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Pain & Palliative Care

Pain & Palliative Care

Pediatric Pain Management in Knoxville

Pediatric palliative care is specialized care that aims to relieve suffering, improve quality of life, facilitate informed decision making, and assist in the care coordination of children who have a life-limiting illness. It is care that is appropriate at any age and at any stage of illness, together with therapeutic treatment.

We help patients by:

  • implementing expert pain and symptom management
  • offering integrative treatment modalities such as art, massage, and use of essential oils
  • providing recommendations for management of distressing symptoms associated with life-limiting illnesses
  • supporting and enhancing quality of life through individualized care plans
  • promoting healing and comfort with a child- and family-centered approach

Does My Child Need Palliative Care?

Palliative care is focused on alleviating the more severe symptoms of serious illnesses. There is no one condition that qualifies a patient for palliative care— it is recommended to anyone who could benefit from the treatment.

Your child may benefit from a palliative consult if a medical condition or treatment is causing:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Constipation
  • Skin irritation

We want to help children live happier and healthier. Dealing with medical symptoms is tough, which is why pain and palliative care addresses the symptoms of a condition rather than the main issue. While their primary care physician or medical specialist is treating their condition, we will be doing our part to improve their quality of day-to-day life.

Meet Our Staff

  • Lorna Keeton, PNP
    Lorna Keeton began as an RN at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in 1997. She became a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in 2000 and began her practice as ETCH’s first Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in their Pediatric ICU. She is double board certified in Acute Care and Pediatrics, and, as an advanced practice nurse, Lorna practiced 13 years in the PICU, served as a preceptor to MSN students, and continues as a guest faculty for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s School of Nursing. In 2014, she began a new role at ETCH with the Anesthesia Department as their Pain and Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner. She greatly enjoys her work with children who have acute, complex or chronic pain, or a life-limiting illness. Lorna is inspired by the challenges of this population, and she is passionate about finding new and innovative ways to better serve her patients and their families.
  • Joni Pappas MA, MT-BC
    Joni Pappas is a board certified music therapist with additional training in neurologic music therapy. She has practiced for 20 years in the areas of early childhood intervention, special education, and geriatrics. Joni received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her Masters of Music Education with an Equivalency in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa. In addition to her work as a music therapist, Joni also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee School of Music.

  • Teresa Combs, CMT
    Teresa Combs is a nationally board certified massage therapist who is licensed in the state of Tennessee. She has over 15 years of experience in Therapeutic Massage and trained at the Baltimore School of Massage and Bodywork in Maryland. She also has additional training in Pregnancy and Infant Massage. She considers it a privilege to work with pediatric patients and their families, and she is honored to be Children's Hospital's first massage therapist.

Photos and Videos

Click here to view our photo gallery.

A Community Effort

To provide the children of our Eastern Tennessee with the best care possible, we need to come together as a community. Thanks to generous donations from local institutions and the contributions of our dedicated volunteers, we continue to improve the lives of our patients every day.

Your donations help support the Pain and Palliative Care program at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. To make a donation to the program, please visit our donation page and choose Pain and Palliative Care from the designation menu.

The Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care program at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is sponsored by The Butterfly Fund at the East Tennessee Foundation, MindfulnessTN and by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Knoxville.

Pain and Palliative Care at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is provided by Lorna Keeton PNP, Teresa Combs and Joni Pappas. Call us at (865) 541-8685 if you interested in learning more.