with cancer diagnosis, and their loved ones, at the end of life

Patients with Cancer and Hospice Care

People living with cancer in end stage often have high symptom burden and complex care needs when admitted to hospice. Bio-psycho-spiritual characteristics evolve rapidly as well and require parallel attention. These areas of stress and suffering that call for focused attention and care often include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Young children’s need to navigate changes within their family
  • Financial concerns and planning
  • Spiritual and existential distress

These multidimensional stressors reduce quality of life. Hospice care recognizes all factors of suffering and supports patients and their loved ones holistically.

VNSNY’s Oncology Hospice Program

VNSNY’s Oncology Hospice Program was designed to enhance end of life care for adults living with cancer who have complex biopsychosocial and spiritual needs. Drivers of complexity can range from high physical symptom burden (matched by complex treatments at home) and compounded psychosocial and spiritual needs, all mirrored by high risk for hospitalization.

The mission of VNSNY’s Oncology Hospice Program is to integrate hospice into the cancer care continuum by:

  • Establishing a strong partnership and continued collaboration with the referring oncology and palliative care teams
  • Offering consultation as needed with VNSNY’s specialized oncology-trained hospice and palliative care specialists: physician, NP, social worker, and spiritual care counselor
  • Creating individualized patient- and family-centered care plan employing evidence-based protocols
  • Delivering complex clinical services in the home through home care IDGs, community paramedicine, crisis care, and telehealth solutions
  • Focusing on the individual determinants of quality of life

oncology infographic

Another Level of Support for Patients and Families

To improve their quality of life and to support families and caregivers, VNSNY’s Oncology Hospice Program aligns the patient’s and family’s goals with the individualized care plan.

  • Referring oncology team is engaged in goals of care conversations with patient and family and the hospice interdisciplinary group
  • Aggressive symptom management, offering 24/7 care and support including in-home and tele-visits by hospice oncology specialists
  • Integrated caregiver support within hospice care plan
    • Caregiver stress screening and extensive education for caregivers on patient care, disease progression, and what to expect at the end of life
    • Practical support with financial and/or funeral or memorial planning, and other issues related to end of life care
    • Spiritual care support with identifying sources of distress and enhancing coping strength based on one’s values/beliefs/faith. Exploring what is important and can be done to improve quality of life of patients and families

VNSNY has the cultural understanding necessary to serve the diverse population of New York City. We also offer special programs for military veterans and their families, including identification of benefits.

Refer your patients to VNSNY Hospice Oncology Program using our electronic hospice referral form.


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