American Osteopathic Association Approves State’s Largest Non-Profit Hospice for First Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program in Nevada

The American Osteopathic Association has approved Nathan Adelson Hospice for a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Program, the first-of-its-kind in Nevada.Las Vegas – The American Osteopathic Association has approved Nathan Adelson Hospice for a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Program, making it the first-of-its-kind fellowship program in Nevada and one of only 11 osteopathic fellowship programs in the nation.  The new program is a joint educational effort with the hospice and Touro University Nevada.

The educational move falls in line with other local efforts by healthcare organizations seeking to enhance the healthcare industry in Nevada, including Valley Health System.  The philosophy that “if they train here, they stay here” is becoming a solid reality among these proactive health-related businesses.

Nathan Adelson Hospice has accrued significant training affiliations and specially trained faculty resources that allow it to offer the dedicated fellowship level training in hospice and palliative medicine to the physicians in training. The fellowship program is expected to start July 1, 2014.

“The creation of a formal Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine Program is a significant step in the evolution of Nathan Adelson Hospice as a leader in providing clinical services and professional education in hospice and palliative medicine in Southern Nevada,” said Nathan Adelson Hospice President and Chief Executive Officer Carole Fisher. “Launching this program is a major step for an organization in Nevada and is a solid reflection on the type of care being offered here.”

Fisher added that Nathan Adelson Hospice’s long established and successful model of fully integrated and interdisciplinary plans of care is in line with the goals and practice models of palliative care in the 21st Century. But more importantly, the Nathan Adelson Model is osteopathic in both a clinical and philosophical approach to the palliative needs of patients and the community as a whole.

Dr. Michael Karagiozis, the Nathan Adelson Hospice director of Medical Education and Program director of  the fellowship program, said: “This is a unique, multidisciplinary program training physicians in the art of caring, the first of its kind in the country; we will be showcasing the Nathan Adelson Model to the world.” Touro University Nevada is the largest medical school in Southern Nevada, graduating more than 120 medical students a year.  More than 13% of the 2013 entering class of students is from Nevada.  In 2013, 14% of Touro graduates matched with a residency program in Nevada.

“Touro University Nevada is thrilled to be a partner with Nathan Adelson Hospice and Valley Hospital,” stated CEO & Senior Provost Shelley Berkley.  “We know that most physicians stay in the area where they do their residencies and fellowships.  This new, innovative fellowship program at Nathan Adelson and the increased residency positions at Valley Hospital will encourage our medical students to stay in Nevada.  Development of a variety of residency and fellowship programs in the state keep our medical students in Nevada to practice medicine in the areas they are most needed.” 

“A strong graduate medical education program in southern Nevada helps attract and retain young physicians,” said Sam Kaufman, chief executive officer / managing director of Valley and Desert Springs hospitals. “Our physicians have joined private practices, work as hospitalists, or continued their education with a fellowship. Our program helps build relationships, identify professional opportunities and connect young physicians with our community. We are very pleased one of our family medicine residents is the first fellow in the hospice/palliative care program with Nathan Adelson.”

Dr. David Park, chair of the primary care department at Touro University Nevada and program director of family medicine residency at Valley Hospital Medical Center, added: “This is a landmark initiative in alternative funding of graduate medical education (GME) in Nevada. Every GME program in Nevada is completely dependent on government funds (Medicare and Medicaid). This is the first GME program in Nevada that is being fully funded by a private entity. Nathan Adelson Hospice is a leader in this regard and deserves our grateful acknowledgment. It is our hope that this shining example would stimulate the development of more GME programs in creative partnership with other Nevada organizations.”

The Nathan Adelson Hospice program centers a great deal on palliative medicine, a specialized care for individuals with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness, regardless of the diagnosis or prognosis. The goal of palliative medicine is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family. Palliative medicine is provided by a team of physicians, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers and specially trained volunteers.  These professionals also serve as a resource for the patient’s primary health care professionals, ensuring an extra layer of support.  Palliative medicine is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and is often provided in conjunction with curative treatment.

Dr. Brian Murphy, chief medical officer of Nathan Adelson Hospice, said the hospice’s Elaine Wynn Palliative Care Program provides vital pain and symptom management services to adult and pediatric patients. Since the program’s inception in 2006, it has become a critical component of pain management in many healthcare settings in Southern Nevada. Although hospice and palliative care are often regarded as the same program in many models, under the Nathan Adelson model, hospice and palliative medicine represent distinct and different branches of care for patients enduring particularly difficult and chronic burdens of pain and other noxious symptoms.

About Nathan Adelson Hospice:

Nathan Adelson Hospice, the trusted partner in providing hospice care and palliative medicine for 35 years, is the largest non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada, caring for an average of 400 patients daily. In 1978, Nathan Adelson Hospice began providing home care hospice service in Southern Nevada with the mission to offer patients and their loved ones with comprehensive end-of-life care and influence better care for all in the community.  In 1983, Nathan Adelson Hospice opened an in-patient hospice in Las Vegas, and today the hospice is recognized as a national model for superior hospice care.

The mission of the hospice is to be the Hospice of Choice, the Employer of Preference and a Training Center of Excellence.  Its vision is simple: no one should end the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain. The hospice also is home to The Center for Compassionate Care, a non-profit counseling agency providing individual, group and family counseling services to address grief, loss and issues related to surviving life-threatening illnesses. For more information, visit www.nah.org.

About Valley Hospital Graduate Medical Education:

Valley Hospital established its graduate medical education program in 2006. By mid-2014, approximately 120 physicians will have completed their residencies or fellowship training. Current residencies include family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, orthopedics, ophthalmology and dermatology. Fellowships include gastroenterology and critical care/pulmonary medicine.

About Touro University Nevada:
Touro University Nevada (TUN) is a private, non-profit, Jewish-sponsored institution established to help address critical needs in health care and education and as a resource for community service in the state of Nevada. TUN opened its doors in 2004 and is now home to more than 1,300 students, in a wide variety of degree programs including osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, education, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The university’s Henderson campus includes a multi-specialty health center and a multi-disciplinary Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. For more information on TUN, please visit www.tun.touro.edu or call 702- 777-8687.