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HUGS Program 

Perinatal , Neonatal and Pediatric Palliative Care

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Children's Hospital Palliative Care Services is also known as the HUGS program, it is specialized medical care for infants and children with serious illnesses. HUGS is based on the goals of the program: Help, Understanding, Guidance and Support.

About the HUGS Program

Our Children's Hospital provides healing and comfort for over 45,000 infants and children each year who depend on the hospital's specialized staff and services. Unfortunately, some of these children have complex chronic medical conditions or life limiting illnesses. The HUGS program of the Children's Hospital seeks to offer Help, Understanding, Guidance and Support to these children and families, providing care throughout the illness from diagnosis and through the grief process. The HUGS team offers assistance with the management of the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs of infants, children, and their families. The team also provides the following:

  • Emotional support at diagnosis, throughout course of illness, and after delivery
  • Assistance in creating an individualized Plan of Care or Birth Plan to be a guide for caregivers and a "voice" for your family
  • Long term primary care of chronic conditions in a specialized clinic
  • Resources for spiritual and/or religious support
  • Connections with other parents who have been through similar experiences
  • Information and referrals as needed for therapists, pastoral care, hospice, and funeral directors
  • Literature, online resources, and books pertaining to palliative care, creating memories with your baby, and planning your goodbye
  • Assistance with arranging hospice care in your home or at a hospice facility
  • Assistance in helping siblings and other children in the family understand illness, injury and or death
  • Support Group meetings to help you cope after the death of your child
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Goals of HUGS

  • To provide help, understanding and guidance for patients and families in dealing with treatment options and care decisions related to new diagnosis and/or end of life decisions
  • To provide compassionate and consistent communication with patients and families in establishing goals of care and priorities
  • To improve the quality of the life for the child and family
  • If death is imminent then to help death be a gentle, dignified and peaceful process
  • To provide continued care when a cure may no longer be possible or outcome is too great of a cost to the patient


  • Contact information
  • Resources
  • Chronic Care Clinic
  • Child Life
  • Bo's Camp