Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care

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Palliative Care

Pediatric Palliative Care is a service for children with a serious illness. It is also for children who struggle with pain or other symptoms. Our team understands the whole family is affected when a child is ill or in pain.

We are here to:

  • Offer care and support at any stage of illness
  • Help manage, prevent, and ease pain and suffering
  • Focus on quality of life
  • Help the child, family, and health care teams communicate
  • Help families use information as they make health care choices for their child

We want to learn what matters to your family and help you form goals of care for your child.

Perinatal Palliative Care

Perinatal Palliative Care is a service to offer support to a family who has learned their unborn baby has a medical condition. We offer support at the time of a prenatal diagnosis or any time during the rest of pregnancy.

Our purpose and goals are to:

  • Prevent or ease suffering for the baby and family before, during, and after birth
  • Give a sense of well-being and peace of mind
  • Learn what parents feel is most important for their baby
  • Help with making a care plan that supports parents’ wishes

We can also give support after birth through our Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program as needed.

Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Specialists

Our team looks at all aspects that make your child and family unique. Each team member is an expert to focus on your child’s well-being.

Doctor/nurse practitioner

  • Reviews and manages your child’s symptoms
  • Works with the family to define goals of care and to help with decision-making


  • Supports those who may be faced with grief and loss
  • Coordinates care between health care teams that take care of your child

Social worker

  • Helps find resources for your family in the hospital and in the community settings
  • Gives emotional support for you and your child

Child life specialist

  • Offers an outlet for self-expression through play and memory-making efforts with children and siblings
  • Gives emotional support for family members

Spiritual services (chaplain)

  • Offers spiritual support
  • Helps create an environment for prayer and spirituality

Music therapist

  • Helps children with pain and anxiety
  • Allows children to express feelings and be a part of family interaction

Art therapist

  • Helps lessen stress and anxiety for patients and their family through normalizing, creative activities
  • Offers an outlet for emotional expression

Health Information

Patient Stories

  • Quinn Stumpf

    Quinn Stumpf, portrait Quinn was born with a genetic disease so rare that it doesn’t have a name. A gene mutation, known as SPATA5, has resulted in various medical conditions, including epilepsy, blindness, hearing loss, dystonia, and opisthotonos, a condition which causes severe and rigid muscle spasms that result in backward arching of her head, neck, and spine. When strong medications, up to 15 at a time, began negatively impacting her organs, pediatric neurosurgeons implanted a baclofen pump directly into the ventricles of her brain to more directly deliver her medication. She is now able to lie down comfortably and stand, and she is learning to take steps where before she would have been arching in pain.Read more

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    Pediatric Specialty Clinic, 2400 John Colloton Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242

    The entrance to the Pediatric Specialty Clinic (PSC) is near the Level 2 connector bridge that links UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. The recommended path to the PSC is:

    • Park in Parking Ramp 2
    • Take Elevator South in Parking Ramp 2 and push the “G” (ground floor) button
    • Take a left to enter Level 1 (Gerdin Family Lobby) of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital
    • Take the public elevators near the information desk to Level 2.
    • Arrive on Level 2. Take a left and cross the short connector bridge. 
    • The entrance to the PSC will be on your left.  
    In House Directions: Public Elevators, Level 2
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • 1-319-356-3050
    • 1-888-573-5437

Other Team Members

Casey Baustian, LMSW
Social Worker

Sara English, Secretary