Pantilat Receives Award for Work in Palliative Care

UC San Francisco’s Steven Pantilat, MD, has received the 2014 Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award by the California Hospital Association (CHA). He is being recognized for his efforts to improve the quality of care provided by palliative care services.

The Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award is to be granted only for a specific outstanding contribution to the improvement of patient care. This criterion could encompass the development of new equipment, new techniques, savings in cost, development in safety, or the like. The award is not given for general contributions in the health care field.

Steven Pantilat, MD

Pantilat, professor of clinical medicine in the UCSF Department of Medicine, is the Alan M. Kates and John M. Burnard Endowed Chair in Palliative Care, and the founding director of the UCSF Palliative Care Program. He is also the director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center that trains teams from hospitals across the country on how to establish Palliative Care Services. Pantilat is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and internal medicine.

In 2007 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar studying palliative care at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, and Curtin University in Sydney, Australia. Pantilat is also a hospitalist, and is a nationally recognized expert in hospital medicine as well as in palliative medicine. He is the past-president, a past member of the board of directors, and the former chair of the ethics committee for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Pantilat is a member of the Program in Medical Ethics at UCSF and serves on the UCSF Medical Center Ethics Committee. In 2011 he received a leadership award from the James Irvine Foundation in recognition of his work to improve the lives of people in California.

Pantilat, along with colleagues at UCSF, was a co-editor of a series in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) focused on improving end-of-life care titled “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.” That series was subsequently updated and published as a book in 2011 titled, “Care at the Close of Life” for which Pantilat served as a co-editor.

He, along with his colleague Tony Steimle, MD, chief of cardiology for Kaiser Santa Clara, wrote the chapter on “Palliative Care for Patients with Heart Disease.” Pantilat’s extensive publications and research focus on improving care for seriously ill patients in hospitals, communication, and palliative care for people with heart disease. He is currently the principal investigator of a randomized clinical trial of palliative care added to optimal medical management for improving quality of life, symptoms, and resource utilization for people with heart failure. Pantilat is also founding director of the Palliative Care Quality Network focused on improving the quality of care provided by palliative care services.

CHA awards will be presented during the CHA Board of Trustees luncheon on Dec. 11 at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, CA.

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