Pediatric Palliative Care Room to Open at Goryeb Children's Hospital, Morristown, NJ

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Liam’s Room Funds Construction of Inpatient Care Room to Make Pediatric Palliative Care Available to More NJ Families

"In addition to the comfort the room provides, its presence helps to remind our staff of the needs of families who are living through disease and the impact of illness.

Liam’s Room, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization that provides inpatient comprehensive care rooms and support to families whose child is faced with complex medical and life-limiting conditions, and Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey, announced today the construction of a Liam’s Room at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown.

The redesigned inpatient hospital room creates a home-like environment and addresses the needs of families whose children spend countless hours in and out of the hospital. Families using Liam’s Room are treated by the hospital’s pediatric palliative care team, which incorporates the total care of a child’s mind and spirit and provides support to the entire family. The new room is scheduled to open in spring 2013.

Goryeb Children’s Hospital is part of the Atlantic Health System family, which also includes Morristown, Overlook and Newton Medical Centers. Goryeb shares the Morristown Medical Center campus, and also includes an inpatient unit and outpatient services at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ.

“Spending countless hours in a cold, sterile hospital room just magnifies the reality of having a sick child,” said Lisa McNamara, Co-Founder of Liam’s Room. “Liam’s Room provides the amenities to function as a family within the hospital – more space, a comfortable bed for parents, desk, refrigerator, a private bathroom, and entertainment for children. While some doctors and caregivers are taught to treat the symptoms of a child’s illness, it is the treatment of the entire family that defines good care. This is the benefit of pediatric palliative care.”

The first Liam’s Room opened in 2009 at Overlook Medical Center. At that time, Liam’s Room also funded Colin O’Reilly, DO, and Sheryl Vassallo, MD, as they attended a training program at the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care. They now both serve as pediatric palliative care physicians at Goryeb Children’s Hospital. In addition, O’Reilly also practices pediatric critical care.    

“The need for pediatric palliative care is growing,” O’Reilly said. “Having an additional Liam’s Room in Morristown will allow our program to benefit more patients and their families as they navigate the challenges of potentially life limiting illnesses. In addition to the comfort the room provides, its presence helps to remind our staff of the needs of families who are living through disease and the impact of illness.”

“We are excited about the progress being made with Goryeb Children’s Hospital,” said Peter McNamara, Co-Founder of Liam’s Room. “We look forward to continuing to provide resources to families and children who benefit from pediatric palliative care, to the development of more rooms, and to inspiring more hospitals to adopt the pediatric palliative care approach.”    

About Liam’s Room
Liam’s Room provides a “home away from home” for children with chronic, potentially life-limiting illnesses and their families in hospitals by building rooms that are comfortable, peaceful, and equipped with all the amenities that a child’s room should offer. Additionally, Liam’s Room is committed to facilitating the education of hospital staff treating these families in the field of pediatric palliative care – an approach to treatment that focuses on enhancing the quality of life for patients who suffer from serious illness. The NJ based non-for-profit organization was created by Lisa and Peter McNamara in loving memory of their son, Liam Hayden McNamara. For additional information, please visit

About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey, comprised of Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Newton Medical Center. The three medical centers – all accredited by The Joint Commission – have a combined total of 1,308 licensed beds and more than 2,750 affiliated physicians providing a wide array of health care services to the residents of Northern and Central New Jersey. Specialty service areas include advanced cardiovascular care, pediatric medical and surgical specialties, neurology, orthopedics, and sports medicine. Each of these programs has earned top ratings and recognitions in their respective fields. Atlantic Health System is the official health care partner of the New York Jets and an official health care provider of the New Jersey Devils.

Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more heart surgeries than any other hospital in New York or New Jersey, and is one of 20 facilities across the country to perform catheter-based repair and replacement of valves on both sides of the heart. Atlantic Health System’s spine program – where surgeons perform more spine surgery than anywhere else in New Jersey – is one of just 13 hospitals across the country that has received the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission, achieving Disease-Specific Care Certification for cervical and lumbar spine treatments. With the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute based at Overlook Medical Center, the hospital serves as the hub for the New Jersey Stroke Network, and serves about 40 percent of the state’s stroke patients. The system’s Goryeb Children’s Hospital offers more than 100 board-certified physicians in 20 pediatric specialties. Morristown Medical Center is verified as a Level I Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and designated a Level II by the state of New Jersey.

Atlantic Health System has been chosen for the past five consecutive years by FORTUNE® as one of the magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®.” The organization has also been recognized four times by AARP as one of the “Best Employers for Workers over 50.” Inside Jersey magazine partnered with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and ranked Morristown Medical Center as the No. 1 hospital in New Jersey and the No. 1 hospital for treatment of heart failure and coronary surgery in the state. The survey findings also establish Overlook as No.1 for the treatment of neurological disorders and stroke in NJ. Atlantic Health System is a Major Clinical Research Affiliate with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and is the primary academic and clinical affiliate in New Jersey of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Pamela Garretson
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