I’m excited to be a part of the NHPCO Leadership and Management Conference in Washington, DC among colleagues who are so dedicated to the field of hospice and palliative medicine. I’m energized by the conversations in the hallways and the buzz that’s going on in the educational sessions. However, I was disappointed by the comments in Thursday’s plenary session inferring that modern palliative care has turned its back on hospice. Nothing could be further from the truth. A critical and integral component of palliative care is hospice. Many of us in the field have worked hard to help health care professionals, the public and the media understand that palliative care is appropriate for all persons living with a serious or life-threatening illness and their families. To suggest, otherwise, or to suggest that there are leaders in palliative medicine who want to remove hospice from the continuum of palliative care is inaccurate. As the President of AAHPM, I can say without hesitation that the Academy is committed to ensuring high quality palliative care in all settings – most notably hospice.
R. Sean Morrison, MD FAAHPM
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine