Palliative Medicine Interdisciplinary Team
Lead Nurse PractitionerMichelle Churchill, MSN, CRNP, ACHPN
Michelle Churchill is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner and is the Lead Nurse Practitioner for the Section of Palliative Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. With 18 years of nursing experience, including 8 years as an advance practice provider, she has specialized in caring for patients who are suffering not only from their diagnosed medical conditions, but also from the emotional and psychosocial distresses that accompany serious illnesses. After starting her nursing career in oncology at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Michelle pursued her MSN graduate degree at Loyola University Chicago, becoming an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Prior to moving to Maryland, Michelle worked as a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner at NorthShore University Health System in Chicago. Since joining Johns Hopkins, Michelle has been a clinical leader in caring for cardiac patients requiring advanced therapies as well as has worked operationally to grow and expand the footprint of palliative care services within the Hopkins community. In addition to clinical work at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Michelle is an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a key interdisciplinary leader within the JHU Hospice and Palliative Medicine Physician Fellowship.
Palliative Care Nurse PractitionerMarc Epstein, MSN, ANP-BC, ACHPN
Marc Epstein is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner and nurse ethicist. After getting his initial undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, he pursued a career in urban planning. However, he soon realized this career track was not personally fulfilling, switched gears, and set course on becoming a nurse. He completed his BSN at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and then moved to Chicago where he became a board-certified oncology nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Marc found he was especially drawn to the precious and vulnerable experience of patients and their families as they approached the end of life and worked to ensure excellent symptom management. Following completion of an ethics fellowship at the University of Chicago McLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, he decided to advance his career to become a nurse practitioner. While working on his MSN at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Nursing, he worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center as a bone marrow transplant patient intake coordinator. As part of his master's program, he completed a palliative medicine certificate program. Upon completion of his master's, Marc decided to make the pivotal decision of going into palliative medicine after years of experience in oncology. He then worked for Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center (now Journey Care), and after several years, built a palliative program from the ground up at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Enticed by the opportunity to work in management, he pursued an opportunity at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in California, where he oversaw an inpatient palliative medicine program and began the development of an outpatient program. Looking to be closer to family, and put down roots, he decided to move back to Baltimore where he joined the palliative medicine team at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Mental Health Nurse PractitionerMarshall Gold, MS,RN,PMHNP-BC
Marshall Gold is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with the Palliative Medicine Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has 22 years of clinical experience serving adult and pediatric patients in intensive care, acute care and home care settings. His passion is advocating for vulnerable and underserved populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Marshall is currently pursuing doctoral study at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, with the goal of improving mental health outcomes in chronic and life-limiting illness.
Acute Care Nurse PractitionerJill “Jae” Patton, MSN, CRNP
Jill “Jae” Patton, MSN, CRNP is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with over twenty years of experience in cardiology, cardiac surgery, and most recently palliative medicine. She received her BA from Emory University and her MSN from Yale University School of Nursing. She has specialized training in heart failure and cardiac rhythm management devices. She is an active volunteer leader in the American College of Cardiology, where she currently serves on the Cardiovascular Team Council, the Heart PAC Advisory Council, and the Geriatric Section’s Palliative Work Group. Jae joined the Johns Hopkins Palliative Medicine team in April of 2021.
Nurse PractitionerKristen Tweedy , NP-C, ACHPN
Kristen Tweedy is a Nurse Practitioner on the Palliative Medicine team. She has been in nursing for 28 years, thirteen of which as a nurse practitioner. Kristen 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.
Nurse CoordinatorLynn Billing RN, BSN, CHPN
Lynn Billing is a Palliative Care Nurse Coordinator. Lynn joined the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center 22 years ago. In 2007, Lynn helped spearhead the development of the Oncology Pain and Palliative Care Service, which was a precursor to the existing Johns Hopkins Palliative Medicine Service. She has advanced certification in hospice and palliative nursing, pain management, and is a graduate of the Palliative Care Education and Practice (PCEP) course at Harvard Medical School.
Nurse CoordinatorCaitlin McGeehan, RN, BSN, CCRN
Caitlin McGeehan is a Palliative Care Nurse Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After initially receiving her BA in English from Bucknell University and traveling with the Peace Corps, she completed a BS in Nursing at The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Her nursing practice started and advanced in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU). Her experiences in the ICU coupled with her love of communication and patient advocacy culminated into her role within the Palliative Medicine program. Her clinical strengths and interests include advanced heart failure, nursing resiliency, and medical ethics.
Nurse CoordinatorMarylou Zyra, RN, BSN
Marylou Zyra has been a nurse for 35 years. The majority of her practice has been in the Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit caring for patients who have had varying cardiac and vascular surgical procedures including heart/lung transplants and ventricular assist devices. Most recently Marylou has been with the Palliative Medicine team for over two years and is thoroughly enjoying this opportunity as it has been an interest of hers for many years. In addition, she is looking forward to the experiences that lie ahead as a palliative nurse and to working with such a wonderful group of people on her team.
Clinical Pharmacy SpecialistSuzanne Nesbit, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, FCCP
Suzanne Nesbit is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Nesbit is currently on the Palliative Medicine Service and the Neuroscience Pain Resource Team at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a Clinical Specialist in Pain Management and Palliative Care with the Department of Pharmacy. She has been practicing in pain management for over 30 years. During her tenure at Johns Hopkins, she has participated in several research protocols and pain initiatives. Dr Nesbit is Co-Chair of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Pain Management Committee that is charged with reviewing current pain protocols and making any recommendations for improvements in clinical care and staff education regarding pain management. More recently, she Co-Chairs The Johns Hopkins Health System Opioid Stewardship Clinical Community.
Clinical Pharmacy SpecialistJulie Waldfogel, PharmD, BCGP, CPE
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 and is also a certified pain educator. She specializes in the pharmacologic management of pain and other symptoms.