Palliative Care Goes to Washington...and Your State Capitol


Presented by Dr. Gregg VandeKieft

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe key federal legislative and regulatory bodies involved in advancing palliative care policy

  2. Summarize current governmental actions directed at improving palliative care education, research, clinical practice and financing mechanisms

  3. Discuss ways to advocate for palliative care at the state and national levels

Gregg VandeKieft, MD, MA, FAAFP, FAAHPM is the Southwest Washington Regional Medical Director for Palliative Care for Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH), with responsibilities for inpatient palliative care consult services at hospitals in Olympia and Centralia, WA, and an outpatient palliative care clinic in Lacey, WA. He also serves as Associate Medical Director for the Providence Institute for Human Caring in Torrance, CA, with clinical oversight for the Palliative Practice Group, supporting palliative care programs for 50 acute care hospitals and over 800 ambulatory clinics in the seven states served by PSJH. He received the 2018 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award in the Senior Physician category, the 2017 Stuart J. Farber Award for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Care from the Washington State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the 2017 Health Care Champions Distinguished Service Award from the Thurston-Mason County Medical Society and the Thurston Chamber.  Dr. VandeKieft holds an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where he co-directed the Palliative Care Module of the Chronic Care Clerkship from 2009-12. He chairs the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s (AAHPM) Advocacy and Awareness Strategic Coordinating Committee and previously chaired the AAHPM Public Policy Committee and Ethics Special Interest Group. He serves on the Supportive Care Coalition’s board of directors, the Patient Quality of Life Coalition’s Steering Committee, the National Quality Forum’s Palliative and End-of-Life Care Standing Committee, and the Washington POLST Task Force Advisory Group.  Dr. VandeKieft attended medical school at the University of Iowa and Family Medicine residency in Phoenix, AZ.  He completed the University of Washington’s Certificate Program in Health Care Ethics, Michigan State University’s masters program in Health and Humanities, and Harvard Medical School’s Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice. Following six years in private practice in Mount Vernon, WA, he joined the faculty at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in 1996, before returning to The Pacific Northwest in 2002. He is board certified in Family Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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