Jennifer Kapo, MD, director of Yale Cancer Center’s Palliative Care Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital, dedicates her life to helping people diagnosed with serious illnesses. Through careful listening, she provides comforting care, always keeping the individual’s life goals in mind.
She enjoys being part of a team that provides the support patients and families need when experiencing a serious illness—from diagnosis through end of life. Dr. Kapo helps ease pain, suffering and stress through medical interventions and by providing access to psycho-social support, parenting help, spiritual services and financial counseling as needed (and on a case-by-case basis) because every cancer patient’s needs and experience are unique.
“What we also try to do in palliative medicine is to the support the oncologist, patient and their family in having difficult conversations about the medical condition in a gentle, informative way so that patients actually feel more supported after having these conversations,” Dr. Kapo says.
Research shows that patients and families desire all information—both good and bad—about their condition, says Dr. Kapo, who is also an associate professor of geriatrics at Yale School of Medicine. She makes it her mission to provide this information accurately and in such a way that families can still access what they need most during a trying time: hope.