Pediatric Care Near the End of Life
We Treat Complex Conditions with Compassion, Insight & Experience
The VITAS San Antonio pediatric team provides care for seriously ill children from birth to early adulthood who are born with or develop any of a wide range of medical issues. Our team can compassionately discuss the services and circumstances when hospice care is most appropriate.
We offer pediatric hospice care in the San Antonio area. If you have questions, please call us at 866.41.VITAS or contact us online.
A Team Approach to Pediatric Hospice Care
The VITAS interdisciplinary hospice team supports the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs experienced by the child and family members.
- Our pediatrics physicians work with the child’s physician and are available for pain and symptom management consultation as well as to make house calls, as needed.
- Our nurses are skilled in assessing and managing pain and other symptoms, such as vomiting, agitation and fever; they are pediatric-trained caregivers who provide hands-on care in the home. The hospice aide helps the family with personal care for the child.
- Our social workers skilled in pediatric psychosocial issues support the child, the family and other caregivers, including the hospital team and staff in the pediatrician’s office.
- Our chaplains work with the family’s clergy, offering spiritual and emotional support for the child and the family.
- Specially trained volunteers offer an “extra pair of hands,” perhaps spending time to play with the child or siblings to give parents some free moments.
- Respiratory therapists, dieticians and other pediatric specialists support children’s unique needs.
- Our bereavement programs help family members meet ongoing daily challenges before and after a child has died.
Meet Our Medical Directors
Our Medical Directors are responsible for overseeing the medical care and treatment of VITAS pediatric patients in their homes, hospitals and health clinics in San Antonio, Texas. They also consult with patients’ attending physicians, supervise VITAS team physicians, guide staff and volunteers, and serve as a resource to practicing physicians and other healthcare professionals on the benefits of hospice and palliative care for pediatric patients and their families.
Glen Medellin, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Glen Medellin is passionate about caring for children with complex chronic conditions. He holds the Greehey Distinguished Chair in Palliative Care for Children at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he leads a multidisciplinary team that provides comprehensive coordinated palliative care to children in the hospital, clinic and community. In addition to serving VITAS as Medical Director of its Pediatric Program, Dr. Medellin currently serves as Professor of Pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, where he began teaching in 2012. In recognition of the impact of his clinical services, Dr. Medellin was awarded the 2012 UT Health Presidential Clinical Excellence Award . He was selected for a 2014 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award by the University of Texas System and was selected as a 2015 Healthcare Hero by the San Antonio Business Journal.
Board certified in Pediatric Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Medellin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Biology from Rice University. He received his Medical Degree with highest honors from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and pursued pediatric training at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Rachel Vandermeer, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Rachel Vandermeer is dedicated to bringing compassion and empathetic care to terminally ill children with complex chronic conditions, including children with neurological impairments. In addition to serving VITAS as Medical Director of its Pediatric Program, Dr. Vandermeer currently serves as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio and Inpatient Medical Director of Pediatric Palliative Medicine at University Hospital in San Antonio. She is dedicated to quality improvement and participates in both adult and pediatric hospice and palliative medicine fellow education at UT Health San Antonio, and is involved in the development of its pediatric palliative care curriculum. She has been active in presenting on pediatric palliative care throughout the state and presented at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Annual Assembly in 2016.
Fellowship trained in Pediatric Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Vandermeer earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from Saint Edward’s University in Austin. She received her Medical Degree with highest honors from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Dr. Vandermeer completed her residency in pediatrics at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and her fellowship in pediatric hospice and palliative medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.