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Palliative Care Director Tammie Quest is President-Elect of national professional organization

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Holly Korschun

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) has chosen Tammie E. Quest, MD, as president-elect for 2017. Quest is director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Emory Palliative Care Center and Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Quest is a nationally recognized expert and pioneer in integrating palliative care education and practice into the emergency setting. She is a Project on Death in America (PDIA) Scholar, director of the Education in Palliative and End of Life Care – Emergency Medicine (EPEC-EM) Project, and director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care's Improving Palliative Care in Emergency Medicine (IPAL-EM) project.

Her active research interests include improving palliative care across populations with active NIH RO1 funding for investigations in HIV and palliative pare as well as improving spiritual care support in outpatient palliative care settings. Recently, she has been appointed by Georgia’s Governor Deal to the statewide Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council.

"Dr. Quest has dedicated her career to developing and improving palliative and hospice care programs, and we are very proud of her recognition by this national professional organization," says Kate Heilpern, MD, chair of Emory’s Department of Emergency Medicine. "She is the first emergency medicine physician to advance to this leadership role, and her work has led to critical improvements in education and training in palliative care for our medical students and residents across all specialties."

"As leader of the Emory Palliative Care Center in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Dr. Quest has integrated palliative care across clinical programs in all of Emory Healthcare and its affiliates, as well as within the School of Medicine curriculum and in its research agenda," says David Stephens, MD, interim dean of Emory University School of Medicine.

AAHPM is the professional organization for physicians with over 5,000 members specializing in hospice and palliative medicine, and for nurses, and other healthcare providers. Since 1988, the Academy has dedicated itself to advancing hospice and palliative medicine and improving the care of patients with serious illness. Its activities focus on education and training, resources, networking and advocacy.

According to the AAHPM, palliative care focuses on improving a patient's quality of life by managing pain and other distressing symptoms of a serious illness and should be provided along with other medical treatments. Hospice is palliative care for patients in their last year of life. Hospice care can be provided in patients' homes, hospice centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or wherever a patient resides. Physicians who specialize in hospice and palliative medicine work with other doctors and health care professionals, listen to patients and align their treatments with what's important to them, and help families navigate the complex health care system.

Care is usually provided by an interdisciplinary team of experts, including palliative care doctors, nurses, and social workers. Chaplains, counselors, massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, and others might also be part of the team. The team addresses the physical, psychological, spiritual, and practical burdens of illness and provides support to and works in partnership with the doctor.

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