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Essential Care for Children

Essential Care for Children is a home-based palliative (symptom control) care program that provides coordination of medical services, as well as psycho-social and spiritual support to seriously ill children and their families. We provide care for the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of your child and family. Our pediatric healthcare professionals work closely with your child's doctor to develop an optimum plan of care.

Essential Care is available to children from infancy through adolescence who’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. We care for children who live in Erie and parts of Niagara, Genesee and Cattaraugus counties. We work with pediatricians at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a variety of other pediatric clinics in our community. Our referrals come from physicians and other providers, but often, it’s a family member or friend who refers a child to Essential Care.

The Mission of the Essential Care Program

Essential Care for Children's mission is to provide the most comprehensive home-based palliative care to children with life-limiting illnesses. The program consists of specialty-trained professionals who collaborate with the child's medical team during their illness, provide therapy for the patient and siblings, resources for community support systems, and spiritual guidance and psycho-social support for family members during the span of illness and treatment. 

Your Essential Care Team includes:

Perinatal Program

The mission of our Essential Care Perinatal Program is to provide support, education and guidance to expectant parents and families whose unborn child has a life-threatening illness. This unique program helps expecting parents and families prepare for and cope with physical, emotional and spiritual issues at the time of diagnosis and through the remainder of the pregnancy. The Essential Care Perinatal Program is the only program of its kind in Erie County. Your program will be administered by our Palliative Care Buffalo or Hospice Buffalo physicians, depending on your baby’s prognosis.

Perinatal Services

  • Admission evaluation in hospital, doctor’s office or at home
  • Development of a birthing plan that honors parents’ wishes, coordinating with physician, and labor/delivery staff
  • 24/7 on-call Registered Nurse availability
  • Guidance and emotional support for siblings and other children in the family
  • Links to resources that help families cope during pregnancy and after
  • Honor cultural rituals, religious and spiritual beliefs
  • Help create a comfortable, serene and peaceful environment, preserving dignity
  • Help plan final arrangements, memorial services and special goodbyes, according to your wishes
  • Bereavement counseling for parents and siblings
  • Assist with creating precious keepsakes prior to and after the baby’s birth
  • Resource for specialty clinics, community services and financial assistance programs

Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network

The Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network (WNYPBN) is comprised of bereaved parents and healthcare professionals who promote standards of bereavement intervention through educational support, community programs and referral services to bereaved parents.



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We are a team of dedicated, compassionate pediatric professionals specially trained to work with children and adolescents. 

Essential Care for Children

150 Bennett Road
Cheektowaga, NY 14227

phone_icon_greydark.png  716-686-8006
FAX: 716-901-0192 

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Show You Care

Essential Care for Children and Perinatal programs are supported by local foundations, fundraising efforts, memorials and private donations. Please consider making a donation to these special programs. We appreciate your support.


Please make checks payable to:
Hospice Foundation of WNY
225 Como Park Boulevard
Buffalo, New York 14225-1480

Awards and Recognition


Terri Ryan, RN,
Director of Essential
Care & Perinatal Program, was the recipient of Western NY Perinatal Bereavement Network’s “Community Nurse of the Year” award at their annual Elegant Evening to Remember in May. Previously, Terri was a high-risk maternity nurse for 11 years.



 Click here to view photos
from the 2018 exhibit 

“Photographs of Meaning” (POM) program 2017 Photo & Narrative Exhibit. View Here


“We are so thankful for the angels sent to our family through Essential Care, for Matthew's wonderful, loving personality,
the time we have as a family, and our faith.”

~ Linda Evans, 22-year Hospice Buffalo employee

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