Providing optimal palliative care


Texas Children’s awarded Advanced Palliative Care Certification

During fiscal year 2018, Texas Children's Hospital earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Palliative Care Certification, making Texas Children’s Palliative Care Program the first of its kind in Houston and one of only 90 across the United States to receive such a distinction.

The certification demonstrates Texas Children’s focus on achieving optimum care for patients with serious illnesses and is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

“Texas Children’s has demonstrated its commitment to serve patients diagnosed with a critical and debilitating illness in a safe, high-quality and patient-focused environment,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We recognize and commend Texas Children’s for its efforts to provide palliative care services while emphasizing patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs as they make end-of-life decisions.”

Established in 2011, The Joint Commission’s Palliative Care Certification is awarded for a two-year period and recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses.

“Texas Children’s is pleased to receive certification from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Dr. Tammy Kang, section chief of Palliative Care at Texas Children’s. “The certification recognizes hospital inpatient programs and helps to further promote and advance the field of palliative care, ultimately improving the care for persons living with serious illnesses.”


Helping parents verbalize their challenges and focus on what they want to accomplish with their seriously ill child are among the goals of the system-wide Palliative Care program at Texas Children’s Hospital.

“What we have tried to promote is the understanding that palliative care is about maximizing quality of life, and improving care and support for children and families with serious illness, regardless of prognosis,” said Kang, who holds a clinical epidemiology degree and was recruited from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she started a palliative care team and managed it for the past 15 years.

Kang launched the clinical service at Texas Children’s in October 2016.