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has worked

in Thompson Hospital’s Emergency

Department since 2012. After taking

a sabbatical to

pursue a palliative

care fellowship at

the University of

Rochester Medical

Center, he now

spends three days

of his work week

providing pallia-

tive care alongside

Cheryl Williams,

MD, who joined Thompson’s medical

staff in 2014.

“She’s an incredibly compassionate,

capable and caring doctor who is an ex-

cellent role model, for sure,” Dr. Cardina

says of Dr. Williams.

They offer both inpatient and outpa-

tient consults to help give patients with

cancer and other conditions—including

congestive heart failure, chronic kidney

disease, lung disease and Parkinson’s

disease—relief from symptoms and stress.

Dr. Cardina says he is grateful for the

opportunity to now practice palliative

medicine, as well as emergency medicine.

“Both are important,” he says, “and I

think one enhances the other.”

In fact, it was in the ED that he first

became interested in palliative care, see-

ing patients whose visits were related to

the progression of chronic illnesses and

wanting to address these bigger issues.

“I felt like there was more I could

offer,” he says, “and the context of an

ED visit didn’t allow for it, so I had to

change roles.”


According to Dr. Williams, consults and

follow-up visits increased an average of

20 to 25 percent during the program’s

first year at Thompson.

understand their illness and to be able to

choose a treatment plan that best suits

their needs,” he says.

Dr. Baum also notes that in the ED,

Dr. Cardina can “bring his knowledge of

palliative care principles to the front lines

of medical care, where patients and their

families can begin to determine their

care options.”


Cardina, MD

Emergencymedicine physicianhelps

enhancepalliative care

Now, she and Dr. Cardina are working

on seeing even more patients. Their plan

is to expand outpatient consults as well

as inpatient consults, seeing patients

before hospital admissions and working

with physicians from other disciplines

on campus—such as oncology and pain

management—to address symptom

needs and care goals.

“My vision is to try to develop a mini-

palliative care division within Thompson

that allows us to provide more compre-

hensive care, creating a web of people

and keeping patients here who would

have—in the past—required transport

to Rochester,” he says.

Senior Vice President of Medical Ser-

vices David Baum, MD, says Dr. Cardina’s

presence at Thompson further strength-

ens the existing program.

“An important goal of palliative

care medicine is to have our patients


Palliative care is different from

hospice care. Hospice is for

people who are facing the end

of life. Hospice patients always

receive palliative care to help

make their final months more

comfortable. But palliative

care is also for people who are

trying to cure, slow or manage

their disease.

From left: Cheryl Williams, MD, shown on one of Thompson Hospital’s medical/surgical

floors with Rachel Wise of Case Management/Social Work, is now joined by Adam

Cardina, MD, in offering palliative care consults.