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Speakers

2015 CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Arif Kamal M.D is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology and Duke Palliative Care at Duke University Medical Center.  He is also the Physician Director of Quality and Outcomes for the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI). As a board-certified palliative medicine physician and medical oncologist, Dr. Kamal studies the link between delivery of high quality care and improved patient, caregiver, and health system outcomes.
 
Dr. Kamal graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts and Doctorate of Medicine degrees within the combined 6-year program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.  Subsequently, he completed Internal Medicine residency and Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic – Rochester, MN and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Duke University.  He recently completed a Masters in Health Sciences in Clinical Research from the Duke Clinical Research Training Program and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.


Steven Pantilat, MD, is a Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, the Alan M. Kates and John M. Burnard Endowed Chair in Palliative Care, and the founding Director of the UCSF Palliative Care Program. Dr. Pantilat is also the Director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center that trains teams from hospitals across the country on how to establish Palliative Care Services. Dr. Pantilat is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine. In 2007 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar studying palliative care at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, and Curtin University in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Pantilat is also a hospitalist, and is a nationally recognized expert in hospital medicine as well as in Palliative Medicine. He is the Past-President, a past member of the Board of Directors, and the former Chair of the Ethics committee for the Society of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Pantilat is a member of the Program in Medical Ethics at UCSF and serves on the UCSF Medical Center Ethics Committee. In 2011 Dr. Pantilat received a Leadership Award from the James Irvine Foundation in recognition of his work to improve the lives of Californians.

Dr. Pantilat, along with colleagues at UCSF, was a co-editor of a series in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) focused on improving end-of-life care titled “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.” That series was subsequently updated and published as a book in 2011 titled, “Care at the Close of Life” for which Dr. Pantilat served as a co-editor. Dr. Pantilat along with his colleague Dr. Tony Steimle, Chief of Cardiology for Kaiser Santa Clara, wrote the chapter on Palliative Care for Patients with Heart Disease. Dr. Pantilat’s extensive publications and research focus on improving care for seriously ill patients in hospitals, communication, and palliative care for people with heart disease. He is currently the Principal investigator of a randomized clinical trial of palliative care added to optimal medical management for improving quality of life, symptoms, and resource utilization for people with heart failure. Dr. Pantilat is also founding director of the Palliative Care Quality Network focused on improving the quality of care provided by palliative care services.


Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH, FACP, FAAHPM is the Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging. She is a board certified geriatrician and palliative care physician with long-standing experience in clinical care delivery and advanced illness research. Dr. Ritchie has overseen the development of a number of comprehensive clinical programs for seriously ill older adults, most recently at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where she directed the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care.  At UCSF, Dr. Ritchie serves as medical director of Clinical Programs in the Office of Population Health. She directs Tideswell at UCSF, which was created with the aim of transforming and personalizing health care to meet the needs of older Americans and their families (www.tideswellucsf.org). She co-chairs the National Institute for Nursing Research-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group. She is working with other colleagues to facilitate the growth of clinical programs and research that focus on quality of life and health care delivery models for those with chronic serious illness and multimorbidity. She co-leads a national Network of Home-based primary care and palliative care practices and is working to develop quality measures that are appropriate to the homebound population. She is President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and co-chair of the San Francisco Palliative Care Committee.


Donald H. Taylor, Jr. is Associate Professor in Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, with secondary appointments in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine (Community and Family Medicine). He is also a faculty member in the Center for Learning Health Care in the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He has published numerous peer-review articles and written three books. His papers have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, Health Affairs, The American Economic Review, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and others.  He is a health policy scholar who focuses on end-of-life policy generally, with a particular interest in reform of the Medicare hospice benefit and the integration of palliative care into the health care system. He is currently Principal Investigator of several research projects, including a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Round 2 award on Community Based Palliative Care in conjunction with Four Seasons hospice. His book Balancing the Budget is a Progressive Priority, was published by Springer in May, 2012 and it proposes a next step “political deal” on health reform that could build upon the ACA. He wrote 29 columns on health reform for the Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer and has contributed to The New York Times’ Room for Debate forum. He blogged from March 2011-March 2012 at The Incidental Economist before restarting his personal blog freeforall (www.donaldhtaylorjr.com) in March 2012. He began blogging about health policy and current affairs at http://www.samefacts.com/ in April 2012.


Susan Yendro RN, MSN is an Associate Project Director in the Department of Quality Measurement at The Joint Commission. In this position, she manages projects associated with the identification, development and evaluation of performance measures for use by healthcare organizations and other relevant entities in their quality assessment and improvement activities. Ms. Yendro currently serves as the lead for projects focused on development of sets of standardized Palliative Care measures and Integrated Care measures. Ms. Yendro works closely with The Joint Commission’s Home Care and Nursing Care Centers programs, and as such, advises on matters related to performance measurement.

Ms. Yendro has served as the lead for a number of performance measure development and testing projects, using her clinical experience and project management skills to successfully complete project goals. While at The Joint Commission, she has worked with a number of different care programs including inpatient hospital quality measures, out-patient oncology measures, long term care accreditation redesign and education, transitions of care and home care. She has served as both lead and team member on a number of technical expert and advisory panels to help achieve consensus regarding quality and patient safety issues.

Ms. Yendro has extensive clinical and administrative experience in a variety of care settings including home care, hospice, ambulatory, nursing home, assisted living, hospital inpatient and outpatient. Personally she has assisted in care decisions and coordination for children and adult family members navigating the complexities of the healthcare system.


Janet Bull, MD is the Chief Medical Officer at Four Seasons. She is committed to providing compassionate, quality care and oversees the medical needs of patients at Four Seasons. She believes in the "whole patient care" model embracing the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of patients.

Janet grew up in Miami, Florida. She attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, graduating with a BS in Biology. She earned her MD degree at Southwestern University in Dallas, and completed a residency in Obstetrics-Gynecology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In 1985, she entered private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her board certifications in both Obstetrics-Gynecology and Endoscopy Surgery.

In 2000, she joined Four Seasons. She was instrumental in starting the Palliative Care program in 2003, and in 2005, she founded the Clinical Research department in an attempt to bring meaningful studies to help lessen suffering to patients.

Janet holds a consultant assistant professorship in the internal medicine department at Duke University Medical Center and is a clinical instructor in Medicine at UNC- CH Henderson Family Practice Residency Program. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and a frequent speaker at both state and national meetings.

Janet has been an Associate Editor of PC-FACS since 2008, and has authored or coauthored several papers on palliative care and quality data reporting. She directs the research department at Four Seasons and has served as the Principle Investigator on over 41 clinical trials in hospice and palliative medicine. She is Program Director of the Palliative Care Immersion Course and directs Four Seasons’ Center of Excellence which offers consulting services in hospice, palliative care, and research. She was the recipient of the Sharon O. Dixon Award in 2007, the Cuniff-Dixon Hastings Award in 2012, and the Josephino Magno Distinguished Physician Award in 2013. Most recently, she was named one of the Top 25 Visionaries in the Field award by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


Christopher Jones, MD completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Scranton and medical school at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.  He completed a residency in General Internal Medicine at Brown University then fellowships in Geriatric Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Duke University.

After finishing fellowship, Dr. Jones joined the Hospice and Palliative Medicine faculty as an Assistant Professor at Duke University School of Medicine, serving as the rotation director for both the Hospice clinical rotation and Palliative Care rotation at Duke Regional Hospital and as the rotation director for the Duke Geriatric Medicine Fellowship experience in Palliative Care.  While at Duke, Dr. Jones served as Interim Medical Director of Duke Hospice in 2013 and spoke regionally on issues in Hospice and Palliative Care with more than 15 continuing medical education lectures at hospitals throughout North Carolina.  He consults around provider billing in Hospice and Palliative Medicine to help promote the financial viability of the field.

He has been active with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine as well.  Dr. Jones serves as Associate Editor for the AAHPM PC-FACS publication, has served as an item writer for both the Hospice Medical Director Certification Exam Preparation product and the Hospice Medical Director Regulatory Modules, and serves on the AAHPM Finance Committee.  Dr. Jones was honored to receive recognition as a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Inspirational Leader Under 40 by AAHPM in 2015 and will receive designation as a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in September 2015.

In July 2015, Dr. Jones left Duke to head the Palliative Care program at Lankenau Medical Center, the largest hospital within the Main Line Health System near Philadelphia, PA and is working to integrate Palliative and Hospice care system-wide.  He is pursuing appointment at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University as Clinical Associate Professor and enjoys working with medical students and residents to teach primary palliative care skills to future colleagues, no matter their specialty.


Dr. Keith M. Swetz is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He is Section Chief of Pallaitive Care at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and Medical Director of its Safe Harbor Pallaitive Care Unit. Dr. Swetz received his M.D. degree from the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He subsequentally completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He rejoined staff at Mayo Clinic in 2008 and served as a Consultant in the Division of General Internal Medicine and in the Section of Palliative Medicine until 2015, when he was recruited to Center for Palliative and Supportive Care at UAB. In addition to his work at the Birmingham VA, Dr. Swetz focuses on efforts to integrate palliative care into the care of patients with heart failure and left ventricular assist devices at UAB’s University Hospital and Kirklin Clinic and across the UAB campus.
 
Dr. Swetz also completed a Master of Arts degree in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University Chicago in 2012. He has a strong interest in ethical decision making, particularly as it relates to advanced medical technologies like cardiac devices and hemodialysis. He has written over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and given over 100 educational presentations related to these topics. Dr. Swetz is happily married and he and his wife, Jessica, have four wonderful children.


Joe Rotella, MD, MBA, HMDC, FAAHPM, is chief medical officer for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and founder of the consulting company CatalystHPM.  He is a board-certified internist, hospice and palliative medicine specialist, and hospice medical director. He served as chief medical officer for Hosparus in Louisville, KY from 1999-2014. His work for AAHPM has included collaboration on Measuring What Matters, Choosing Wisely, and the Hospice Medical Director Conference.


Martin Pellinat, CEO, VisionTree Software, Inc. - With a vibrant career in sales, marketing and product development in tow, Martin and the VisionTree team have been changing health care for more than a decade by providing user-friendly, versatile and open architecture platforms, real-time results and data interoperability with a focus on patient reported outcomes to build patient-centered communities with their coordinated care teams.


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