CSU Institute for Palliative Care Announces Award Recipients in Palliative Care Leadership

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Daniel Hoefer, MD and Suzi Johnson, MPH Recipients of First Annual Howell Award

Daniel Hoefer, MD, and Suzi Johnson, MPH

Daniel Hoefer, MD, and Suzi Johnson, MPH

We are extremely proud to bestow our inaugural Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care upon Dr. Daniel Hoefer and Suzi Johnson. I cannot think of two more worthy recipients.

The CSU Institute for Palliative Care is proud to announce the presentation of the first annual Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care to two San Diego-area pioneers in palliative care. The awards were presented today to Daniel R. Hoefer, MD, Chief Medical Officer Outpatient Palliative Care and Associate Medical Director, Sharp HospiceCare, and Suzi K. Johnson, MPH, RN, Vice President, Sharp HealthCare, at a reception at the Institute’s new headquarters on the campus of California State University San Marcos in North San Diego County.

The Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care was initiated by the Institute to honor Dr. Howell’s legacy of achievements and contributions in opening the doors for patients to receive palliative care, an interdisciplinary form of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support for people suffering from serious or chronic illness.

Helen B. McNeal, Executive Director of the Institute commented: “We are extremely proud to bestow our inaugural Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care upon Dr. Daniel Hoefer and Suzi Johnson. I cannot think of two more worthy recipients. They truly embody the spirit of palliative care and improving the lives of others as modeled by Dr. Howell. At the Institute, we strive to expand access to compassionate, interdisciplinary care. We know Dan and Suzi live this out in their work with patients every day.”

For the recipients of the award, Dr. Daniel Hoefer and Suzi Johnson, the award was a pleasant surprise. "We are most honored to receive this recognition from the CSU Institute for Palliative Care and recognize continued opportunities to improve care and services for those with serious advanced illness," Ms. Johnson shared upon learning of the honor.

Suzi K. Johnson currently serves as the Vice President of Sharp Hospice and Palliative Care, a program of Sharp HealthCare located in San Diego, CA. Suzi has been a tireless leader in the development of a home-based palliative care consultation program focusing on patients with advanced stage illness such as heart failure, COPD, dementia and advanced stage cancer. She has also led the development of an advance care planning consultation program, and the development and opening of three hospice homes in San Diego communities.

Suzi has become a nationally recognized leader in the field of palliative and end-of-life care lecturing throughout the country on topics such as leadership, organizational innovation, and program development in palliative and end-of-life care. She currently serves on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Board of Directors and the Hospice Action Network, is board President of the California Hospice Foundation and is the past president of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association Board of Directors.

Dr. Daniel Hoefer is the Chief Medical Officer for Sharp HealthCare’s outpatient palliative care program, Transitions, and Associate Medical Director for Sharp HospiceCare. He is a board-certified family practice physician, board-certified in Palliative Medicine and is part of Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego.

Dr. Hoefer is a visionary and is recognized nationally for his work developing an evidence‐based care model for palliative care and late stage illness. In addition to his work caring for patients and families here in San Diego, he frequently presents at conferences on a local, state, and national level to physicians, healthcare providers, and recently, to the Department of Justice. Dr. Hoefer was also a presenter at the World Congress of Geriatrics and Gerontology in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in November 2015.

Dr. Hoefer and Ms. Johnson have been instrumental in leading-edge work incorporating palliative care across Sharp HealthCare, and in advancing the care of those with serious and chronic illness not only in San Diego, but across the state and nation. Their efforts have been ground-breaking, pioneering, and have helped thousands with chronic or serious illness.

About the CSU Institute for Palliative Care:
The CSU Institute for Palliative Care leverages the strength of CSU’s system through its 23 campuses’ workforce development infrastructure and solid community relationships, to achieve the Institute’s mission: to expand access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future health care professionals and community members.

The Institute, now entering its fourth year, is charged with positively impacting the critical shortage of nursing, physician, social work, spiritual and other professionals with palliative care skills and training; the Institute has pioneered a groundbreaking educational model that delivers best practices while expanding the base of professional care providers who embrace an interdisciplinary standard of care.

About Sharp HospiceCare:
Caring for patients since 1992, Sharp HospiceCare is a not-for-profit, Medicare-certified organization, dedicated to providing comfort and compassion with end-of-life support for patients and their families. Sharp HospiceCare is accredited by the Joint Commission, and is affiliated with the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. To learn more, visit http://www.sharp.com/hospice.

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