Muskegon-Area Physician is Named First Fellow for Palliative Care Training Program

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-- There is one cardiologist for every 71 heart attack victims.

-- There is one oncologist for every 145 newly diagnosed cancer patients.

-- There is one hospice and palliative care physician for every 31,000 patients at end of life.

Aug 09, 2011, 09:00 ET from Hospice of Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Muskegon-born Todd Winn, MD, an emergency room physician, is the first physician to be awarded West Michigan's Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The Fellowship, designed to increase physician awareness, understanding and competence in the specialized field of hospice and palliative care, is a collaboration between Hospice of Michigan (HOM) Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, Michigan State University School of Medicine and several other area organizations.

Though hospice programs became part of the Medicare benefit in 1981, most medical schools do not offer specialized training in palliative care, end-of-life care or hospice care.

"The benefits of palliative care are still not fully understood by physicians or by the public," said Dr. Michael Paletta, Executive Director of the Maggie Allesee Center for Quality of Life at Hospice of Michigan. "The Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine will train physicians to address a patient's suffering by alleviating pain, managing symptoms, and helping them with the emotional and spiritual issues that impact their quality of life."

Dr. Winn is the first fellow for the program on the West side of the state. The one year program which started August 2, is fully funded by local hospitals and donors from West Michigan.  

In Southeast Michigan, Hospice of Michigan has graduated nine Palliative Care Fellows through a fellowship program launched in 2005.  Hospice of Michigan currently has more certified palliative care doctors than any other medical institution in the state.

About Hospice of Michigan:

Hospice of Michigan was founded in 1980, and was the State of Michigan's first hospice program. Serving 54 counties in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Hospice of Michigan is the largest hospice in the state – serving the largest geographic area and the greatest number of patients. Hospice of Michigan is a non-profit, community based, organization with a mission to serve all who need and seek care regardless of their age, diagnosis or ability to pay.  

The Maggie Allesee Center for Quality of Life, the Hospice of Michigan's research and education arm, provides educational programs for physicians, nurses, aides, and the community, and applies research outcomes to improve care and enhance quality of life for the patient and family and the team that supports them.

SOURCE Hospice of Michigan