STEPS members Karen Brand, Michaela Nalamliang, Julie Kim and Theresa Murdock-Vlautin.

Specialized team expands into perinatal palliative care


Since 2014, the Supportive Therapies and Enhanced Palliative Services (STEPS) team at UC Davis Children’s Hospital has improved the quality of life for patients with acute or chronic life-limiting illnesses and their families.

The team recently expanded to cover perinatal palliative care services for pregnant women whose fetuses have congenital anomalies.

“We are very excited to provide the extra layer of support to our patients and the teams that care for them,” said Theresa Murdock-Vlautin, professor of pediatric critical care and pediatric palliative care, and a member of the STEPS team.

The interdisciplinary team's goal is to help prevent, reduce and soothe symptoms associated with illness and strive for optimal quality of life. The team includes:

  • physicians
  • nurse practitioners
  • social workers
  • child life specialists
  • care coordinators
  • therapists
  • chaplains
  • support staff

For Mark Quiambao, the STEPS team was a big help when his daughter Penelope was hospitalized. The team advocated for the family and helped them communicate with Penelope’s medical providers.

“There are times in your family’s life when situations become overwhelmingly difficult and you need a specialized team of people to come alongside and make sense of it all,” Quiambao said. “STEPS has been an essential part of our family’s care in providing us the support we needed through our journey.”

For more information about STEPS, visit their webpage or call 916-734-8950.