White installed as first Stokes Family Endowed Chair in Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care
Monday, December 02, 2019
National palliative care expert Patrick White, MD, was installed on Nov. 18, as The Stokes Family Endowed Chair in Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care. Dr. White is the chief medical officer of BJC Home Care and Hospice and leads Evelyn’s House, the adult and pediatric hospice house located on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.
In his role at BJC, Dr. White supports and provides clinical oversight to more than 650 clinicians caring for more than 11,000 patients annually.
He is also the first chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. The division, formed in late 2018, grew out of a collaboration between Washington University, BJC Healthcare, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Since joining the Washington University faculty, Dr. White has received funding from the National Institutes of Health for two research initiatives related to palliative medicine and supportive care for patients at the end of their lives.
Palliative medicine focuses on relieving the suffering of patients with advanced diseases and enhancing quality of life for both patients and their families. Palliative medicine proactively emphasizes addressing patients’ symptoms, using compassionate communication combined with increased psychosocial and spiritual support to provide families with valuable information, comfort and resources.
The Stokes Family Endowed Chair in Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care was created through a 2018 gift to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital from Aja and Patrick Stokes. The Stokes’ investment in this chair is a direct reflection of their commitment to elevating the important role education and research play in the delivery of palliative and hospice care.
The Stokes’ philanthropy positions BJC Healthcare and Washington University School of Medicine to influence the national conversation about care at the end-of-life and also for people living with chronic and painful diseases.
The Stokes began championing the need for expanded hospice care in St. Louis after Aja’s sister’s end-of-life experience in a hospice house in Sweden. They led the Foundation’s campaign to build a home for BJC Hospice that culminated in the 2017 opening of Evelyn’s House. The Stokes’ investment in the delivery of compassionate supportive care in St Louis has been a catalyst to create a new model focused on discovery and innovation that invigorates and challenges the status quo to improve the delivery of patient care across all stages of life.
Dr. White is one of the first physicians in the country to pursue a PhD in comparative effectiveness research focused on improving end-of-life care. He has been actively involved in clinical research to help reduce pain and nausea in patients with advanced cancer. He collaborates with researchers from the World Health Organization to design projects to reduce nausea in patients with advanced cancer with a goal to improve quality of life.
Selected as one of the inaugural “Hospice and Palliative Medicine Inspirational Leaders Under 40” by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. White is one of seven physician leaders nationally selected for the inaugural Hospice Medical Director Leadership Council. He has also been recognized with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Award of Recognition for his charitable and service work in Leogane, Haiti. Dr. White is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and has received Distinguished Service Teaching Awards from Washington University.