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Celebrating Palliative Care

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
 

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. To celebrate, we showcase our dedicated Palliative Medicine team members who work diligently to deliver the highest quality of patient care.

 
 

Kristen Tweedy

Kristen TweedyKristen Tweedy

Kristen Tweedy is a Nurse Practitioner on the Palliative Medicine team. She has been in nursing for 30 years, 15 of which as a nurse practitioner. She spent eight years in oncology before coming to Palliative Medicine. Kristen cares for patients in the inpatient setting, especially within the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Her interests include family centered nursing and patient education.

Learn more about Kristen Tweedy and her palliative care background in the Q and A below.

  • After over 25 years as an RN and NP working with people with advanced illness I was ready to help people on a human level, not just medical. I wanted to make them comfortable and support them through what for many is the most difficult part of our (as humans) life cycle.

  • Advocating for people: Whether that is making sure their symptoms are controlled; That I can sit down and really listen to them and work with them toward their goals; Work on communication between patient and family and the other medical teams.

  • Always sit and silently listen to people. Stop talking or asking questions. People just want to be heard.

  • We are not hospice. We are here to help anyone with an advanced illness on their journey. The sooner we are consulted, the more we can do to help patients, families, and medical teams during treatments.

  • I took a semester off of college and wandered around Australia for two months!

 

Julie Waldfogel

Julie WaldfogelJulie Waldfogel

Julie Waldfogel is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital specializing in pain management and palliative care. She is board certified in geriatrics through the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. She specializes in the pharmacologic management of pain and other symptoms.

Learn more about Julie Waldfogel and her palliative care background in the Q and A below.

  • I was introduced to palliative care as a pharmacy resident on rotation. The philosophy of care, the emphasis on quality of life and focus on the whole person drew me in immediately. I never looked back!

  • Meeting patients and families where they are and doing my part to help improve quality of life.

  • There are too many to count but I’ll focus on some of the really practical, medication related lessons that come up time and again. 1) Use nonpharmacologic options first. Often, the strongest evidence for effectiveness for symptom management is with our non-medication options. Don’t forget them! 2) Drug side-effects are as important as efficacy. Not considering this can lead us into polypharmacy as we introduce medications to treat side effects that lead to more side effects that lead to more medicines to treat them….

  • That you don’t have to wait until someone is close to the end of life to consult our team. We are here for anyone facing a serious illness, regardless of stage or expected trajectory.

  • I volunteer at the Maryland Zoo – if you would like some fun animal facts, just let me know!

 

Dr. Corey Tapper

Dr. Corey Tapper joined Johns Hopkins in 2019 and serves as the Associate Program Director of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship. His interests lie in providing compassionate and holistic care for those with serious illness. He is also enthusiastic about graduate medical education with a focus on curriculum development and teaching communication skills. His current focus is on developing and evaluating a professional development educational series for the Section of Palliative Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Tapper and his palliative care background in the Q and A below.

  • At its core, palliative care is about collaboration. Working on an interdisciplinary team, we are able to leverage each other's experiences and expertise. Each team member offers a different skill set that can benefit patients. As a lifelong learner, I find it invaluable to gain knowledge and skills from the pharmacists, social workers, advanced practice providers, nurses and chaplains on the team.

  • I care for extraordinarily sick patients, many of whom are at vulnerable stages in their disease process. I have the opportunity to care for the entire person, which can include physical symptoms and existential distress. Providing value-based and patient-centered aid gives me a great deal of professional satisfaction.

  • There are so many; I will settle for three. First: While management of acute issues is important, I also try to be mindful of taking a step back and looking at the big picture. What we do today for our patients will have impacts on their future. Second: It is very easy to list all treatment options and ask a patient to choose what they want. This will often be overwhelming. Instead, make a recommendation once you understand their values and what is important to them. Our patients come to us for our expertise. Third: When speaking to patients, erase the word "but" from your vocabulary as it completely negates the first half of your sentence. Instead, replace this with "and".

  • Palliative Care is so much more than end-of-life care. We have very robust data that good, longitudinal palliative care increases quality of life, reduces depression and even prolongs survival in patients with cancer and various forms of end organ dysfunction (heart, lung, brain, kidney, etc). Palliative Care is not an admission of failure. Rather, it shows commitment to the overall well-being of patients and their loved ones.

  • I take every opportunity to get outdoors. I love gardening, hiking, swimming and mountain climbing. My favorite pre-COVID adventure was paragliding in Switzerland!

 
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