A teddy bear sits next to a stethoscope and blocks.

HopeHealth expands pediatric hospice services

When children in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are facing serious illness, a dedicated team is standing by to support them and their loved ones.

HopeHealth, a regional leader in hospice, palliative and home health care, has expanded its services for patients from birth to age 21 who have a life-limiting illness. Its pediatric hospice program, Pediatric Supportive Services, provides patients and their families with an extra layer of care and support during a crucial time in a child’s health journey. That includes comfort-focused medical care and symptom relief, guidance through difficult treatment decisions, and emotional and spiritual support for everyone in the family, including siblings.

The program is led by Rebecca MacDonell-Yilmaz, MD, MPH, a board-certified pediatric and  palliative medicine physician. The team – which includes HopeHealth nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, grief counselors and trained volunteers – specializes in the unique needs of seriously ill children and their families.

“When your child has a life-limiting illness, it’s so important to have support from a team with the right training and knowledge,” says Dr. MacDonell-Yilmaz. “Kids are not just little adults. They need special care, at every age and developmental level. So do their parents, siblings and other loved ones. That’s why we created Pediatric Supportive Services.”

As a result of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, more pediatric patients are eligible for hospice services than ever before – including alongside curative treatments for their illness. But not many programs tailor services especially for children and young people. In addition to making hospice more accessible to every child and family in the region, HopeHealth’s Pediatric Supportive Services play a critical role in educating the healthcare community about the resources and best practices that exist specifically for pediatric patients.

“HopeHealth has always been called to serve patients and their loved ones in their most vulnerable moments. We’re now answering that call in a new way for families in our community,” says HopeHealth President & CEO Diana Franchitto. “When a newborn, infant, child, teen or young adult is seriously ill, our Pediatric Supportive Services are here for them. We’re here for their families. We’re dedicated to making sure they get crucial, high-quality hospice services, from a team that’s trained to help in the ways they need most.”

HopeHealth’s Pediatric Supportive Services are delivered throughout Rhode Island and in Massachusetts. For more information, visit

Hope Health Hospice

About HopeHealth

For more than a century, HopeHealth has provided high quality, compassionate care to people in various stages of illness in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Its roots began in home care in 1908 and then in hospice in 1976, coming together as HopeHealth in 2011 as a provider of home care, palliative care and hospice care. As the second oldest hospice in the country and one of the largest not-for-profit providers of palliative and hospice care in New England, HopeHealth has set the gold standard in serious illness and end-of-life care. HopeHealth is the major teaching affiliate for hospice and palliative care of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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