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Highlights of the March Issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Special Series on Measuring What Matters

Adherence to Measuring What Matters Measures Using Point-of-Care Data Collection Across Diverse Clinical Settings
Arif H. Kamal, Janet Bull, Christine S. Ritchie, Jean S. Kutner, Laura C. Hanson, Fred Friedman, Donald H. Taylor, Jr., and the AAHPM Research Committee Writing Group

Original Articles

Tai Chi Exercise for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients with Lung Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Li-Li Zhang, Su-Zhen Wang, Hong-Lin Chen, MD, and A-Zhen Yuan

Advance Care Discussions: Pediatric Clinician Preparedness and Practices
Amy Sanderson, Amber M. Hall, and Joanne Wolfe

Brief Report

Characterizing the Hospice and Palliative Care Workforce in the U.S.: Clinician Demographics and Professional Responsibilities
Arif H. Kamal, Janet Bull, Steven Wolf, Greg Samsa, Keith Swetz, Evan Myers, Tait Shanafelt, and Amy P. Abernethy

Highlights of the February Issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Listed below are a few articles from the most recent issue of the journal:

Special Series on Measuring What Matters

Feeling Heard and Understood: A Patient-Reported Quality Measure for the Inpatient Palliative Care Setting
Robert Gramling, Susan Stanek, Susan Ladwig, Elizabeth Gajary-Coots, Jenica Cimino, Wendy Anderson, Sally A. Norton, and the AAHPM Research Committee Writing Group

Special Article

Methodological Research Priorities in Palliative Care and Hospice Quality Measurement
Sydney Morss Dy, Keela Herr, Rachelle E. Bernacki, Arif H. Kamal, Anne M. Walling, Mary Ersek, and Sally A. Norton

Review Article

Sickle Cell Disease: A Review of Non-Pharmacological Approaches for Pain
Hants Williams and Paula Tanabe

Original Articles

The Burden of Polypharmacy in Patients Near the End of Life
Michael J. McNeil, Arif H. Kamal, Jean S. Kutner, Christine S. Ritchie, and Amy P. Abernethy

Does Increasing Homecare Nursing Reduce Emergency Department Visits at the End of Life? A Population-Based Cohort Study of Cancer Decedents
Hsien Seow, Lisa Barbera, Reka Pataky, Beverley Lawson, Erin O’Leary, Konrad Fassbender, Kim McGrail, Fred Burge, Melissa Brouwers, and Rinku Sutradhar

To access the articles, you must subscribe to JPSM or be a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). For further information on the Academy, call 847.375.4712 or visit aahpm.org.

Submitted by: David J. Casarett, MD, MA, Senior Associate Editor, JPSM

Highlights of the January Issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Listed below are a few articles from the most recent issue of the journal:

Original Articles

Differences in Physicians’ Verbal and Nonverbal Communication with Black and White Patients at the End of Life
Andrea M. Elliott, Stewart C. Alexander, Craig A. Mescher, Deepika Mohan, and Amber E. Barnato

The Influence of Race/Ethnicity and Education on Family Ratings of the Quality of Dying in the ICU
Janet J. Lee, Ann C. Long, J. Randall Curtis, and Ruth A. Engelberg

“Doctor, Make My Decisions”: Decision Control Preferences, Advance Care Planning, and Satisfaction with Communication Among Diverse Older Adults
Catherine Chiu, Mariko A. Feuz, Ryan D. McMahan, Yinghui Miao, and Rebecca L. Sudore

To access the articles, you must subscribe to JPSM or be a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). For further information on the Academy, call 847.375.4712 or visit aahpm.org.

Submitted by: David J. Casarett, MD, MA, Senior Associate Editor, JPSM

New FAAHPM – Kimberly A. Bower, MD HMDC FAAHPM

Congratulations to Dr. Kimberly Bower who recently earned the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. This new Fellow of the Academy was asked – Who would you consider your primary mentor and what have you learned from him/her? We are sharing her answer in this post.

It is only through the gifts of multiple mentors that I have developed in my skills as a palliative medicine physician. Each pearl of wisdom that I have gained from my teachers has led to the fundamental lesson that it is important to see beyond the patient who you are treating to the person for whom you are caring. Though each mentor has taught me so much, here are the pearls from my wise teachers that standout.
Dr. Laurel Herbst: The goal is to help people find meaning and value in their lives, but first you have to make them feel comfortable and safe.
Dr. Julie Prazich: Always take the time to learn and use your patient’s name.
Dr. Frank Ferris: Don’t be dissuaded by your patient’s negative emotions. Show up every day and be present.
Dr. Charles von Gunten: Don’t answer the first question you are asked. Explore further to understand the meaning behind the question.
Dr. Charles Lewis: It’s not taking a history it’s listening to your patient’s story.
Rosene Pirrello, BPharm, RPh: We spend a lot of time stuck in the past or thinking about the future. Take a deep breath and stay in the present moment.
JoAnne Auger, RN: Our language matters. Use the vocabulary of compassion.
The hospice team: Be mindful, take care of yourself, and stay centered.
To all of the great palliative medicine teachers in our field and to the patients from whom I learn so much I extend my deepest gratitude.

Advancement to fellowship status within the academy honors dedication to and scholarship in the field of the hospice and palliative medicine. This distinction represents a minimum of 5 years of membership, participation in AAHPM activities, letters of recommendation, and board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Bower will receive the designation during the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in Chicago, IL on Saturday, March 12, 2016.
Check back regularly for posts from other Fellows.

Retreat into Learning and Wisdom

The AAHPM Research Scholars Program facilitates participation for AAHPM members to attend the Annual Kathleen M. Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium of the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC), cosponsored by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), American Cancer Society (ACS), and AAHPM. The 2015 event was held October 20 – 22 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Below are some reflections from this year’s scholarship winners.

“This year’s retreat was by far the most inspiring conference I have attended thus far in my career. The location was serene and peaceful in Jackson Hole, and around every corner was a preeminent thought leader in palliative care. I was in awe of everyone’s tremendous accomplishments and passion for their work. I loved being able to bounce ideas off some of the most powerful minds in the field, and I felt honored that these individuals seemed truly interested in what I was saying. I felt that, by simple virtue of the fact that I was invited to be there, my views and ideas were important and worth listening to. It was a validating feeling. I left Wyoming with a renewed sense of energy to move my own work forward, and with many new colleagues and friends.”

Kavita V. Dharmarajan, M.D., M.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Palliative Medicine
Department of Radiation Oncology
Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
The Mount Sinai Medical Center
New York, NY

“I wanted to thank AAHPM again for giving me the opportunity to attend the NPCRC retreat. It was a tremendous privilege to be able to attend and indeed one of the most valuable experiences of my career so far. I was in awe and near disbelief seeing the guest list for the conference – it was a who’s who of palliative care and was practically my PhD literature review come to life! I had the opportunity to meet privately with so many including Diane Meier, Scott Halpern, Joan Teno, Tony Back, James Tulsky and reconnect with others I hadn’t had the opportunity to see in a while such as Randy Curtis, Sydney Dy, Christine Ritchie, and many others. Thank you so very much!

Elizabeth Dzeng, MD, MPH, MPhil, MS
Assistant Professor of Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Science
University of California, San Francisco

“I felt honored to be amongst so many palliative care expert researchers. I was very pleased with the welcoming spirit of everyone. The setting was perfect. Although an intensive two days, it was a relaxed atmosphere and the prodigious learning environment. It was well balanced with free time to explore the environment and also have the opportunity to get to know one another. As a new investigator, I was able to have discussions to assist me with moving my research forward. Hearing successful experiences of senior investigators gave me an atlas to navigate not only the scientific field of PC research but my individual career development. It was also good to interact with other junior investigators and develop possible, future collaborative relationships.

The overall wealth of information and research experience was infinite. Everyone was open to sharing their experience and made me feel as though I have something valuable to offer the field and know that there is support in my development.”

Danetta E. Sloan, PhD, MA, MSW
IRTA Post Doctoral Fellow
National Institutes of Health
Pain and Palliative Care Service
Bethesda, MD

“In October, I got to attend one of the most remarkable retreats in palliative care as an AAHPM Research Scholar: The Foley Retreat. Surrounded by the beauty and mountain air of Jackson Hole, the retreat fostered an unbelievable degree of connectivity so that more junior investigators, like me, were able to connect with a variety of individuals to learn from, develop collaborations that previously didn’t exist, and be part of conversations that felt like a form of improvisation. It was incredible. Thanks to everyone at AAHPM for supporting the research scholars program! I am very grateful to be a part of it.”

Carey Candrian, PhD
Assistant Professor | University of Colorado School of Medicine | Division of General Internal Medicine
Protocol Specialist | Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC)

“Thank you so much for the opportunity of coming to the Palliative Care Research Retreat and Symposium—it was amazing! It was inspiring to be amongst the thought leaders in the field, and to see the innovative research that is driving the field forward. I look forward to being able to contribute. =)”

Jessica R. Bauman, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Philadelphia, PA

New FAAHPM – Craig D. Blinderman, MD MA FAAHPM

Congratulations to Dr. Craig Blinderman who recently earned the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. This new Fellow of the Academy was asked – Who would you consider your primary mentor and what have you learned from him/her? We are sharing his answer in this post.

“My primary mentor is the late Andy Billings. Andy may not have known the extent to which he influenced my thinking about patient care, but in our meetings and conversations about patients, I was able to sense the degree to which he was genuinely curious about patients, about medicine, about why we might choose certain medications, or therapeutic approaches, etc. His need to know the evidence and to challenge conventional ways of clinical reasoning with a broader, holistic and fundamentally ethical approach, allowed me to see just how deep this practice of palliative medicine can really be. When I left MGH to take on the role as Director of the Adult Palliative Care Service at Columbia University Medical Center, I felt Andy’s presence with me at every turn. I would often call Andy to make sure that my decisions were reasonable. That I was actually seeing the picture for what it was. That I was considering all of the complexities in each decision. Often he would agree that I have indeed looked at the situation in a careful and discerning way. This gave me enormous confidence as a relatively young leader of a clinical palliative care service in a complex and large academic institution. I saw in Andy the integrity of the profession of medicine and the commitment to education and the advancement of the field of palliative medicine. With his encouragement and wisdom, I found opportunities to create a more dynamic and integrated palliative care service, which both expanded in scope and recognition. The fruits of his mentorship and wisdom can be felt throughout the halls of P&S, where I often teach medical students, and at the bedside of patients and families where residents and fellows gather to learn how to best care for the suffering patient and family. We have written together, taught together, and helped patients together. In each of these domains, I have found a friend and supporter, someone who believed in what I am capable of doing, long before I ever believed I was.”

Advancement to fellowship status within the academy honors dedication to and scholarship in the field of the hospice and palliative medicine. This distinction represents a minimum of 5 years of membership, participation in AAHPM activities, letters of recommendation, and board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Blinderman will receive the designation during the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in Chicago, IL on Saturday, March 12, 2016.
Check back regularly for posts from other Fellows.

Nidhi in Palliativecareland

by Nidhi Khosla, PhD, MPH

I woke bleary eyed at 4 am for my 4:30 am shuttle pick up on October 20, 2015. The shuttle would take me from Columbia, Missouri to St. Louis airport where I was supposed to catch a flight to Denver. At Denver, I would board a flight to Jackson Hole to attend the much awaited Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Retreat. As a junior investigator with a PhD in Public Health and research interests in reducing health disparities, I was looking forward to this golden opportunity.

The shuttle driver actually arrived at 4:15 am because he had several pickups. My fellow riders to St. Louis were clearly in some other time zone, chattering away in the darkness in English and what sounded like an Eastern-European language, over the 2-hr journey. Sleepless, I wondered if I might meet a fellow passenger on the Denver-Jackson Hole flight who was heading to the same retreat. When we landed at Jackson Hole, the marching band was conspicuous by its absence. Surely, a plane that arrived nearly full with luminaries of the palliative care world deserved a welcome from a marching band or a resounding 21 gun salute?

The retreat eventually started after the attendees had been coaxed to actually enter the hall rather than linger at the doorway over the ‘hellos’ and ‘great to see yous’. My eyes darted from name tag to name tag. They were all there! The names of the authors in my literature review folder concerning end of life and palliative care, had metamorphosed into actual humans who were walking and talking to each other around me. My literature review had miraculously come alive! The official welcome remarks revealed the wide diversity in attendees that included 3 JDs, 61 Medical Doctors/DOs, Doctors of Philosophy, Registered Nurses and Social Workers.

In the first presentation, I learned that high intensity end-of-life care was not unique to the United States, with other developed countries also providing aggressive care. The parallels to everyday behaviors such as ‘do you like vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?’ and the interesting experiments derived from Economics and Psychology generated several interesting ideas about advance care planning and how that might be encouraged. The presenter concluded that we need to build better advance directives and motivate patients to complete them, engage physicians and encourage them to overcome their tendency to procrastinate.

Over dinner, I sat with the AAHPM staff and scholarship/award winners and learned more about them and then crashed in a huge suite that had more doors than my apartment. The next morning started with an excellent breakfast and a very well-organized poster presentation. I think more meetings need to adopt this method of small-groups led by leaders. The groups moved systematically from poster to poster, thus creating a different kind of small-group learning.

The breakout groups offered a wide variety of learning themes. The first presentation in the group I attended focused on breast cancer caregiving. One of the elements that struck me most was that most caregivers for breast cancer patients are men unlike other conditions where caregivers are female. In other presentations, I learned about Dignity Therapy and how doctors may undermine the impact or weight of their or caregivers’ decision-making preferences on that of the patients’. Learning about the challenges of the different presenters in data collection and hearing suggestions from the audience to resolve these was a good learning experience.

There was a great presentation ‘Demystifying the NIH Process’ on getting funding, with Program Officers from NIH available to share their perspective and talk about trends in funding and important dos and don’ts. I am sure experienced and novice grant seekers like me found this excellent presentation very useful. I listened closely which was very important especially given that the handouts were printed in what seemed to be font size 4. I later followed this up with one-on-one conversations with the Program Officers to get feedback on some ideas.

Just when I thought I had attended all possible excellent presentations, I got to hear Rebecca Aslakson. I had met her earlier this year through a mutual colleague at Johns Hopkins. A recommendation letter from Rebecca enabled me to attend the retreat. Rebecca’s extremely stylish presentation on her research trajectory, peppered with humor and insight into patient care challenges and triumphs, led us smoothly from one topic to another. It captured the history of palliative care in the Intensive Care Units, among surgeons and referenced books on palliative care and the surgery culture. Rebecca shared that there are different moral economies and different bottom lines in medicine. Death is the enemy in surgical cultures. In contrast, for Intensive Care Unit nurses, suffering is the worst enemy. The “covenant” between patient and doctor is part of a surgeon’s identity.

Palliative care-related experiences of surgical Intensive Care Unit patients and families led Rebecca to research into peri-operative care and involving patients via PCORI mechanisms. Since people lose decision making capacity for at least some time, the research team proposed advance care planning (ACP) and did a scan of ACP instruments. This led to research on content and instrument-based approaches, studying ACP conversations, preparing story boards and eliciting public feedback through venues such as a stall at the Maryland State Fair. Many patient-doctor conversations about ACP are couched in terms of faith, which led her to start the UNITED project with churches for using religious language and input into ACP conversations.

Finally, I attended a Mock Study Section which mimicked how actual reviews are done. Excellent examples of sample grants were provided and there was a rich discussion about the grants’ strengths and weaknesses.

I had arrived at the retreat bleary-eyed and left wide-eyed, excited at the vast range of possibilities in research that can improve quality of life for patients and caregivers. The well-rounded experience covered everything from research ideas to how to fund them and provided invaluable networking opportunities. The retreat made me inspired and enthused with the dedication and brilliance of the presenters and I got new ideas on how I could contribute to patient-centered palliative and end-of-life care.

Nidhi Khosla, PhD, MPH was chosen as one of six AAHPM Research Scholars this year and received funding to participate in the Annual Kathleen M. Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium of the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC). She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia. Her research involves palliative and end of life care preferences of the growing number of South Asians (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives) in the U.S.

Highlights of the December Issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Listed below are a few articles from the most recent issue of the journal:

Special Article

The Business Case for Palliative Care: Translating Research Into Program Development in the U.S.
J. Brian Cassel, Kathleen M. Kerr, Noah S. Kalman, and Thomas J. Smith

Original Articles

Complex Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy with or without Vodder II Manual Lymph Drainage in More Severe Chronic Postmastectomy Upper Limb Lymphedema: A Randomized Non-Inferiority Prospective Study
Tomasz Gradalski, Katarzyna Ochalek, and Joanna Kurpiewska

Interdisciplinary Palliative Care for Patients with Lung Cancer
Betty Ferrell, Virginia Sun, Arti Hurria, Mihaela Cristea, Dan J. Raz, Jae Y. Kim, Karen Reckamp, Anna Cathy Williams, Tami Borneman, Gwen Uman, and Marianna Koczywas

To access the articles, you must subscribe to JPSM or be a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). For further information on the Academy, call 847.375.4712 or visit aahpm.org.

Submitted by: David J. Casarett, MD, MA, Senior Associate Editor, JPSM

Coming to the Windy City?

The AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly is 100 days away! Since the Assembly is being held in the Academy’s backyard we’ve come up with 100 suggestions of places to eat and things to do while in Chicago. See what AAHPM members are looking forward to in Chicago.

Watch Twitter and Facebook for the daily #100inChicago feature. Missed a day or two? Don’t worry, we will be adding each location to the list here (in no particular order).

1. Museum of Science and Industry
2. Café BaBaReeba
3. Gibsons Steakhouse
4. Pequod’s Pizza
5. The Second City
6. Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours
7. Chicago Chapel in the Sky Tour
8. Chicago Botanic Garden
9. Chicago History Museum
10. Wrigley Field
11. Geja’s Café
12. Holy Name Cathedral Tour
13. Broadway in Chicago – Historic Theatre Tours
14. Palmer House Hilton’s “History is Hott” Tour
15. Maggie Daley Park
16. Adler Planetarium
17. Shedd Aquarium
18. Skydeck Chicago
19. 360 CHICAGO
20. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
21. Art Institute of Chicago
22. Bella Bacinos
23. Garrett Popcorn
24. Mr. Beef and Pizza
25. Mr. D’s Shish-Kabobs
26. Central Gyro
27. Goose Island Brewery Tour
28. Gene and Georgetti
29. The Rosebud
30. Bulls Game
31. Lakefront Segway Tour
32. Brunch at The Signature Room at the 95th
33. Walking Tour of Chicago
34. Chicago Theatre
35. Publican
36. Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
37. Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier
38. Scooter’s Frozen Custard
39. DuSable Museum of African American History
40. Music Box Theatre
41. Chicago Cultural Center
42. Chicago Riverwalk
43. The Magnificent Mile
44. National Museum of Mexican Art
45. J. Parker
46. Myopic Books
47. Kingston Mines
48. Cadillac Palace Theatre
49. Goodman Theatre
50. Annoyance Theatre & Bar
51. Lookingglass Theatre Company
52. Blue Man Group
53. Chicago Symphony Orchestra
54. Victory Gardens Theater
55. Field Museum
56. Lyric Opera of Chicago
57. Driehaus Museum
58. Apollo Studio Theater
59. The Den Theatre
60. Logan Square Studio
61. Smart Museum of Art
62. Uptown Underground
63. ComedySportz Theatre
64. Chicago Flower & Garden Show Navy Pier
65. Gene & Jude’s
66. Northlight Theatre
67. 2nd Fridays on the Chicago Cultural Mile
68. Acadia
69. Borinquen Lounge
70. Ann Sather
71. Evolve Bistro at Art Institute
72. Honky Tonk BBQ
73. Old Fashioned Doughnuts
74. Palace Grill
75. Buddy Guy’s Legends
76. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
77. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
78. Mercat a la Planxa
79. Museum of Contemporary Photography
80. Lincoln Park Zoo
81. Cemitas Puebla
82. Cookie Bar – Gluten Free Bakery
83. Girl & the Goat
84. Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
85. Taste of Peru
86. The Purple Pig
87. Kumas
88. 90 Miles Cuban Cafe
89. Carnivale
90. Sheffield
91. Las Tablas
92. Green Mill
93. Revolution Brewing
94. La Pasadita
95. White Palace Grill
96. Tre Kronor
97. Smoke Daddy
98. Molly’s Cupcakes
99. Irazu
100. Luxbar

There are many more than 100 things to do and places to eat while in Chicago for the Annual Assembly. Below you will find more suggestions for you while on your trip.

Experience the St. Patrick’s Parade and river dyeing Saturday, March 12. Purchase green Hospice Hero and Palliative Power socks at the AAHPM Resource Center.
16th Street Theater
A Red Orchid Theatre
American Theater Company
Avanti Caffé
Take a Carriage Ride on Michigan Avenue
Chicago Chop House
Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.
Chilam Balam
Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe
Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain
Corn Productions at Cornservatory
DMK Burger Bar
Eataly
Fogo de Chao Chicago – Bring your Assembly badge to receive 15% off bill March 8th – March 12th.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Gino’s East
Giordano’s
Gorilla Tango
Grant Park
Laugh Factory Chicago
Lawry’s
Lifeline Theatre
Madison Street Theatre
Maggiano’s Little Italy
Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse
Millennium Park
Morton’s
Navy Pier
Nottoli
Pastoral
Philly’s Best
Ponce
Raven Theatre
Rockit Burger Bar
Smith & Wollensky
Smoque BBQ
Stage 773
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Las Tablas
The Mercury Theater Chicago
The Violet Hour
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Trap Door Theatre
Tuscany

Visit AnnualAssembly.org for more information and to register!

New FAAHPM – Rebecca A. Aslakson, MD PhD FAAHPM

Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Aslakson who recently earned the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. This new Fellow of the Academy was asked – what would you say is the biggest opportunity for the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine? We are sharing her answer in this post.

“For me, the biggest opportunity in HPM is identifying, studying, and implementing natural moments in daily life and routine medical care to proactively incorporate palliative care and advance care planning. Many providers consider palliative care approaches only when a patient reaches late stage disease – a cancer patient has already progressed through three rounds of chemotherapy or the ALS patient is now possibly needing ventilatory support. The opportunity is to move “upstream” and to find new moments and ways to integrate HPM, particularly by primary palliative care providers. How can a primary care physician incorporate elements of advance care planning with any new diagnosis of prostate cancer? How might a surgical team include advance care planning into the medical workup prior to a colectomy? What simple things can ICU teams do to improve patient symptom experience? And, for whatever reason, if primary teams are unable to take these opportunities to improve patient care, then how can we build a system so that these issues are instead addressed by specialist palliative care providers? We need data to support that these “upstream” approaches improve meaningful patient, family, and healthcare system outcomes and then we need ways to disseminate both the data and the practices. These are immense opportunities to improve medical care experience by all patients and their loved ones!”

Advancement to fellowship status within the academy honors dedication to and scholarship in the field of the hospice and palliative medicine. This distinction represents a minimum of 5 years of membership, participation in AAHPM activities, letters of recommendation, and board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Aslakson will receive the designation during the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in Chicago, IL on Saturday, March 12, 2016.
Check back regularly for posts from other Fellows.