Cole Memorial Medical Group congratulates Andrea Heller, DO, on her advanced certification in hospice and palliative care from the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Heller’s high-level of knowledge will enable her to educate patients, caregivers and family members that face significant chronic diseases or loss.
“The Home Health and Hospice staff extends our congratulations to Dr. Heller on this achievement,” said Amy Hunt, senior director of Patient & Community Relations and Post-Acute Care Services. “She has demonstrated strong dedication, compassion and commitment to serving our Home Health and Palliative Care patients. We are very pleased to have her as part of the Cole Memorial Home Health and Hospice team.”
Cole Memorial offers hospice and palliative services. Both may seem similar however they have the following differences…
The Hospice program provides patients with the dignity, respect and comfort they deserve at the end of life while providing educational support for caregivers and family. The care is delivered in a place where the patient and their loved ones prefer, such as home or a hospital and nursing home. Cole Memorial’s Home Health, Hospice and Long-term Care Departments have specially-trained providers and nursing staff to care for patients with life-limiting conditions.
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessments and the treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial or spiritual challenges.
As part of the certification requirements, Dr. Heller fulfilled a one-year fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine from an accredited institution. Her fellowship was completed at Summa-Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio in August 2016. The fellowship and certification covered topics including: Adult care for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, cancer and other chronic serious diseases plus, pediatric care (including complex genetic conditions). Additionally, Dr. Heller received special training in communication and difficult conversations, spirituality and the medico-legal aspects of end-of-life care.
President and CEO of Cole Memorial Ed Pitchford added, “Palliative Care is an emerging medical specialty in society today. While all physicians are trained to be expert in the science of their specialty, palliative care trained physicians have a special, holistic approach for patients when science is no longer completely effective. As our medical treatments have evolved and become more complex over time and life has been extended, Dr. Heller and her palliative care colleagues are needed more than ever to help educate and counsel patients and families. We are very pleased that Dr. Heller has come to the region and brought that interest with her.”
Dr. Heller is board-certified in family medicine and completed her Family Medicine Residency at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biomedical humanities and music from Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio and became a Doctor of Osteopathy from A.T. Still University’s Health Sciences Division in Kirksville, Missouri.
Dr. Heller is a Port Allegany native and joined Cole’s Internal Medicine team in early September 2016. She also serves as the Medical Director of the Home Health and Hospice programs at Cole. In addition, Dr. Heller and Eunice Asomaning, MD, are accepting adult primary care and pediatric patients at the new Coudersport Family Practice while continuing to provide care for their current Internal Medicine patients.
For more information, visit www.colememorial.org.