“The Greater Majority of young physicians and nurses do not get any training on how to talk to patients and families abut their illness and what to expect.”
Dr. Diane Meier
Episode 5: Diane Meier
Dr. Meier is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2008 MacArthur Fellowship―a $500,000, no-strings-attached “genius award” for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more. She was named one of “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better in the U.S.” by HealthLeaders Media and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Oberlin College in 2010.
In 2012, she was awarded American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor for Cancer Control in recognition of her pioneering leadership of the effort to bring non-hospice palliative care into mainstream medicine. She also received the American Geriatrics Society Edward Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture Award in 2013.
Other honors include the Open Society Institute Faculty Scholar’s Award of the Project on Death in America, the Founders Award of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization 2007, AARP’s 50th Anniversary Social Impact Award 2008, Castle Connelly’s Physician of the Year Award 2009 and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award 2009. She is currently Principal Investigator of an NCI-funded five-year multisite study on the outcomes of hospital palliative care services in cancer patients. Dr. Meier served as one of Columbia University’s Health and Aging Policy Fellows in Washington DC during the 2009-2010 academic year, working both on the Senate’s HELP Committee and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Meier has published more than 200 original peer review papers and several books. Her most recent book, Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness: Challenges and Opportunities in the Age of Health Care Reform, was published by Humana in 2014. She edited the first textbook on geriatric palliative care, as well as four editions of Geriatric Medicine. As one of the leading figures in the field of palliative medicine, Dr. Meier has appeared numerous times on television and in print, including ABC World News Tonight, Open Mind with Richard Hefner, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the New Yorker, AARP, and Newsweek. She was figured prominently in the Bill Moyers series “On Our Own Terms,” a four-part documentary aired on PBS.
Diane E. Meier received her BA from Oberlin College and her MD from Northwestern University Medical School. She completed her residency and fellowship training at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. She has been on the faculty of the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1983. She lives in New York City.
Today we talk to her about the next steps palliative care will have to take to keep expanding and how hospice organizations throughout the world can benefit from this movement.