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FirstHealth Physicians Receive Hospice and Palliative Care Certifications

| Date Posted: 1/17/2013

Michael Nissen, FNP

Ellen Willard, M.D.

Michael Nissen, FNP

Aaron Gavett, D.O.

Michael Nissen, FNP

Otto Rogers, M.D.

Chris McLaren, P.A.-C

Van Slaughter, M.D.

PINEHURST – Three FirstHealth of the Carolinas physicians have been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine while another has been recertified. All passed their boards in October 2012 in Raleigh, N.C.

“These physicians have demonstrated expertise in end-of-life medical care that focuses on the relief of suffering and improving the quality of life for patients and families who are living with a life-altering illness,” says Charlotte Patterson, director of FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care. “This certification will strengthen their role on the interdisciplinary team, allowing them to focus on individualized goals and advanced care planning while supporting their patients and families.”

The newly certified physicians are Aaron Gavett. D.O., assistant medical director of FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care and a hospitalist service physician; Otto Rogers, M.D., a specialist in emergency medicine; and Van Slaughter, M.D., a hospitalist service physician. Ellen Willard, M.D., a hematologist-medical oncologist and medical director of FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, has been recertified.

“We are very fortunate to have four physicians board certified in hospice and palliative care,” says Daniel Barnes, D.O., president, FirstHealth Physician Group. “These physicians will work closely with our palliative care team to provide this much-needed service to our inpatients at Moore Regional Hospital. Palliative care improves quality of life for appropriate patients and families and enables patients to avoid preventable crises that can lead to unnecessary hospital admissions.” 

Dr. Willard was the first physician in North Carolina to earn the Hospice and Palliative Medicine certification. She was first certified 14 years ago.

“The fact that FirstHealth has a hospice and palliative care service means that we are committed to providing specialized and appropriate care for those with progressive and life-limiting illnesses and have staff with the expertise to provide that care,” she says.

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