Kate Brazzale, M.D., Selected as First Fellow

Hospice of Palm Beach County has cared for nearly 65,000 patients and their families since 1978, and averages 1,100 patients daily. Over 900 highly trained employees and more than 600 caring volunteers make this a program that excels in innovative care and quality service to our community. From Tequesta to Boca Raton and Belle Glade to the beach, services are provided for patients diagnosed with any advanced illness in the patient’s place of residence – whether at home, in an extended care facility, inpatient unit or hospital.

As part of the commitment to helping the people of Palm Beach County, Hospice of Palm Beach County Medical Education Program’s mission is to provide fellows, residents, medical students, and staff with the learning opportunities and resources that will assist them in becoming competent in the delivery of end-of-life care. The current medical education programs at Hospice of Palm Beach County have 32 second year medical school students rotating with a focus on didactic, and experiential hospice training and 12 third year medical school students in a hands-on didactic geriatric rotation. In addition, JFK Medical Center is starting an Internal Medicine residency July 1, 2008. This three year program will begin with residents at each level. Included in the curriculum for the 22 first year residents is a required 2-week Hospice and Palliative Medicine clinical rotation with Hospice of Palm Beach County. The majority of this rotation will take place on the Jay Robert Lauer Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at JFK Medical Center.

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at Hospice of Palm Beach County begins July 15, 2008. This ongoing program contributes to quality end-of-life care by educating physicians in the latest treatments and care relevant to patients’ physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs. Fellows will learn the art and science of hospice and palliative medicine while working in an environment of care. Richard Levene, DO, FAAHPM, is the acting Director for this program.

Following the educational objectives, as specified by ACGME (Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education) this rigorous, year long clinical fellowship is a pathway for physicians who are interested in achieving excellence in palliative medicine. The Fellow will gain knowledge through lectures, discussions and mentoring with practical training and experience in multiple clinical and residential settings with a variety of patients and their families. In the Hospice of Palm Beach County Fellowship Program, physicians will experience a program where the way things are done is just as important as the treatments themselves.

The Hospice of Palm Beach County Medical Education Department has selected Kate Brazzale, M.D., as the first Fellow to participate in the Program. Dr. Brazzale received a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from University College London and completed her residency at the University of Florida, Gainesville in the Family Practice Residency Program serving as Chief Resident in her third year.

“I see a large part of Hospice work as providing education, symptomatic relief, opportunity, strength and support. Family and patient both need an outlet for complex emotions such as guilt, fear and sorrow. All too often both parties put on a brave face to one another, therefore losing the ability to have any meaningful communication during those last precious days. Re-opening this channel is a very important part of what palliative care is about. The ability to say all of those things that have not been said during life is a precious part of the journey towards someone’s death. To achieve a peaceful dignified death leaves loved ones also at peace in their ongoing lives,” said Dr. Kate Brazzale.