The Palliative Care Division at UCSF Medical Center provides specialized medical care for patients who are seriously ill. We do this by offering expert symptom management, ensuring patients' wishes for their medical care are both known and honored, and helping patients and their caregivers cope with serious illness. Our team-based method fosters a comprehensive, whole-person approach to our patients' care.

patient care

Palliative care can help people at any stage of a serious illness and may take place alongside medical treatment to cure the patient's disease. Examples of serious illness include, but are not limited to, cancer, liver disease, emphysema, heart failure, kidney failure and dementia. All patients can ask their doctors or nurses for a consultation with Palliative Care.

In palliative care, our goal is simple: to help you feel as well as possible, for as long as possible.




If you are hospitalized at Parnassus or Mission Bay, or have a loved one there, your doctors may collaborate with the inpatient palliative care consult team. We have a unit with two comfort care suites providing a more home-like setting at Parnassus for patients receiving end-of-life care and their families.

The Parnassus team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the Mission Bay team is available five days a week.

Our team includes a physician, nurse, social worker and chaplain. Based on your needs, you may be seen by one or several of these providers. We work in conjunction with other medical care to ensure that patients get the best possible treatment. If you would like to request an inpatient palliative care consult, please talk with your primary care team.



Palliative Care Clinic (Non-Cancer Patients)

The Palliative Care Clinic serves patients with serious illnesses other than cancer, such as heart failure, chronic lung disease, kidney disease, liver failure and neurologic disease. Our team includes a physician, nurse, social worker and chaplain. Based on your needs, one or several of these providers may see you. The Palliative Care Clinic team will partner closely with your other medical providers to help you feel more comfortable and supported.

Phone: (415) 514-1966
Hours: Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Download our brochure.

UCSF Parnassus Campus
400 Parnassus Ave, 8th Floor Ambulatory Care Center

Symptom Management Service (Cancer Patients)

The SMS provides treatment and counseling for physical and emotional symptoms of cancer, to help people live as well as possible. Assistance includes help with pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, advanced-care planning and spiritual issues.

Treatments integrate medical, psychological, social work and spiritual approaches, which are offered along with regular cancer care. Care is coordinated with cancer treatments and with the support of patients’ oncology team.

  • General SMS - for any patient with cancer
  • Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) - for patients with metastatic breast cancer
  • SMS in Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) - for patients with hematologic malignancies
  • Geri-Pall - for older patients with lung cancer

Phone: (415) 885-SMS1 (415-885-7671)
Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, except holidays

  • Option 1: Medication refills
  • Option 2: ABC Clinic patients
  • Option 3: Scheduling/Administrative Questions
  • Option 4: Non-urgent nursing calls
  • Fax: 415-353-9522

Mission Bay: 1825 4th St., 4th Floor
Mount Zion:  1600 Divisadero St., 2nd, 3rd, 4th Floors
Parnassus: 400 Parnassus Ave., 4th Floor

Bridges Program

UC Care at Home’s Bridges program aims to help our UCSF patients living with serious illness receive the best care possible. Bridges offers home-visits by physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and chaplains who specialize in symptom management, communication, and safe transitions from hospital to home. Our team works closely with a patient’s primary and specialty care providers, as well as home health and hospice agencies.

Bridges can help UCSF patients and families:

  • Create a clear and effective plan for managing symptoms at home
  • Understand their illness and what to expect in the future
  • Ensure a safe and comfortable transition from hospital to home
  • Make important medical decisions based on the patient’s hopes and values
  • Coordinate effectively with medical providers
  • Connect to medical and social support resources

Patients are referred to Bridges by their UCSF physician in the hospital or clinic. To qualify for Bridges, patients must: be over 18 years old, live in San Francisco, have a serious and/or chronic progressive illness, have difficulty leaving the home for activities other than medical appointments, and have UCSF primary care or specialist provider they see regularly.

To find out more, call (415) 514-3577.

If you are a provider, view our referral guide here.