BJC Hospice chief medical officer receives national hospice award
Brenna Doyle
/ Categories: Employees, BJC Hospice

BJC Hospice chief medical officer receives national hospice award

Patrick White, MD, PhD, BJC Home Care chief medical officer and Washington University Stokes Family Endowed Chair of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, is the recipient of the 2023 Josefina B. Magno Distinguished Hospice Physician Award. The award, on behalf of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), recognizes one physician leader annually who provides the highest quality services and innovative programs and who demonstrates exemplary dedication to the practice of palliative medicine in a hospice setting.

The AAHPM is the largest professional organization for physicians, nurses, and other health care providers specializing in hospice and palliative medicine.

Dr. White accepted the award at the 2023 Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care event in March in Montreal, Canada.

“I believe this award is a testament not only to the dedication of the BJC Hospice team, but also speaks to the generosity and leadership of the St. Louis community to make this work possible,” Dr. White says, “and I am very grateful for this amazing recognition.

“Anyone who has worked in hospice knows that success is a result of a coordinated team effort involving amazing nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains and countless others behind the scenes,” Dr. White adds. “This award recognizes the innovative work and dedication of our amazing BJC Hospice team and the unparalleled support of our community leaders, with tremendous thanks to my co-leader, Stacy Olinger, RN, BJC Home Care vice president, who helped make the amazing work we do for hospice patients possible.”

“We are so grateful for Dr. White to be recognized with the most prestigious hospice-specific physician leadership award in the nation,” says Olinger, “awarded on behalf of the 6,000 physicians of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine for leading innovation nationally.”  

“Our situation in St. Louis is unique,” Dr. White adds, “because influential community leaders have joined together to help us support individual patients and advance the entire field, helping to support those in need.”

With resources from the Barnes-Jewish Foundation and the Supportive Care Institute, the team has been able to include new therapies that have advanced BJC Hospice care:

  • New medication to relieve nausea in patients with advanced cancer, with part of the work conducted at Evelyn’s House, BJC’s inpatient hospice house
  • New technology to identify patients at high risk who need additional support
  • New techniques for supporting caregivers using both novel technology and social media

“With tremendous support from our community, the palliative care team recruited four leading scientists from across the country who are focused on developing tools to help patients and caregivers help navigate life-limiting illnesses,” Dr. White says. “We increased our National Institutes of Health (NIH) support 100-fold over the past three years and are planning to apply for $20 million dollars in additional NIH support this year. 

“I am so blessed to work with researchers including Debra Oliver, MD; Karla Washington, MD; and Jacquelyn Benson, MD, as well as colleagues Nathan Moore, MD, and Randi Foraker, MD, who truly understand the challenges of our patients and families and are willing to think outside the box to bring them the support they deserve.”

According to Dr. White, future projects will include finding ways to make health care more equitable for those from all backgrounds who have a serious illness, focusing on enhancing access and support for high quality care in the African American community and increasing engagement with community partners.

“It has been an amazing journey at BJC Hospice,” Dr. White adds. “There are so many providers, clinicians and leaders who have joined together to help us find an extra layer of support for patients and families facing a serious illness.”

Dr. White says other key clinical aspects of the program include the ways BJC Hospice supports patients and families at Evelyn’s House, under the leadership of Andrea Holthaus, MD; Natalie Mansouri, RN; and Ann Short, RN. “They, along with the all the wonderful staff, provide patients with the care they deserve. The interdisciplinary team creates an amazing homelike environment for those who experience challenging pain, nausea, anxiety or shortness of breath. I also want to thank the Newman and Stokes families for their support in making Evelyn’s House available within our community.

“We are also excited for our new program, Evelyn’s House at Home, which will allow us to take this extraordinary care and highly trained team directly into the homes of patients who are experiencing the most severe symptoms,” says Dr. White.

“As the population ages, our commitment to addressing these issues is more critical than ever before,” Dr. White adds. “We want BJC Hospice to be the national leader in supporting patients with serious illness so our community members can truly live their lives to the fullest.”

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