A lifetime of caring
New professorship supports palliative care for kids
By Melanie Azam
The UF College of Medicine–Jacksonville and Community Hospice of Northeast Florida have established the nation’s first partnership between a nonprofit hospice organization and an academic institution to create an endowed professorship in pediatric palliative care.
Community Hospice, through a commitment from the Neviaser Family Foundation, donated $600,000 to the UF department of pediatrics in Jacksonville to create the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida/Neviaser Family Professorship in Pediatric Palliative Care. The professorship, which is among only a handful of endowed professorships of its kind in the nation, is expected to lead to the development of a new combined pediatric-adult palliative care fellowship in 2013 at the College of Medicine.
Palliative care is holistic care, including pain and symptom management, for patients with serious, complex medical conditions and their families. It is focused on preventing or relieving the physical and emotional distress of a serious illness or condition with a team that includes doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy and other specialists.
Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, M.D., MPH., a professor and chief of the division of community pediatrics at the College of Medicine–Jacksonville, has been appointed to the professorship.
“Pediatric palliative care is not about caring for kids with complex medical conditions in their last six months of life,” he said. “It’s about caring for these children and families along the full continuum of their life course.”