Department of Medicine

Interdepartmental Division of Palliative Care

Interdepartmental Division of Palliative Care

Palliative Care is the sub-specialty of medicine and family medicine that focuses on the care of the patient and family with advanced or incurable disease. Sometimes our specialty may also be referred to as the Pain & Symptom Management team. The most common diseases that we encounter are metastatic cancer, heart failure, advanced lung, kidney, liver and neurological diseases. These diseases can lead to severe pain, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, breathlessness and other debilitating symptoms which we focus on alleviating. We also work on helping patients and families improve their quality of life with their advanced disease. More recently due to the severe opioid crisis in BC we also care for patients with severe anoxic brain injury due to overdose. We are not experts in patients with chronic pain due to sports injuries, or other accidents.

The Division of Palliative Care at Providence Health Care is a multidisciplinary team comprising nurses, physicians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, spiritual health providers, music therapists and transitional services teams. We all work together to achieve patient and family clinical goals.

Our team comprises about 9 physicians with varying backgrounds and areas of interest and expertise. We work together as a close network at St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH), Mount St. Joseph Hospital (MSJ), St. John Hospice (SJH at UBC) and all PHC residential care sites to provide specialty care. At SPH we have an Acute Palliative Care unit on 10d which has 13 beds and focuses on patients with severe symptoms. We manage a consult service at SPH, MSJ and PHC residential care where we work with other teams in assessing and caring for patients with advanced disease and severe symptoms. At SJH we manage a 14 bed hospice that is primarily focused on patients that are nearing end-of-life usually in about 3 months or less (estimated time to death is not an admission criteria for hospice in BC). We also manage a Virtual out-patient Palliative Care Clinic at SPH which may revert back to in-patient visits in the future.

Our research program currently focuses on qualitative research and we collaborate with scientists at CHES. During the Covid-19 pandemic we are also participating in the Clinical Therapeutics Committee for Covid-19 (at VCH) and also a multi-center trial across Canada studying the effects of Covid-19.

Meet our team!

Contact Information

Interdepartmental Division of Palliative Care
Palliative Care Unit (PCU)
Room 1039, Floor 10d, Providence Bldg.
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, B.C., V6Z 1Y6

Telephone: 604-682-2344 ext 62297

Division Head
Dr. Gil Kimel, MD, MSc, MBA, FRCPC
Clinical Associate Professor

Residents and Medical Students contact information
Cameron Gibson
Telephone: 604-682-2344 ext 62676