Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center

Akron Children's Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center provides care to children, prenatal to young adult, with complex, chronic or serious conditions and their families, enhancing quality of life in partnership with cure-directed care. Read More...

Friebert Sarah
Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, MD
Director, Pediatric Palliative Care

Gerak Laura
Laura Gerak, PhD

Hirsh Cassandra
Cassandra Hirsh, DO, FAAHPM
Palliative Care Attending Physician

Kelly-Langen Catherine
Catherine Kelly-Langen, MD
Palliative Care Attending Physician

Hardy-Gomez Marlene
Marlene Hardy-Gomez, MSN, CPNP
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner March of Dimes Ohio Nurse of the Year 2013

Phillips Daniel
Daniel Phillips, MSN, RN-BC, CPNP, PMHS
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Allen Stephanie
Stephanie Allen, MSN, RN
Pediatric Palliative Care Nurse

Zehner Denise
Denise Zehner, LSW
Social Worker

Carst Nancy
Nancy Carst, LISW-S, CT
Bereavement Specialist

Powers Fabian Denise

Did You Know?

Did You Know?
  • In 2013, Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center received Advanced Certification from the Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care. This certification continues to be renewed every two years.
  • In 2015, palliative care staff and volunteers started Hillary's Cherished Gowns to take donated wedding gowns and sew them into bereavement dresses for premature babies. For details, visit www.facebook.com/hillaryscherishedgowns.
  • In 2016, Palliative Care expanded to services to the Beeghly Campus in Boardman.
  • All graduates of the pediatric hospice and palliative care fellowship have been board certified.


Meet Our Patients



Palliative Care - Overview

Pediatric palliative care focuses on children, prenatal to young adult, with complex, chronic or serious conditions and their families, enhancing quality of life in partnership with cure-directed care.

Our specialized team of providers includes:

  • pediatric palliative care physicians
  • advanced practice providers
  • nurse case managers
  • social workers
  • bereavement coordinator
  • a chaplain
  • child life specialists
  • expressive, physical and occupational therapists
  • psychologists
  • pharmacists
  • a dietitian
  • trained volunteers

This team works in collaboration with your child’s other health care providers and specialists, helping to provide seamless care coordination and communication, and aiding you in making informed choices about difficult medical decisions.

Palliative care patients receive comprehensive, interdisciplinary care to control pain and other symptoms. Your child receives support for emotional, psychological, practical, spiritual, educational and developmental issues which may contribute to suffering or interfere with healing.

Care is customized for each patient and family, by allowing you to choose from a variety of available services, according to your needs.

When a child faces a chronic condition or a serious illness, families often feel as if life has become a roller coaster ride. Palliative care is here to provide support along the journey, no matter what the outcome may be.


Our palliative care program is appropriate when:

  • A complex illness is causing fragmented care, making communication and coordination difficult for a child's healthcare providers
  • Families are in need of additional support and resources
  • Patients can benefit from expert pain and/or symptom management
  • Families would benefit from increased home-based services
  • A child is facing a shortened life expectancy
  • Usual treatment methods are no longer effective or are increasingly burdensome
  • Hospital stays are becoming more frequent
  • A child's condition is clearly declining

Even if your child is in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit, or in an acute care setting, she can benefit from the pain control, symptom management, care coordination, or additional family support offered through our program.

A terminal diagnosis is not required. We care for children with both cancer and non-cancer diagnoses such as leukodystrophy, congenital heart disease, cerebral palsy and mitochondrial disease.

We have found our care to be most beneficial when we begin the journey with the family at the time of diagnosis and continue with them for as long as they may need.

Our Mission

The Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval by demonstrating compliance with the commission's national standards for healthcare quality and safety in pediatric palliative care.

  • Integrate legendary, indispensable and individualized pediatric palliative care into the journey for all children, adults and their families living with chronic, complex and/or life-threatening conditions of childhood
  • Provide leadership in education, research and advocacy initiatives in pediatric palliative care locally, regionally, nationally and internationally


What To Expect

Working from a care plan determined jointly with each patient and family, Akron Children’s palliative care team partners with medical professionals as they:

  • Help families pursue comfort-oriented goals concurrently with cure-directed therapy
  • Talk openly with family about a child’s prognosis and the side effects of treatment options so families can make informed decisions
  • Optimize achievement of goals and potential for children on a complex medical journey
  • Manage a child’s pain and other symptoms so he is comfortable, but not asleep or unconscious

We provide palliative care in any setting – home, outpatient clinic, long-term care facility or hospital.

We're also available for round-the-clock consultations as needed, in the hospital or at home. We make home visits as necessary and can provide feedback for primary care and subspecialty clinicians to improve care without making families come in for another visit.

A child does not have to be an Akron Children's Hospital patient to use our palliative care services.


Patient Family Resources


Specialty Programs

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our locations

Akron Children's Hospital
Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center
Considine Professional Building, Suite 6200
215 W. Bowery St.
Akron , OH 44308
Phone: 330-543-3343
Fax: 330-543-3539
More Information...

Akron Children's Hospital
Pediatric Palliative Care
6505 Market St, Bldg A, Suite 1210
Boardman , OH 44512
Phone: 330-746-8187
More Information...

Akron Children's Specialty and Urgent Care, Mansfield
371 Cline Ave
Mansfield , OH 44907
Phone: 330-543-3343
More Information...