OHSU Palliative Care Team

If you or a loved one is facing a complex or life-threatening illness, OHSU can provide a special service to help you.


Paul Bascom, M.D.
Palliative Care Physician
Director, P.M.C.C.T.

Mary Denise Smith, R.N., C.N.S.

Mary Denise Smith, R.N., C.N.S.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nurse Coordinator


Erik Fromme, M.D.
Palliative Care Physician

Robert Hugo Richardson, M.D.

Robert Hugo Richardson, M.D.
Palliative Care Physician

Amy Guthrie

Amy Guthrie, R.N., CNS, MSN,
Palliative Care Nurse

What services does the OHSU Palliative Medicine and Comfort Care Team provide?

We can provide Enhanced communication between you, your family and your medical team Help in making difficult medical decisions at any stage of illness Emotional and spiritual support Expert treatment of symptoms, including:

  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite

We welcome questions from patients and their family members. Ask your doctor for a referral for palliative care services. Our team is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Who benefits from palliative care?

Patients and families who
  • Need assistance making complex medical decisions
  • Need help understanding their condition or prognosis
  • Will have complex needs when they leave the hospital
  • Have a long, complex hospital stay
  • Have a recent diagnosis of a serious illness
  • Have a complex illness with many hospital stays
  • Experience uncontrolled discomfort or other symptoms

How does palliative care differ from hospice care?

The Palliative Medicine and Comfort Care Team works in the hospital and can provide guidance during any phase of illness. Hospice is a program of services that allows a dying person to remain at home or in a home-like setting for the last weeks and months of life. The Palliative Care Team can help with the transition to hospice care, if needed.

What is comfort care?

Comfort care strives to ensure comfort for patients and families in the last days to hours of life.