New STEPS program to support children with acute or chronic life-limiting illnesses at UC Davis Children's Hospital
A comprehensive new program at UC Davis Children’s Hospital brings together an array of services to support children and adolescents with acute or chronic life-limiting illnesses and their families.
The program is called STEPS — Supportive Therapies and Enhanced Palliative Care Services. It provides medical, mental-health and spiritual services, with the goal of ensuring the child is as comfortable as possible throughout the full spectrum of treatment, said Theresa Murdock-Vlautin, associate professor of pediatric critical-care medicine.
Murdock-Vlautin, who is board certified in hospice and palliative care medicine, founded and directs the program, which consists of a specialized interdisciplinary team to form a network of physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, child life specialists, chaplains and support staff that works with the patient and their family and the patient’s primary medical team.
“From diagnosis throughout the course of the illness, the STEPS team will be there to enhance the care of the patient in body, mind and spirit,” Murdock-Vlautin said. “We will coordinate resources to maximize involvement by all family members, to create hope and healing.”
She explained that the STEPS team will guide care through consultation with the patient’s primary medical team, emphasizing aggressive pain and symptom management, enhancing meaningful quality of life and providing support for patients and families, to alleviate stress.
STEPS will be there to enhance care in body and spirit, coordinating resources to provide support, hope, healing and wellness, Murdock-Vlautin said.
Inpatient consultations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for new patient consults. For questions regarding the program, please call 916-734-4077.